Well hello, you precious Planetarians! I'm writing this three-fingered with my left hand with my wounded wing in its sling. I am counting down until I can take my next round of Panadeine Forte to ward off the pain. Thanks for all your well-wishes - you have no idea how they are buoying me right now. Just a quickie before I forget about it.
Last Friday, I was included in this article in Hobart's newspaper, 'The Mercury', about Tasmanian female bloggers. Go ahead - click and have a read. I'll wait for you to return!
I was so thrilled to be involved - it's a well-written and engaging look at some of us bloggers down here on The Island.
I was so flattered to be included in the company of the gorgeous and talented foodie, Michelle Crawford, of Hugo & Elsa, soon-to-be-mum-of-3 and long-time blogger, Veronica Foale of Sleepless Nights and Angela Anderson, the brain behind the successful online business, KidStyleFile.
I was also chuffed to see my gorgeous friend Mel mentioned with her blog, Coal Valley View, listed as a 'popular Tassie blog'. Congrats, Mel - you're off to a wonderful start on this bloggy caper!
I loved the journalist's focus on the positive and wonderful relationships and communities we've all formed through blogging. It was a pleasant departure from the often standard articles about 'mummy bloggers' - you know the ones I mean.
The online version didn't include the photo of me which was in the paper so that's my photo of their photo up the top.
If you're thinking of starting blogging, here are my 'Dos and don'ts' of blogging which appeared in the online version, in case you're interested!
1. Think about your motivation before you start. Knowing that can completely change how you approach blogging.
2. “Start as you’d like to finish”. Start confidently. It's your space and you own it.
3. Choose a clear, easy to read blog title – something memorable, important to you and not too long so you don’t have a long URL!
4. Choose the tone. An authentic and comfortable voice helps people connect with you.
5. Use an active voice wherever possible to make it more engaging.
6. Have a white background with dark writing. It is easier to read.
7. Think of your sidebar as valuable real estate. Only add widgets and links that are really important to you. Otherwise you’re just giving someone else free advertising!
8. Choose a striking photo for your banner and a clear, easy-to-ready blog title. What people see ‘above the fold’ is critical in their deciding whether to read on or not.
9. Use a clear profile picture with a snappy and concise description of yourself.
10. Add a longer 'About me' tab at the top of your blog.
1. Disclose too much personal information. Decide before you start blogging what parameters you want to set on disclosing your personal details. This is particularly important when you are blogging about your children, family, job, house etc.
2. Give up after a short time because you don't think enough people are reading it. Keep writing, the readers will come.
3. Be disheartened by rude comments. You have the right to delete anything you find objectionable.
4. Subscribe to dozens of blog directories to get more traffic to your blog. Most will spam you endlessly.
5. Worry about your statistics.
6. Forget to link back to other bloggers and their posts. There's a lot of great blogging karma out there!
7. Forget to protect your reputation by leaving thoughtful comments on other’s blogs, responding to comments left on your blog and replying to any emails other bloggers send you. The word will soon get out that you are a great blogger to deal with.
8. Forget to consider carefully whether you want to have advertising on your blog. It normally takes the form of sponsored posts or advertisements in your sidebar which link to the company’s website when you click on them. This is such a personal choice. Either way, it’s a good idea to write down your attitude about advertising somewhere prominent on your blog so people can decide whether to approach you or not.
9. Overdo it in the beginning. Beware of blogger burnout.
10. Forget life comes first and blogging second. It sounds obvious but it can be so pleasurable and addictive that you may find yourself neglecting to do things. Having a balanced approach to blogging is so critical.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the article, especially the Tasmanian bloggers out there.