Even before I started this blog, I’ve been gleaning the various tips and tricks that abound in the Blogosphere, so much like a baleen whale, taking them in huge volumes, trying to filter out the best ones. Here’s what I have thus far — I’m calling it the ABC’s of Blogging. Enjoy.
- Attract readers with compelling headlines
- Books – read them to help improve your writing
- Creative, insightful, or timely Content is what will keep your readers Coming back — Crappy Content will torpedo Clever titles
- Dedicate time researching for and thinking about your posts, Do spend more than ten minutes writing
- Edit, Edit, Edit — good writing comes from rewriting
- Find your niche, if you want
- Get into a habit of writing regularly
- Have a conversational tone in your posts and comments to build a welcome Haven for your readers
- Inspiration and Ideas for posts comes from everywhere — news, conversations, comments, so pay attention
- Jot down ideas in a little notebook that you keep close by
- Keep a regular schedule of posting to train your audience — consider an editorial calendar
- Leverage the power of a blog in your business
- Monetize your blog if you’d like, but Moderation is key — no one likes to be bombarded by ads
- Never spam — follow the golden rule
- Offer true value in your posts, Offer an e-book, Offer an RSS feed and Offer full feeds
- Profanity should checked at the door — your blog is Public and little People will find it
- Queen. Content can be Queen, too — blogging is equal opportunity, and many of my favorite bloggers are women
- Reassess your blog Regularly to see if you’re on the Right track, or if you need to Re-adjust your direction
- Stumbleupon and other Social networking tools can help people find you, but may not be necessary if you have good, clear content and some SEO
- Try to keep your stat-gazing to a minimum — Too much attention means you’re wasting Time
- Use humor if you’ve got the skillz
- Visit other blogs you like and comment meaningfully on posts when you have something to say
- WordPress is your friend
- “X-it” the online world on a regular basis — go out, take a walk, talk to real live people, have a life
- Zee truth once again is that Content is King!
- Yes, um…I deliberately left “Y” out to see if people actually read the entire thing, Yeah, that’s it, that’s my storY and I’m sticking with it!
The World is Full of Mysteries
Ever notice how much mystery plays a part in our lives?
“Peek-a-boo! I see you!”
That innocent game we play with a baby is probably the child’s first conscious introduction to mysteries. When the blanket is up, where did mommy go? When it’s down, oh, there she is!
From that moment on, we are constantly engaged in solving mysteries.
Going to school allows us to find the answers to the mystery of:
- whether or not Susie likes Calvin
Mysteries are what fuels scientist’s curiosity:
- Are birds descendants of dinosaurs?
- Who built the giant statues of Easter Island?
- What can we do to save this species from extinction?
Many of us face personal issues to which we seek answers, such as those offered by unscrupulous marketers:
- “Learn the 10 Secrets the Pros Don’t Want You to Know!”
- “Lose 30lbs in 30 Days!”
- “Get Rich Using these 5 Easy Steps!”
We seek out and are entertained by mysteries in stories such as:
- Sherlock Holmes
- Indiana Jones
- Harry Potter
Why are Mysteries Important?
If you don’t think mysteries are important, let me ask you the following:
- Have you ever seen a movie where you start realizing what’s going to happen before it happens? Ruins the fun, right? That’s like telling people Darth Vader is Luke’s father before they saw Empire Strikes Back in 1980.
- Or how about seeing a magician do a trick that you’ve already seen before? The effect is not as…magical.
- Or why a woman wearing revealing clothing that much sexier than if she was simply nude?
- When you go see an Opera, Ballet, Musical, or Play at the theater, what if they didn’t have a drawn curtain?
We Love the Tease
Ever hear advice about writing a cover letter for your resume? Or how about a book proposal, or any proposal. What about the opening minutes of a TV show? The inside cover of a book jacket? Magazine cover? Promotional mailer?
They all feature something short, quick and easy to remember — to tease you into looking for more.
The best ones present a compelling mystery, one which you are eager to solve.
The Quest for Knowledge
- If fiction, we have the “MacGuffin”, what director Alfred Hitchcock referred to as an object or person — SOMETHING! — that is being chased after, sought after, and fought over. That continued searching is what the viewer of his films get hooked on.
- In Dashiell Hammet’s Maltese Falcon – detective Sam Spade is after the “black bird”, a supposedly jewel-encrusted statuette worth millions. His partner is murdered, and various parties are all after the falcon. What’s going to happen?
- J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – how is Frodo and his band going to destroy the One Ring, in the face of overwhelming odds?
In real life, we have the quest for knowledge.
- Buddha, in the process of becoming the Buddha, sought to answer to why humans suffered
- Leonardo Da Vinci, the Wright Brothers, and other dreamers sought out the answers to flight.
- We each all have our goals, and often wonder how we are to achieve them.
Mysteries engage our minds, our imagination, and our creativity.
The Mystery of Blogging
It even applies to our blogging.
Why do we ultimately subscribe to someone’s RSS feed?
To find out what’s going to be written next.
Have a great weekend!
I leave you with the following inspirational video clip:
TEDTalks: J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box