How Do You Run Your Blog?

4263193267_fb5cee0c57_zWhile reading Opinionated Man’s blog post about Powerblogging (something I’m far too lazy to do, I think) I started to wonder what other people do with their blogs. I applaud OM’s motivation and it seems to have paid off in spades for him, and I do use some of his techniques in a limited way.

For example, he says:

Generally I follow about 500 blogs a day. On a good day or perhaps a day from last year where my motivation was much higher, I would follow or connect with around 2000 blogs a day.

I do try to connect with bloggers on WordPress. I search the tags, make comments, like posts and read as much content as I have time for. I certainly do not follow anywhere near 500 blogs per day. Hell, I don’t even come close to reading 500 blogs per day, but I do read the blogs of the people I follow and probably about 10-30 new blogs per day. Some I ‘like’ and some I just move on; some I comment on and some I just silently read.

So here are a few things I do with my blog. Considering I’m small potatoes, I wouldn’t take this stuff to heart. It’s merely my opinion and I share it more for the entertainment value than the value of the advice.

I also hope you’ll skip on over to OM’s blog and read some of his content about Powerblogging. I found it informative and well worth the time to read.

I try to reply to comments

I try to reply to comments. It’s not unknown for me to be out and about, while answering comments on my cell phone.

For the record…this has gotten me into hot water with the wife a time or two.

However, I want readers who take the time to comment to know that I’ve read their comment, value it and the time it took them to type it, and making that connection is what blogging is all about to me. I’ve said in a previous post, that when it comes to blogging I love the comments most of all.

That doesn’t mean I don’t drop the ball from time to time. I’m sure I’ve missed replying to a comment or two. But on average, I read and reply to comments.

I visit people who I follow

I don’t just follow people to get the follow back. I take the time to visit their blogs, like and comment. This might become impossible to do if I ever start following hundreds of blogs, but for now it works for me. I also prioritize blogs that I recognize because they’ve commented on my stuff.

I try to mix up my content

I try to mix it up. Sure, there is a strong religious theme to my blog, but if you look through the posts, you’ll see it’s not all about religion. I like to throw in some personal posts, pictures and explore different topics. I’m one of those people who gets extremely bored talking about the same topic over and over. Plus, I want people to ‘get to know me’ a bit online. I want religious people to see that I’m a regular person just trying to get by like everyone else. I want atheists to see that they’re not alone in their doubt or lack of belief. And I want people who have no interest in religion whatsoever to still feel comfortable visiting my blog to explore some of its non-religious material.

I try to write how I speak

I try to let my personality bleed through into my posts. I don’t know if I’m successful at doing it, but I try to write how I speak.

So those are a few of the things I try to do with my blog. I would say they’ve worked for me. I moved this blog over from blogger on May 31 and I currently have a little over 250 ‘followers’ (man I hate that word) and I’m happy with that level of growth. I’ve met some wonderful people here on WordPress, and that might have less to do with me than it does with the platform. I think WordPress has done a magnificent job of fostering a blogging community.

What are some of the things you try to do? What are some of your techniques, goals and motivations, and have they worked for you? Do you have a goal in mind?

Feel free to leave a comment or write up a blog post of your own about it. I’d love to read them!

 

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82 Comments

  1. I do some of what you’re doing — and intend to do more, so thanks for the advice.

    I now have three blogs. 10 Minutes of Words is new and I write it everyday for exactly 10 minutes (give or take 30 seconds). It is free form and, except for typos, unedited. I have another blog n my web-site (non WordPress) which is for longer essays on writing and politics (though usually not at the same time) and a third, BundoranSF, which I use to talk about my experiences as the owner of a small publishing company. The former gets an entry every 4-6 weeks and the latter 3 or 4 times a week.

    Question: should I be cross posting give the different purpose I have for each blog?

    • The 10 Minutes of Words is a neat concept. Kudos to you for coming up with it.

      I can’t see the harm in linking your blogs together in posts. The worst that will happen is people won’t click the link. The better scenario is they will click it and discover your other content.

      That’s just my opinion though.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Hey, I like the topics of your blogs and would to have them linked to me. Nothing wrong with daily political debates. I tend not to write about them myself but love to read them.

      As for cross referencing them its not a bad idea to share that with your readers. One piece of advice I would give, as I made this mistake once myself, is not to over reference. Maybe mention every 5 posts or less. Even better mention once on one post but also have a links section.

      I intend on sharing links on my new blog but don’t want to do so now as I like to build a following that is unique to that topic.

      Anyway would be great to hear from you

  2. I pretty much follow the same tactics you posted about, so I’d say that it’s all good advice. And especially mixing up your content. Given the title of your blog, some might think it’s going to be nothing but rant about God or atheism. So making sure you’re covering a broad range of subjects is a good thing.

  3. You know how I run my blog – primarily to have a bit of fun, to learn things of interest from others ( via comments and their blogs) and to develop/promote my writing.

    I generally detest Comment Policies of the, My Blog My Rules variety and I love it when visitors take off the gloves .

    But to have a list of 500 blogs to visit, pay lip service to?
    Sheesh….does OM even have time to pee or wash his face?

    🙂

  4. I write because I enjoy it. If something in my day stands out, I’ll write about it. I don’t really have a goal or anything.
    I will go through and follow a bunch of blogs, looking for some good ones, and then go back and weed out the duds. OM got weeded out. I got tired of the constant re-blogs…
    : )

  5. Was I supposed to have a plan? Dang.

    I actually keep my reading list right around the 50 mark. It used to be way higher, but I couldn’t give anyone the attention they deserved, and it really bothered me. However, when I am out I am unplugged. There’s a world right here that deserves my attention, too.

  6. Thanks for sharing what you do. I enjoy reading and commenting on other blogs. I don’t have a goal or plan like a few other bloggers mentioned. I share things that I enjoy. What’s on my mind at the time. I blog for fun and to meet others who blog for similar reasons. I follow and read around 210 diverse blogs. Not everyday! However, I’m like you where I do my best to respond to comments. My response time depends on what’s going on in my real life. I tend to turn off notifications on my phone and unplug when needed. Also, while I love the WordPress platform, I swear the app hates me! 🙂

  7. What a great post, thanks. I’m learning a lot from your responses as well.
    I post on my blog on Saturdays, something of essay length (usually 1500-2000 words). That’s more or less evolved since I started almost a year ago. I don’t have time to follow more than a dozen blogs. I’m pretty sure I’m doing this whole blogging thing wrong, but I’m enjoying myself.
    I started off wanting to write about my passions; being a parent, philosophy (ethics in particular), movies, and baseball. I just wanted to write, and was encouraged by my son to find a public outlet. So my blog, “The Gentleman Knucklehead” is more or less a parenting blog, but from the standpoint of teaching ethics to a child. Since my son and I both love movies and baseball, these are the vehicles for most of my posts.
    By blogging standards, I’m doing it wrong, and that’s reflected in my readership. I only have about 25 followers, and many of those who aren’t friends of mine seem to be spammers (you’re a rare exception). A good post will get 30 views. A couple that I linked to relevant websites, have slowly creeper north of 400 views each. 50 posts since I started, only 3100 total views. Pretty much a failure. By blogging standards.
    But by my own standards, I like what I’ve done over the past year. I’ve basically saved some thoughts, memories, and lessons for my son’s use (and possibly generations to come) for when he needs them. This blog is a piece of me he can keep after I’ve gone. I post it publicly in case anyone else out there finds it useful, whether they’re in a similar circumstance or not. I learned as a dad to read everything I get my hands on – you never know when you’ll find something you can use.
    I don’t post enough, my posts are too long. My site is pages and pages of text with no bells or whistles. By internet standards, it’s an awful blog. But for what I need it to be, I’m pleased with what I created.
    You mentioned trying to write as you speak; I try to do the same thing. I think you have an inviting, readable style, GC, you’re one of the better writers in the blogosphere. Keep it up.
    I also reply to every comment I receive, particularly if the reader is commenting for the first time. I take no reader for granted (I can’t afford to!), and am grateful for anyone who takes the time to both read and respond. I check out every blogger who likes or comments on one of my posts.
    I like this blogging. I’m cheered when I see people breaking rules, or making their own rules, claiming the medium to suit their own voices. I don’t know where my blog is headed (I’m planning on some sort of “State of the Blog” post in September sometime), but for the time being I definitely enjoy the creative outlet. Thanks for the forum, GC. And to those who have commented on this post, I’m looking forward to checking out your work as well.

    • Thanks Dado. For what it’s worth, I love your blog, whether you ‘do it wrong’ or not. I like that it’s so honest. I think that your son will feel very lucky to have that piece of you in later life. I’ve written before on this blog about how much I’d love to have a piece of my dad like a blog. I miss him dearly and he wasn’t an overly talkative man. I bet he would have been better at expressing himself through a medium like a blog.

      And I get happy when a new country discovers me also. You’re not alone.

      Thanks again. I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future.

  8. P.S. Apropos of nothing: Does anyone else take a childish delight in “collecting” countries where you’re blog’s been viewed? Sometimes I feel like I’m in the back of my parents’ station wagon spotting license plates while driving to my grandparents.

  9. I write to keep my head from exploding. It’s all the stuff I can’t talk about with friends and family. I tend to “move the kittens” frequently, if my family seems to come around and figure out where I’m blogging. Anonymity is null, but I like to feel like I can be myself wholly on my blog and still HAVE a marriage and family.

    I don’t think they could handle the real me.

  10. Your blog looks very interesting and I love this post. I do warn you though I have strong opinions, I’m not religious really. It’s really hard for me to accept god after some of the things that have happened in my life. I hope that despite my beliefs (or lack thereof) you will peruse my blog at your leisure.

  11. I’d have to say that in the 18 months I’ve been blogging I’ve been doing things pretty much the same way you do. I like to read at least one post from everyone I follow, so that slows down the process that OM keeps up quite a bit.
    Very nice to meet you. I’ll be hitting the follow button now. 😀

  12. I write when I feel I need to need to get something off my chest, which perhaps I would not say so freely to those around me. I write when I find something interesting and I do seem to mix it up. My blog is super personal to me. However it goes from dating, to dreams, to my opinions on life and myself.
    Honestly I love reading other peoples blogs but i tend to be a silent reader and this is the first time I have ever commented. So new at all this. But I like your style and how you mix it up. I think I found it most interesting that you write how you talk, whereas I write my most personal emotions but the way I write is not how I talk as such. But it is so natural to write in the style I have adopted.

  13. GC: I, too, enjoy the comments most of all, and answering them. While I pretty much “put it all out there” with each post, there is still plenty of room left to discuss the topics at hand and I wish more of my visitors would engage on this level.

    Just my two cents … you can keep the change.

  14. Crap. I didn’t know I was supposed to be running anything. I just stick up posts when I think of something and have time. The purpose of my blog is to promote my writing, so I write about writing and editing as well as pop culture. I try to be fun and entertaining so people find it worthwhile to visit.

  15. I can’t imagine following 500 blogs. I have a similar blogging style and I enjoyed reading your post and how you are managing it. I am at the point where I need to start picking and choosing in order to keep up with the blogs I follow. I appreciate everyone of them that follow me and comment and I try to make sure I respond.

  16. I mix my blog with variety. Some days, I will be reblogging science or political news, then I’ll post some artwork I found, and then other personal stuff such as music I like, how my day is going, what my future goals are, etc. etc. I guess it just really depends.

  17. Excellent post and I’m right there with you GC. 500 would make my eyes bleed… or dry up like a ball of powder… yes, THAT dry.

    I follow less than a dozen blogs, but I try to read as much as I can. I comment, like, reblog depending on my level of interest on the material. I post on two blogs: one is my personal blog where I share my passion (business management) and the other is from my business page. It is mostly how-to’s and woodworking advice. Anyways, my ‘plan’ consists of posting relevant content once a week; typically Thursdays. I post once a week because I want to ensure I have good content to share, worthwhile the read for anyone that stumbles upon it, and lastly, I did not want to overcommit by trying to write too many articles/blogs at first and then get burned out and lose the passion or stop writing altogether. So, with that said, THAT is my plan. Write content relevant to my field of expertise, post once a week, read other’s blogs and engage where possible, and thats all folks.

  18. 250 followers in such a short time is pretty good. I think I’ve more than doubled mine since the beginning of the year from around 200 to the current 482. That’s all because I make at least one post a day, and I reply to every comment. I also try to comment on other blogs as much as possible, though with a 2 year old kid, it’s sometimes difficult to gain control over my time.

    Anyway, good luck from a fellow atheist.

  19. I tend to read at least 2 posts by the powerbloggers I ollow and 1 post by everyone else I ollw. I tend to write one post a day – sometimes more and sometimes I am too busy. I ALwAYS reply to comments (Unless they are spam) and (As is being shown here) I like to discover one new blogger a day – i not more – and go through their content.

  20. Goodness what an abundance of responses, I’m tired, I don’t know if that even makes sense. The blogs rules or do’s & dont’s. The only thing I do, is receive email notifications for every one I follow. If I don’t and rely on my reader, I’m afraid I’d probably never visit anyone. Keeping posts relatively short, so the readers don’t get too bored and always -always comment when you can. This is what the blogging community is about, not only sharing our words and views, but reading and getting to know other people. Relationships can be made here. I’ve been blogging for over a year, I think I have 800+ followers but out of those, I have made some amazing albeit virtual friends. Being diverse is good, I started writing about being a mum, I still do that, but I write poetry, prose and what has happened in my day, boring or otherwise. Keep it different, but keep it real, or be real about yourself 🙂 now I shall nick off as I have gabbed on for way too long. Thanks GC.

  21. To me, the most important is just be honest about how I want my blog to become. I try to ‘reach out’ to those that I find interesting (that’s what’s blogging is about right?) but 500 blogs a day is like a mountain to climb. I could barely reach 50 in a day. So whenever I stumble upon an interesting one, I would immediately press the ‘follow’ button and keeping up-to-date from my mailbox. And it’s also because of OM’s re-blog that I finally gotten here. 🙂

  22. Im new to this also and so far my style is similar to yours, the biggest thing im getting out of it is getting what was in my mind out, reading cool posts which inspire or entertain me and my brain cells are actually multiplying again while cortisol levels have dropped dramatically sweet!
    Nice post and sound advice thanks, ill be following so I can check your blog out.

    • Thanks so much for the follow. Very much appreciated.

      Getting stuff out and into cyber space can be pretty good therapy. I often use writing to work through thoughts or ideas. I also like when people test my opinions by disagreeing. That often shows me whether or not an idea has merit or is easily defeated by someone else. Often, people offer opinions from angles I don’t look at it from.

      Thanks for your comment!

  23. Thanks for this post! I could NEVER powerblog but I admire those who do. Laziness does hit me though and sometimes I feel like “damn i should have something to write about by now” so there are days between my posts. But inherently I feel if there isn’t anything inspiring me to write, I won’t force it. Thankfully eventually something always does!

  24. I don’t know how anyone would have time to read 500 blogs a day. I’m already doing a lot of reading and writing for school. By the time I’ve done that, I don’t have the patience to do hours and hours more of reading or of writing for my blog.

  25. If I read 500 blogs a day, I wouldn’t have any time left to write the posts for my own two blogs! I pretty much do all the same stuff you do, and while I am, in fact, still small potatoes, my readership is growing steadily. I’ve also gained a number of dedicated followers and people I follow that I can interact with, bounce ideas off of, and guest post for each other. [yes, I realize that’s really clumsy sentence]

    At any rate, I guess I must be doing something right if my readership keeps growing.

  26. I dig this post because I follow OM also and I am always in awe of how many followers he has and the sheer power of how often he has a thought that he can turn in to a post! I have read a lot of blogging “tips” and “how to’s” and I pretty much follow a lot of the same steps you do and I just hope it leads to lots of connections and interactions after a while!
    Oh by the way I completely dig your blog’s name it gave me a giggle 🙂

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