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Sunday, September 16, 2018

10 Blogging Tips by @JoanReeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Today, I thought I'd share a few tips about blogs and blogging and give a link to a new Christmas sampler book. (Look for it at the end.)

Most of us--authors and readers alike--have a personal blog and sometimes a group blog.

When blogs first became popular, I ghost blogged for clients--most of whom I cannot name--and I maintained 2 personal blogs at the same time.

When I finally gave up my ghost blogging gig and 1 of my personal blogs, I began participating in group blogs.

Today, I'm in 3 group blogs, I guest blog sometimes, and I still maintain my long-running blog SlingWords.

I've written and published SlingWords since 2005 so I know a little about how to make it easy and enjoyable rather than sheer drudgery.

How To Have More Fun

Often, it's difficult to keep a blog going--unless you have a good plan. Here are some tips to help you keep a blog going and to have more fun while you do it.

1. Write about something you love.

Too many bloggers don't have a clear focus for their blogging efforts. You should be able to sum up in 1 sentence what your blog is about. (Does that 1 sentence synopsis sound familiar?)

My blog SlingWords is about reading, writing, watching (movies, TV, pop culture), reviewing (books and other written works, movies, TV, and pop culture), and sharing (stuff I have learned). So what is your blog or your post about? Answer that question. It will help you write post after post after post.

2. Blog consistently.

I always tell those who start a blog that they need to blog on a regular basis. If you only want to do it once a week or 3 days a week or every other day, then post that notice on your blog.

Readers want new content so if they like your blog, they'll return on the day you offer new content. The more you can blog, the greater your audience will grow.

For years, I blogged every day. I still have that as a goal, but there are things that have kept me in recent years from achieving that goal.

Things like family medical problems and deadlines to name a couple. However, in 13 years, on my own blog, I have written well over 3,000 posts.

3. If you're an author, proofread.

I make a distinction between authors who blog and "civilians" who blog.

Personally, I think everyone should proofread, but there are many bloggers who don't, and they make no apologies for it. However, I think if you're an author, you should show that you are proficient with professional writing skills.

Readers may tend to think you're a hack if your post is full of errors. They may also think your books may be poorly written. Never give a reader a reason to avoid buying your book.

4. Learn how to write for those who read online.

Online reading is different from reading a printed book or even an ebook. Reading online tires the eyes so make it easy for your viewers.

(a) Have a light-colored background and crisp black print.
(b) Use a sans serif font for your posts.
(c) Online Readers scroll vertically, down the text, looking for data points so break the text up with sub-headings that are in bold.
(d) Keep paragraphs short. Big blocks of text get skimmed and/or ignored.

5. Use illustrations to break up the text.

A good graphic can emphasize a point or just hold the reader's attention.

6. Reply to comments on your post.

Readers like to be acknowledged so engage with them.

7. Avoid placing irritants on your blog.

Monetized pop-up links are annoying. Constant pop-ups of "subscribe now" are annoying, and so are animated gifs in the sidebars that bounce, flash, etc.

8. Write in an easy conversational style.

Write as if you were talking to the reader or writing a personal letter--remember those?--to a friend.

Don't lecture, preach, or anything off-putting. Be casual and friendly.

9. Never have music start when your blog opens.

Music is one of the things that always makes the most hated list. Music taste is subjective so keep it silent and peaceful on the blog.

10. Share the love.

Point your readers to other blogs. If you found a great article on another blog, talk it about it on your blog and give the link to it. Readers love to find great information so be a resource for them.

But, Wait, There's More

These are just a few suggestions. There are dozens and dozens more. I could probably come up with at least 100 suggestions, but some are technical stuff you probably wouldn't be interested in unless you want to become a "pro" blogger.

Parting Gift

By the way, I have a free sampler book for readers. Book Bites 11 contains the first chapter of each book that will be in the Love, Christmas 2: Holiday Movies You Love Romance Collection.

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title - exclusive to this set - is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.

Love, Christmas 2 is only 99cents, only at Amazon. However, you'll find Book Bites 11 at these ebook sellers: Amazon Kindle * KOBO * B&N.

Joan Reeves lives her Happily Ever After with her Hero, her husband, in a book-cluttered home in Texas.

Visit Joan online at any of these locations: Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page * Facebook Fan Page * Twitter * YouTube * Joan's Website.

Be the first to know about Giveaways, Bargains, and New Books, sign up for Joan's Mailing List.


  1. Excellent advice. I'm an eclectic subject blogger who writes about any and everything that strikes me. I guess because I've been a writer all my life. All the rules you mentioned also can be used when writing a newsletter or designing a website. I've also had many people tell me that a black background on a website, blog or newsletter, and pop-ups irritate them and they click out. Interesting.

    1. Hi, Judy. Yes, dark backgrounds are on the top 10 irritants list. The dark background tires the eye. It's disconcerting too because everyone grows up reading black text on white.

  2. Thanks for a great tutorial, Joan. I personally hate dark backgrounds and music. I don't think people use music now, but there was a period where you'd encounter it and it made loading the blog slow.

    1. Thank you, Caroline. I think it's a good idea to change themes every few years just to freshen up the look so readers don't get bored. We should probably think about doing that with Smart Girls. Maybe to start 2019? Wow. Hard to believe that's just around the corner.


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