Top tips on how to start a blog, from naming celebrities like Russ Abbot to randomly mentioning sex

‘Hello, queen of the blogs!’ Ha! This is a friend who knows how to say just the right thing. She wanted some tips on how to start blogging – and it’s also my first anniversary of blogging – so what better way to celebrate then outline a few tips I’ve learnt.

1)   Engage! Not ENRAGE! And don’t use exclamation marks…It’s not enough to ‘like’, you must seek out blogs you like (sounds like a good name for a shop: blogs-u-like) and leave a comment. Regularly. My queen engagers are: Carrie Rubin at The Write Transition, JMMcdowell and MsKatyKins.

And see what they have done here? NAME RECOGNITION. I actively look out for them, find their tweets, drop in on blogs. The next stage will be BUYING THEIR BOOKS.

2)    Write long, boring headlines, usually with a celebrity’s full name in the title (as long as it is somehow relevant). This increases the chances of you being found by mysterious search engines. Learning a thing or two about Russ Abbot still regularly attracts attention. Yes, Russ Abbot is still alive.

3)   See what I did there in Number 2? Casually refer back (aka hyperlink) to a past blog post that attracted – or still attracts – users. This helps to generate more interest…

4)   However, my most read blog did have ‘sex’ in the title. Does sex attract the wrong crowd? Is still my best-read blog post. Sad but true. Porn works.

5)   Use pictures. Hopefully good quality. Ones that you own the copyright to. Or insert videos. Preferably for free from YouTube. And they must be FUNNY. I’m not sure that relevance matters.

6)   The key to blogging though is to build a community. Your community. Where you have conversations with your virtual friends. And sometimes real friends. Not that virtual friends are not real – well, hopefully you get what I mean. Over time, your virtual friends will replace your real friends because you will have no time for anything else in your life.

7)   Time management is key. I blog once a week. Some people do it every day. A bit like sex. And we know they lie, right? I try to engage when I can. A bit like sex. I no longer watch telly or talk to my husband. I eat a lot of chocolate because we all know that is better than sex. Right?

8)   Oh. And good luck!

Do you have any tips for my friend? Would you do anything differently if you were starting your blog today?

February 28, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Writing.

31 Comments

  1. Missus Tribble replied:

    I don’t think I’d change anything about how I blog; I blog when something relevant to disability comes up, and sometimes I blog about silly everyday things to make people smile. Even when I broke my toe during a seizure I tried to put a humorous spin on it – that blog and the photographs of the most colourful bruises you will ever see are still viewed regularly.

    Here are some tips that I would pass on to a new blogger:

    1: Proofread everything

    2: If you somehow missed a typo, edit the blog post as many times as you need to. Nobody takes a badly written blog seriously

    3: If a blogger that you read has inspired whatever you’re about to write, link back to them and thank them for the inspiration

    4: Unless you’re writing about a serious subject, keep it snappy and sharp. If a reader laughs they will be back for more

    5: If you’re blogging a recipe, then for the love of Mike please include a photograph of what the finished article is suppossed to look like.

    6: No, I don’t know who Mike is

    7: Unless Real Life is happening to you a lot, you’re extremely sick or generally feel overwhelmed, there is no excuse not to interact with your readers and the blogs you follow. There are people with feelings behind those words that you see on the screen

    8: Never drunk-blog. It may come across (to you) as a funny piece at the time, but you will definitely regret it in the morning

    9: Promote, promote, promote

    10: Have fun!

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      I love all your tips, especially about proof reading and drunk blogging. Thanks for taking the time to write them.

  2. theinnocentoiligarch replied:

    Hi! I’m an actual but ENRAGED friend of yours!! But you don’t contact me anymore! because now you don’t have the time, what with your obsession with your blog! sex!! Russ Abbott!!! and videos of pandas having sex with Russ Abbott!!!! You’ve CHANGED, my friend, and I blame the interwebblogthing.

    (Very good post btw and I do always read you even if I don’t comment. Keep it up. No, that that sort of up…)

  3. terrytrekker replied:

    I like your comments. I am a newbie so I am learning! Writing takes time though :)

    • Missus Tribble replied:

      Hi, you commented on my piece about Colin Brewer earlier today. Feel free to click my “Follow blog via email” button and I’ll return the favour. I love helping people find their way around the blogosphere, and it’s more fun to blog for readers than it is to type into an empty void :)

      I’ll happily follow your blog too – you can find the “Follow via email” button in the widgets section :)

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      It takes time – but it’s worth it!

  4. colonialist replied:

    Good advice. Search engines are idiots. I am suddenly having a spate of views – but I think it is more due to having Top Gear in the subject than the brilliance of my satirical rhyme.
    The panda-monium video is hilarious. The reaction of the adult one!
    If you don’t even know Mike, why should we love him?

  5. colonialist replied:

    Btw – who’s Russ Abbot? What is sex? Oh, hang on, I do know that second one …

  6. Carrie Rubin replied:

    Thanks so much for the mention! Such a nice surprise to stumble upon. :)

    And I agree–building a community is key. It’s all about engaging and reciprocation. Plus, I think it’s important to post on something of value. I’m trying to do this more, and even with a humor blog, it can be done. People are busy. They don’t want to hear only about my shenanigans. They want to read something that applies to them as well. I think you do this very well. You could blog just on being a playwright and the productions that go along with it, but in addition to that, you throw in other topics as well that anyone can relate to.

    At least this is my latest theory. It could change tomorrow…

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Thanks for your support. You’re right, somehow busy people have to relate to what you are writing about. I also have another rule – keep it short. 400 words or less.

  7. Christi replied:

    Congrats on your first anniversary of blogging! I completely agree that blogging is about building community and creating useful, interesting content for others. At least, I aim to be useful and interesting. :-)

  8. jmmcdowell replied:

    Thanks so much for the lovely shout out! I would also add “blog honestly.” And by that I mean blog about topics we enjoy, not what we think we should blog about. Honestly, I envy the ease with which some bloggers talk about so many subjects. But that just doesn’t fit me. It’s easier to blog consistently if we honestly enjoy what we’re posting. :)

    Happy Anniversary!

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      I agree. You have to find your voice – and hopefully that’s honest!

  9. The Laughing Housewife replied:

    Congratulations on your blogaversary!

    I once wrote about Julia Roberts’ underarm hair and I get all kinds of fetishists visiting as a result. Constant amusement on my part.

    I have one tip that disagrees with you – use no more than 140 characters in your title or search engines might consider it spam.

    The same goes for tags – no more than ten, including the category.

    Having said that, I regularly use way more than 140 characters; my regulars don’t care and I’m writing for them :)

    My biggest tip – have fun doing it, or don’t do it at all.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      That’s interesting – about the underarm hair fetish! Not heard the one about spam before with long headlines. Good point on the tags.

  10. masodo replied:

    Enjoyable Post on an Enjoyable Blog
    (just awful about you car – BTW)

    This topic reminded me of a poem I did for my blog and figured this might be a helpful place to share:
    FROM: http://blogdogit.com/article.php?story=20121214113900285
    ——

    bloggiddydodah

    It seems that if more visitors are what you want to log
    a sure-fire way to get them is to add poetry to your blog.

    It doesn’t even matter what it is you have to say
    it’s just a fact of blogging that they’ll read it anyway.

    You see I’ve done my research and statistics tend to show
    inserting clever poems will help your hit-count grow.

    The secret of this technique is to include within the rhyme
    all those magic little keywords that get them every time.

    Talk about the girls they’ll see with hardly any clothes
    or how by working from your home your income steadily rose.

    Mention how without a charge card you’ll help them get a date
    or if their rent is coming due you’ll help them pay it late.

    Be sure to mention kitties and cuddly puppy dogs
    and how you met your soul mate by kissing many frogs.

    If you want to get the techies then resort to iPhone Five
    and introduce the wonder app that makes it come alive.

    Offer them a link to download the latest movies free
    and the current TV programs that they click right [here] to see.

    Let them know you understand just why they hate their folks
    or promise if they look around they’ll find the dirty jokes.

    Promote the many web-cam feeds real people have to share
    or how a secret you possess will help them grow more hair.

    “Monetize your website without the use of adverts”
    will get you bloggers quicker than “FREE PORN” will get the perverts.

    But one more bit of free advice before this blogger goes,
    be sure to let the reader know you believe in UFO’s

    I mean really – “I’ve been abducted but my memory’s kinda hazy”
    is just the sort of turn of phrase that drives statistics crazy.

    I hope that I have helped search-engine-optimize your pages
    by using this sage wisdom you’ll dominate the web for ages.

    masodo @ BlogDogIt.com

    (Bloggin’ It While Doggin’ It)

    ——-

    Keep on biting!

  11. Linky Love | Aewl's Abode replied:

    [...] WomanBitesDog has great tips on starting a blog. Absolutely hilarious, but also true. [...]

  12. Harry Nicholson replied:

    Perhaps I’ll blog a piece that mentions Lloyd George – the one who knew my father.

  13. WordsFallFromMyEyes replied:

    This was interesting. I liked it a lot. We usually come in cold, and find our way around – which can lose a lot of readers!!

    It’s all so new, this blogging thing – well, to me (I mean, I’ve been at it since Aug’11 but it’s just so new world). Great post for the starters – liked the engage not enrage :)

  14. rawmultimedia replied:

    great tips…quite humorous the last one…:) I preach the same tips to others, but some people just don’t want to give to receive, they just want to take, take, take, it’s almost like sex, lol I had to throw that in there.

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