Here are some words of wisdom about blogging from Greg Jericho, a.k.a Grogs Gamut, who became Australia’s best-known blogger when his identity was revealed by a mainstream newspaper last year. His musings about policy matters and election news coverage had drawn the attention, and apparently the ire, of mass media bigwigs, who decided the public had a right to know who he was.
Anyway, Greg has given his thoughts on blogging to the Walkleys Foundation. Here’s what he said:
- About page design: “You will most likely spend far too long trying to get the look of your blog just right. I wouldn’t worry too much”
- Identity: “You don’t need to be famous, but you do need to be part of the community within which you are wanting to blog”
- Focus: “Get a theme and make sure it’s clear. Readers need to know what they are likely to get when they read your blog”
- Forget fame: “Seriously. No-one will read it. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter that it is for free. It doesn’t matter that you have been commenting on blogs for over a year. It doesn’t matter that you have a thousand followers on Twitter. It doesn’t matter that you write beautiful prose. For the first 18 months of my blog if on any one day I had over 25 hits, I would get giddy at my ‘popularity’. If you are writing a blog to get attention, forget it. You should be writing it because you love to write about whatever you are writing about. Otherwise you won’t last long enough to actually get an audience.”
- Be regular: “This doesn’t mean every day, but if not they should at least know your pattern.”
- Be personal: “Sure you need to have a theme, but one of the most-read posts I ever wrote was about my 15-year-old cat dying”
So there you have it. Greg adds that you should “pimp your blog” on Twitter and Facebook etc, but everyone knows that, right? He also says it’s a labour of love that will take up a lot of your time:
I used to watch DVDs, TV shows and read long-fat Russian novels. Now I write a blog. But who hasn’t ever had a hobby that took over their life? You’re not going to get rich writing your blog, so you’d better love doing it.
I’m obviously not following many of Greg’s rules but it’s good advice to anyone who is serious about their blogging or might be thinking about it.
Strangely, he doesn’t mention the need to brighten up posts with images or graphics, which is something I try to do (though not today). Can anyone offer any other suggestions or think of things Greg might have forgotten?