Blogging properly is not just about writing some stuff and putting it on the internet in a handy WordPress template. Here, BRIGID KELLY tells you exactly what is wrong with THIS blog … and why!
1) It lacks a clear focus.
OK that’s not strictly true. This blog is all about ME. ME ME ME. But more importantly, this blog was largely intended to be a space where I could stretch my writing muscles again, and/or post examples of the kind of work I can do. Part of the reason for that is because most of my archives were lost in those damn quakes. As a result, it’s all over the place – listicle here, schmoozy self-plug there, colour piece ici, vaguely political pontificiation la. A good blog can be varied… but it needs things to hold it together. To wit:
2) There are not enough pictures, pull quotes or subheads.
Nobody wants to read a wall o’text. And this blog is one mighty wall.
When I set it up, I was still working in my day-night job as a newspaper subeditor and the very LAST thing I wanted to do while sitting up in bed of a night was more layout. Also, I was sitting up in bed with a blanky across my knees, tippity-typing in a dimly lit room, longing to go to sleep and eager to press “publish” rather than delay till I had time to make the post look all beautiful and ensure it was SEO-ready and stuff.
3) The articles are mostly too long.
See above. People mostly don’t read past what fits on their screen when they browse the interwebs. In fact you may not even be reading this far right now. Not unless the picture of my boots drew your eye down further. That is why high-impact web content is generally pretty bite-sized (or is that BYTE-sized? AHAH. I’ll wait till you’ve stitched your sides back together.)
4) Nobody can find it.
Actually, that’s not strictly true either. Google my name and “flaneuse” and you’ll find one entry.
Google “flaneuse antipodienne” and you’ll find more, including a place where my content has been cheerily copy-pasted to some random dating site. But unless you know what you’re looking for, the chances of finding content by ME ME ME sinks beneath the waves, and also the growing profile of a (hopefully) nice Democrat lady in Ohio. I had this name first by the way, lady. It’s about time I started using it on everything, am I right? It could also do with better keywords and categorisation that’s less personal, more designed to get others a-clicking.
5) It’s a snob.
This blog would do much better if it just got off its arse and talked to the people, you know? Like that Ohio hopeful lady probably does all the time, because she is a politician. This blog should be commenting on other blogs and inviting interaction by offering polls and other fun clicky things. This blog has not gone on its ceilidh for quite some time. It’s acting like it has agoraphobia, which it assuredly has NOT. It needs to get itself out there.
6) It is updated infrequently.
No one likes a blowhard, but similarly, no one remembers a one-hit wonder. Blogs need regular updating for two reasons: one, to keep your readers engaged, and two, to ensure there is lots of older content on it to entice new readers to stay and look around.
7) It is a wuss.
This blog has been too scared to just jump in there and bash out a few lines, even though those are precisely the sorts of entries that readers appear to like the best (according to WordPress’ handy stats feature). It has been all “oh no I better not blog now, I am tired and do not have time to make it super cool and perfect enough for potential employers to see. It might not paint me in a good enough light. Mopey mope mope.” It has been told in no uncertain terms that this is no kind of strategy for living, and that it should just own itself and jump out there, warts and all. After all, what is my brand if not… eclectic?