Monday, November 3, 2014

Celebrating this Blog's 6th Birthday!

In celebration of Life Unscripted's sixth birthday, I am bringing you my tips for starting and keeping a blog. Since high school I've had about five different blogs, and this one has lasted the longest. So here I share what I've learned over the years with six tips for you.

1. Keep only one blog. This advice comes from personal experience after starting way too many blogs on different sites. Keep it simple and only have one place to collect all your posts. If you get bored with the way it looks you can always change the layout, header, and colors, even the name. This is why I recommend the next tip...

2. Use your name for the URL. When you're setting up your blog, you have to put in a name for it which also becomes your URL [web address]. I recommend using something like your name or an abbreviation of your name rather than a catchy blog title, just in case you ever want to change the title of your blog.

Before I stuck with "Life Unscripted" I had some different titles in the heading of this blog. It took a while to settle on something I liked, so I was glad the link was something more permanent, like my name. Of course I did get married later, but I've kept "Loyola" around as my middle name, so it still works. ;)

3. Write for yourself. It can be really tempting to write about things that will get pageviews, and sometimes the two coincide, but I recommend writing about things you care about first and foremost. Sometimes no one will read your posts and other times a ton of people will. Regardless, you should enjoy the subject matter you spend time blogging about. So whether it's politics, DIYS, social issues, or fashion, have fun and write away!

4. Make yourself write. If you're going to start a blog, you have to make yourself stick with it. Yes, we all suffer from writer's block and sometimes you'll be so busy you won't have time to blog. But in as much as you can, stick with it and keep writing! Ask friends for ideas if you've hit a wall, or take a break from long, serious posts and do something fun.

5. Connect with your readers. Readers are the best, especially when they interact with you! Don't be that blogger who doesn't have time to respond or ask for feedback. Make sure to reply to comments and ask questions [even off your blog, like on Facebook or Twitter]. Let your readers know you're listening and you care.

6. Try something new. You're already trying something new by starting a blog, so keep it up! Try writing about different things or presenting them in a new way. Create a post with lots of photos, make a listicle, share a Pinterest board, use Storify to create a story, make a Polyvore board, post a video, write a project how-to. You don't have to sit down and write 20 paragraphs each time. Switching it up will keep things interesting, for you and your readers.

Now add a tip! What are some of your tips for blogging? Do you have any suggestions or rules you stick to? What advice would you share with a first time blogger? Put your tips in the comments!

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