Sunday, 5 July 2009

Blog Carnival : Kalinago English - Advice for NOOBIE Bloggers

I follow Karenne Sylvester's excellent blog entitled "Kalinago English" with great interest. It is always full of brilliant ideas and lesson plans. A while back Karenne wrote this post here inviting bloggers around the blogosphere to write about their experiences and tips for new bloggers. A reminder was posted up on 25th June called "Advice for NOOBIE bloggers in ELT (carnival reminder)". This posting has just prompted me to write up a brief analysis on my personal experience of blogging.

Janet's Top 10 Blogging Tips
  • Be on the look out for post materials from all walks of life
  • Read other blogs and comment on them
  • Find your niche and develop it
  • Stick to a set format
  • Try to include visuals- pictures/videos
  • Try to think of appealing headlines to grab readers' attention
  • Don't get discouraged at the beginning. Read my posting called "All Quiet on the Blogging Front"(I was really down in the dumps that day re my blogging experience - I am so glad that I persevered).
  • Do suitable research for your posts
  • Add links to other sites where possible
  • Write from the heart and most importantly of all, write with passion.

My Bejewelled Notebook
I love looking out for posts to write about. My secret is that I keep a bejewelled (of course) note book, (thank you Dora!) which is the central hub of my blogging experience. All my ideas, inspirations, random thoughts are contained within. Without it, I wouldn't be so organised and there would be no references to past, present and future sources. I leave various stickies to remind me of certain points.

Inspiration - Where Art Thou?
I read newspapers, magazines, books. I read news on the Internet. I read other blogs, I watch the news on telly and I listen out to what people are saying at home, in social situations, in the street. Anytime, anyplace, anything, anybody, anywhere is a constant source of inspiration. Basically, life in general can be turned into a lesson or a posting.

Blogs in the Blogosphere
Onestopenglishblogs has become a bloggers' paradise for me. For new bloggers, it's definitely the place to be exposed to a rich source of ideas, information, styles, subjects etc. It's an extremely useful point of reference and it is very handy to have over 100 ELT blogs all in one place!

I don't really have any idea of what is successful or not on my blog apart from readers' kind comments. I installed clustr maps some time ago and that helps me understand if people are reading my blog or not on a weekly basis. I enjoy doing a religiously keen general "check" every Sunday morning to see if the viewer numbers have changed. My average seems to be 60 viewers a week and I am absolutely thrilled that so many people are logging on to what I have to say. It is a real bonus and this definitely keeps me "on my toes".

Losing one's Dignity?
Eight months ago, in November 2008 when I was still relatively new to blogging, the one thing which somewhat terrified me was the final act of the "Press Publish" button scenario. I was motivated to go public and hence, viewable on the entire web, (as opposed to staying "private"- open by invitation only)by Nik Peachey, who personally imparted these words of wisdom to me. "What have you got to lose, except your dignity?" I followed his advice, and the rest is history. I realised that if you are writing for yourself primarily, the rest should technically follow. Publish only what you yourself would like to read if written by someone else. I suppose that is a logical piece of advice.

My Final Tips
DO NOT BE AFRAID. Enjoy yourself. Have fun. Treat your blogging experience as a virtual, online diary of where you are now. In the future, you will look back on these halycon days....
Finally, A very BIG thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life. I feel so much more confident now and I love writing my blog.

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