Ah, life.  As I sit here typing this I can look out my window and watch the sky dump buckets of rain on dreary North Texas.

So, how is this an analogy for today’s article?

It ain’t.  I’m not feeling clever today.  In fact, I don’t even feel like running off at the mouth today, so I bring you and On Blogging Short.

6 Tips for Improving Your Blog

Post Consistently
This is by far the biggest reason some blogs languish in obscurity.  If you want people to read your blog you’ve got to update your blog – it’s that simple.  Don’t expect folks to look through your back stock of super-cool material; it ain’t gonna happen.  Bloggers will love you and leave you so fast your head will spin.  Give them a reason to return; make sure your blog is at the top of any blogroll you happen to be on.  Keep the content fresh!

Use Pictures
Here’s a close second… look, you may be a great writer with a ton of things to say but to get folks to read what you’ve written, give ’em some eye-candy!  Pictures get a reader to stop and words will keep them coming back.  Combined, that’s content.

Write What You Know
People respond to honesty and the only way to give them that is to stay true to your point of view.  You should approach your blog in the same manner you approach your hobby.  A painter should paint and a player should play… then write it up for the blog.  Easy, right?  Since it’s what interests you it also increases your chances of avoiding burnout.

Avoid the ‘Wall of Text’
“But Brent,” I hear you say, “you throw up on the keyboard all the time!”  I’m established.  Folks will give my stuff a chance.  If you’re just starting out then think of it like sex…

Never mind.  Let’s think of an analogy you’d be good at.

…let’s think of it like putting together a model.  One step at a time; glue it all together at once and you’ve got a mess, but approach it systematically and you’ll get something cool in the end.

The sex analogy was better.

Stick to 750 words or less until you’ve built an audience.  Or, as I like to think of it, avoid anything which would put Real Genius to sleep.

Do It Yourself
As I pointed out in On Blogging Part IV, successful Collaboration Blogs are rare; what works for The Back 40K, Blood of Kittens, or 3++ is the New Black probably won’t work for you.

There are a ton of successful blogs which tried, and failed, to introduce other authors; the two which spring to mind are Yes The Truth Hurts and Blood Angels by Jawaballs.  Obviously I’m a fan of both these guys, so it’s not a criticism.  I’m simply pointing out that you shouldn’t expect someone else to share your passion.  If it didn’t work for powerhouses like these two, why expect it will work for you?

If you want your blog to work, prepare to work your ass off.  By yourself.

Be Involved
Here’s a simple one!  You have to read other people’s blogs if you expect them to read yours.  It’s like the mutual masturbation society out there, I promise you.  Read it, comment, move on… lather, rinse, repeat.  The author will get curious who you are, follow the link back to your blog, and (if you’ve been following my advice and have a product that’s worth a shit) they’ll probably add you to their blogrolls.

That’s what you’re looking for.  You need to be on as many blogrolls as possible.  There are several blog rolls which will add you regardless; all you have to do is ask!

Bell of Lost Souls
From the Warp
House of Paincakes

As an aside, at Strictly Average I’ve never, ever failed to add someone to my blogroll when they’ve taken the time to ask.  That said, I commonly delete blogs which haven’t posted in a long time – it works both ways.

The Example

This is important, so I’m going to spend a paragraph or three on it.  Here’s a scenario: some dude out there reads all the top blogs and thinks to himself, “Man, I rule in my local scene!  I’ve got something to say, so I think I’ll start a blog!”  He titles it 40K Badass Speaks Out, downloads that same black template everyone is using right now, and spends a week dropping every turd of wisdom in his arsenal.

Then what?

Since it’s a new blog, chances are very few folks actually read it.  Further, articles on tactics and strategy can be contentious, generating comments from folks who disagree and want to talk about it.

By why will they invest in that conversation on an unknown blog?

Our new Blogger is actually a good painter, but nobody has seen his stuff, since he didn’t take the time to crop, enhance, and upload any pictures.  If he’d done so, chances are someone would have stopped to say, “Good job!”

No positive reinforcement there.  Between that and the lack of Followers, he’s discouraged with the experience.  He fails to post one day.  Then two…

…then a week.

This dude may show up once a month to poke the corpse, but his blog is as dead as his new-media ambition.

When I started out, I didn’t start out trying to write high-brow strategy and tactics, ‘I’m-so-fucking-cool’ posts because I realized early the above scenario was happening to others.

Many others.  In fact, it happens so often that now I’ve pointed it out, you’ll see it too.  New blogs are like moths, in that the author has the best intentions but writes up all the easy stuff first then burns out.

If you want a successful blog, don’t do a half-assed job.  It’s really that simple.

It’s worth it.  Blogging is hard work – I won’t lie about that – but nothing has ever energized my hobby quite like it.  It’s absolutely worth it, so don’t be afraid to give it a try.

Questions?  Comments?  Hugs and gropings?