Here at ChicagoNow we have a fabulous Community Manager, Jimmy Greenfield, who recently "tagged" all of us. He used a post by Little Merry Sunshine entitled What I know about Writing to encourage us all to follow suit. I wasn't sure I knew a lot about writing in general but I do feel I have learned a lot about writing a Quilt Blog. So I've changed the topic to what I'd prefer to write about, What I know about Writing a Quilt Blog.
Thousands of people write quilt blogs and I read and enjoy many of them. Some are all tutorials, others push particular products, some do lots of giveaways, a few are wildly popular and many are really well written.
My blog is a bit of tutorials, a bit of humor, some introspection, some musing about sewing and quilting and a bit of whimsy. I've been writing here at ChicagoNow for two and a half years and I'm really happy with the progress I've made and the readers I have.
For whatever it's worth, I am going to share what I know about this quilt blogging business. Maybe you blog or you want to. Maybe you wonder about this whole quilt blogging business but never thought to ask. Or maybe you clicked on this by mistake and thought what the heck, I might as well read this post.
Here we go.
1. Write a blog like you are talking, make it natural. Think of what you would like to say to people if you had the time to really think it out and just write it all down.
2. Go back and edit. You will leave out words because in your head, you were saying them all but your fingers didn't keep up. You will misspell words or make grammatical errors. Some of what you write won't make sense. Improve it and clean it up.
3. Pictures are worth a thousand words. I like to see pictures break up the text and give my eyes a rest. Take lots of pictures, that way you will get some really good ones. Edit them at a site like PicMonkey, I even pay for a Royale membership. (Super cheap) Use public domain pics, take your own photos, make your own memes, use your own words or credit and thank those whose you are using.
4. Keep it positive. Unless your target audience is cranky people who hate their lives, try to keep your writing upbeat. It's so darn easy to complain, moan and then complain some more. Sure, everyone writes the occasional negative post but a little bit of that goes a long way. A really long way.
5. Make commenting easy. I give up trying to make a comment when I have to fill out so darn many forms, prove I am a human and register. I usually give up and then my engagement is less. I have Facebook comments because that does all the screening for me. I realize this is inconvenient for people who don't have Facebook accounts. I don't know why some people are so afraid of spam comments. Everyone gets a little spam, no biggie. I just ban the user and move on.
6. Engage with your readers. I love reading comments and answering everyone back. I took this a step further and got to know ten readers even better and wrote about them. It makes the whole experience much more fun and fulfilling.
7. Make it look good. Watch the font, the amount of ads and personally, I find the music a huge turnoff. Look at it and think, would I want to read this? Break up the paragraphs. Avoid micro markers (Well, uh, so then) but use Macro Markers. (First, Second, Step One, Step Two, In conclusion.)
8. Know your blogging system or have someone else who does. I love being a part of a blogging group. I don't have to worry about the tech issues, I am part of a community and I get lots of advice and training. True, I don't get the revenue from the ads but I feel it's more than worth forgoing that perk.
9. Love to write. Did you keep diaries or journals? Do you live to write Yelp reviews? Are you a big email writer or snail mail keep in touch person? When you are upset do you write down your feelings to process them? Are you an avid reader? Then writing frequently will be a joy for you.
10. Expand your presence. Have a Facebook page where you post way more than links to your blog. Have a twitter account and post unique content, don't link it to your Facebook page. Same thing with Instagram. If you are posting the same content you don't need both accounts.
11. Be passionate about quilts and sewing. You should love to sew, dream about quilts and get quilty pleasure from books, magazines and shows about them. If you aren't passionate about sewing then find something else to write about.
12. Enjoy. It's just a blog, we're not curing cancer here. We're cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again. Yay!
Writing a quilting blog makes me Sew happy!
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