Blogging is a great way into writing. To maintain a relevant blog, you must pick a subject that means an awful lot to you. A lot of blogs are started and then sort of fizzle out after a couple of months because – passion is hard to maintain unless it’s real.

Think about your subject. All of us have something we know really well, and the things we know a lot about usually are things we have some fervour for. Really spend some time with yourself to find your subject. The more specific your subject, the better. People like actual knowledge.

Think about your reader. For myself, I see a woman, like me, sitting on the Tube on her way to work, wanting a giggle to get her through the day. I think she thinks about Devon in a very wistful, Gosh, wouldn’t it be lovely to live there? way, and as such, I’m right here, with tales of dogs, the Legion and the countryside.

Spellcheck everything. It’s a bit embarrassing for a writer to have much in the way of spelling errors. It’s all Googleable so don’t worry if grammar isn’t really your forte. There is no judgement here. Some of the best speakers I’ve ever heard couldn’t find an Oxford comma in a manuscript to save their lives.

Don’t beg people to retweet you, or share your content. It’s pretty self-explanatory but, if it needs saying: people hate that. I remember a friend of mine tagged me, and about fifty others, in a Facebook post about a show he was putting on somewhere. He got about seven likes. Whether anyone went to the show, I couldn’t tell you. The fact is, if the content is good, people will naturally like, comment or share it.

There are a number of blogging sites which have a lot to recommend them. I prefer WordPress. It’s easy enough to use and, although with the book I’m about the mention, there are plug-ins and technical gubbins involved, I hit upon most of them by sheer dumb luck. That’s my kind of plug-in.

Ask yourself the questions that you think your reader wants the answers to. Now, this is important. I think my readers want to know why they should read my books when there are literally (I use the word advisedly) millions of other books out there. Hence, my stuff tends to be more personality-driven than specialist-subject related.

A blog is a tremendous way to get people to your products and/or services. If you write a relevant post about something you’re selling and throw in links to said product at the end of, what is hopefully, an entertaining and fascinating read, you will make sales.

This is where being a little bit too English can be a problem. We don’t like showing off. We don’t like advertising ourselves. We’re much more inclined to play everything down.

As a semi-Irish person, I’ll do all of that, but I’ll laugh about it at the same time. This is not great for sales. This is an important learning, which I am coming to terms with now.

It’s better to know how to do this stuff from the off. There’s a lot to be said for making mistakes along the way and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll make the same mistake twice, but having a good foothold on what makes a good blog before you start your own is totally enviable.

This is me, choking on the envy, and here’s some recommended reading…

Book Review – How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits In 7 Months by Patric Morgan

First published, 2015

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

A great little guide for those who want to set up their own blogs. Lots of useful tips. Mr. Morgan takes his time getting to – how to actually do it – but the advice is logical, well-researched and well-written.

Subjects covered include:
How to set up a blog,
How to write content that people will just want to click on and share with their friends,
How to create viral posts that will see your visitor statistics balloon,
How to write content for your website that will sell your services or products,
How to optimise your posts for search engines,
How to make money from your blog.

There are really good suggestions for generating universal as well as topical content, how to title your work for the best SEO, finding your audience, using the best keywords, and maintaining your momentum. As much as I wish I’d read this guide before starting my blog, I think there are a number of principles I can still incorporate to my own work.

The technical terms are explained well and Mr. Morgan relates his know-how to his own experiences, which have been numerous.

A great little guide.