Social Media Exchange with partnership of other NGOs did a Barcamp today at the American University of Beirut! The Barcamp’s title was “Share the MADness”, during this Barcamp, I gave a presentation called “How to Maintain Your Blog” and I would like to share my presentation and thoughts about it with you!
Having a blog is an easy task, but maintaining it is the hardest!
I have been maintaining a blog for almost two years now. Some months were successful while others were not, yet after all this time; I was able to indentify some steps that are vital in maintaining blogs.
So, how can you maintain your blog?
1) Create your own style: the reason people read your blog as opposed to others is the fact that you have a certain style that no one has, so make sure to portray that style.
2) Be interactive: what’s super cool about Web 2.0 (as opposed to Web 1.0) is the interaction it offers, so make sure to be interactive as you used one of Web 2.0’s creations (your blog).
3) Be simple: If your blog is about anything, anything other than astrohydrolics (if this is even a word) then I personally advise you to keep it simple. If your blog’s aim is something simple, keep it simple, people reading it are simple people.
4) Write unique content: other than having your own style, you need to write unique content. Why? Because your content should reflect your style, and both should be unique to have unique readers.
5) Know your audience: I imagine your audience as inviting guests to my house, I usually do not invite the whole nation to come have dinner at my house, and I choose my guests. And this should apply to your blog as well. Identify your target audience and address them properly so they come again and again.
6) Post regularly: One of the hardest challenges bloggers face is posting regularly especially if they have hectic lives. You don’t want your followers to forge about you! So if you are busy, schedule your posts.
7) Include your own images or visuals: One of the best attributes to your uniqueness is including your own images or visuals. It lets readers actually be with you I your thread of thoughts as well as in the actual experience. If you cannot take your own pictures, at least use pictures licensed under Creative Commons.
8) Add tags: if you want your post to be found on search engines, add the appropriate tags to your content. Never publish a post without tags!
9) Add categories: One advantage of categories is that it narrows down the major topics of each post you publish. Having categories is most useful when you write about different topics like in my blog’s case. Please note that some themes do not support categories.
10) Include catchy titles: You sure want to read about “The secret behind maintaining your blog! NOW REVEALED” as opposed to “How to maintain a blog”. Right?!
11) Integrate your blog with social media tools: Add social media widgets to your blog, like Facebook, twitter, linked In and others. Also make sure to directly have your posts shared on the same tools automatically.
12) Always, or if not always, whenever possible! reply to your comments: replying to comments is key to interaction on your blog.
13) Take advantage of negative comments: don’t be afraid of negative comments, not everyone will always like your posts, and neither will everyone agree to what you have to say; and if they take the time to comment, this means that they really care! Make sure to reply back and appreciate the gesture.
14) Register your blog in directories: registering your blog in directories will expose your blog to a bigger audience and will give you credibility.
15) Thank people for liking your blog, sharing your posts, and subscribing to your blog! It’s your readers that matter the most!
16) Break all the rules: Nothing mentioned above is written in stone, these are just advises from experiences that worked with one person (which is me in this case). Know when to break them, and also when to use them!
Below you will find the actual power point presentation that I presented in the Barcamp; it has nice visuals (licensed under Creative Commons for sure)!
PS: At the end of the BarCamp MADSkills participants, who I am one of them, graduated!