Self-promotion for the socially inept – Part 1 Blogging

The internet is a great place to promote yourself as a creative.  Particularly if you have the usual social skills associated with a bedroom genius.  Rather than attending networking events, and clinking glasses with folk who radiate charm and charisma, there is now a land of opportunity on the web, and you don’t even need to shave your pits before you get stuck in.

Some take to this sort of stuff like ducks to Warburtons, others not so much.  But if you wanna be an indie success story in whatever field, you probably need to get stuck in.

I have compiled in my cranial library a fair few tips from other folk, so these are not merely from the fox’s mouth.

You can blog for the sake of blogging (creatures like myself need an outlet), or you can blog to help your creative cause.  If you are any kind of writer this is pretty essential, but it’s also a massive bonus for musicians, photographers, artists etc.  Don’t worry about word-smithery or your dyslexic streak, if you’re not a writer the writing bit can be minimal.  Your audience wants to see or hear your work.

Choose your blogsite. Be picky according to what you content will be.  WordPress and Blogger are the two I’ve tried, for a summary of the others have a butchers at this. Tumblr is hugely popular for those with more visual content.

There is much advice out there on blogging, welcome to the bizzarre cycle of blogs about blogging *points accusatory finger at self*.  A few basics requests though (oft repeated) –

  • Write in short sentences and short paragraphs (a sprawling fog of text puts internet readers off), and don’t overuse italics.  Reading on a screen is hard enough.
  • Don’t be afraid to express a little personality and humour, but make it suit your content.
  • Try to be economic with what you’re saying, don’t ramble on the way you might do in real life conversation, but still keep a conversational tone.  Write a paragraph and then half it, blog-surfers tend to skim read.
  • Find blogs you like, and decide what you like about them (in wordpress you can easily search by subject, and create a feed of blogs you follow).  Are they funny?  How do they look?  Are they easy to navigate?
  • Don’t worry too much about blog traffic and SEO to begin with, these things take time.  But learn how to use catagories and tags (or labels), these should include keywords people may use to search your blog. Once you’ve been posting for a few months, then look to tackle it.
  • Promote your blog through social media sites, it’s your first port of call.  Don’t sniff at free advertising that you have creative control over.

Which leads me to part 2.

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