Tags: blogging tips, better blogging
I get a kick out of bloggers using Twitter and similar services to post those little "what I'm doing right now" texts to their blogs. Unless you're liveblogging from a big event or a disaster or episode of meteorological significance, nobody cares that the bus is late or the wind is blowing. Twitter and liveblogging have their places. It's okay if you're Liz Benjamin liveblogging from a press conference at the NY State Capitol or if you're Michelle Malkin providing blow-by-blow commentary of a presidential debate. It's not okay if you're Susie twittering while you're on the bus to the Mall or Randy and Mary providing blow-by-blow commentary of a sexual encounter. Get a life! To me that's as bad as being the designated family member charged with making video of every vacation minute. "I'm not a camera man!"
Facts & Figures
This isn't exactly Twittering or Liveblogging: I'm going to take you for a little stroll through this morning's webstats for the blog. Some blogging platforms have statistics gathering tools built-in. There are about 5 or 6 FREE ones you can sign up for and easily install on your blog. Some run silently, some are visible via little badges you stick in your sidebar. Get at least two. You'll be surprised when you see how often they don't agree--- i.e., you'll notice a visitor from x.com at 6pm on one and that same visitor doesn't show up on the other. And vice-versa. So, let's see who may have been here today. I ususally check the stats once or twice a week, and haven't looked at them today, until right now.
Where are they now?
Many readers got here this morning (actually overnight) by searching for Wanda Nara, Melinda Duckett, Mia Henderson or Claire Godfrey. Puzzlingly, the Wanda Nara post is one that I really didn't think all that much of when I uploaded it. It sat for weeks until somehow it got noticed, and it's taken off since then! Nara is not well-known in the U.S. and 99% of those looking for that article are from elsewhere. Duckett is a kidnap - murder - suicide story of a girl who moonlighted as a porn star. I don't think her young son was ever found. Mia Henderson is the American Indian girl murdered by her dormmate on the UofA Campus. Godfrey is the Florida Doctor caught up in Albany County DA David Soares' Steroids case.
Every once in a while there's a burst of traffic regarding Deysi Benitez, the Maryland woman whose family was murdered... she's been missing.
Blog, just blog.
Sometimes it's not what you post but what you say in your post that gives it legs. Thousands of bloggers wrote about CSI-NY incorporating Second Life in a recent episode. It was my choice of words about people interacting with avatars that gave stickiness to that article, which I didn't design nor did I expect it to generate any traffic. I've read blog entries this week where the blogger feels he or she has nothing to say or has hit writer's block. I read somewhere that you should NEVER post something that mentions that, and you should NEVER post something like "I'm going to be away until Tuesday." Aside from tipping off burglars, hackers, cyberstalkers and other interested parties that you won't be home, your regular readers may "forget" to comeback on Wednesday. Suppose you don't go or find something fascinating you want to share? You'll find a computer to post from. Trust me. Even worse, "I'll be away and I'm going to (insert destination here)" is too much information, again benefitting the unsavory listed above. I've recently blogged from New York City at 5am, Albany at 3pm and Montreal at 9pm in a single day, and you never knew it!
Another good bit of advice: put a little "Home" link someplace on your sidebar or header so it will appear on specific post pages visitors arrive at directly via search engines or links from other blogs. This will give people who may want to re-visit your blog in the future an actual anchor link to your most up-to-date material!