Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest Blog: On Blogging, Part 1

My first guest blog, from social media expert Meg Stivison, on how to build your blog following.  Meg Stivison is a professional website-and-blog designer, and currently Director of Social Media for the MMORPG Next Island.  Part of a two-parter; next edition posts Friday. :)

Your Awesome Content: Part 1 Scheduling

Your blog rocks. You’re a great writer, your posts are relevant, funny and insightful. Well done!  Now, you’ve got to package that content in the way that your readers can best interact with it.

Schedule!  To get the most out of your blog’s feed, two or three posts a week is ideal. In that same ideal world, we’d have free time and blogging inspiration on a regular schedule.

Schedule your posts so you can write when the muse strikes, and still publish when it suits your readers. Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr let you write and schedule your posts to go live at a set time in the future. This is great if you’d like to have a consistent Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule, but you’re really only free to write after work.

Decide on your schedule before announcing it to your readers. While I’m usually for total blog disclosure (Hi! Here’s my real name, photos, breakup details, and how I like my job all on my blog! Wanna be friends?), nothing is more frustrating than a post about how the blogger plans to update every Tuesday, good intentions, and then an apology three weeks later for not following through. You may need to make some adjustments with your blogging schedule, and failing to deliver sets up a credibility gap for your readers.  Once you’ve written some Friday link roundups, Monday Musings, or whatever your new feature will be, let your readers know that what they’re enjoying is a regular feature.

Don’t bother posting on weekends, since the internet shuts down on weekends. But ignore this -- and all other scheduling suggestions -- when you’re covering a convention or you’ve got breaking news to share immediately.

Meg Stivison works in social media and player experience for the startup MMORPG Next Island. She blogs at Simpsons Paradox.

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