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Saturday, January 05, 2013

I've been meaning to post this one for a while, ever since I put up 'Why don't people blog more?'

I've been blogging since I started on SP and I'd never blogged before I found this site. So I started from scratch, and that was why I wondered why so many people don't blog much when there's a lovely blogging function ready and waiting to use.

I've just had a look at the replies and there seem to be a few common themes:

emoticonWriting isn't my thing.

It doesn't have to be. It comes with practice. Writing's a craft, in other words the more you do it, the better you get at it. It takes a while to develop your 'voice' and you won't develop it till you get started. And a blog's a blog. It's yours. It doesn't matter if you can't spell or you don't know where to put the punctuation. The best blogs are written from the heart, by real people.

emoticonI don't want to/I dare not tell people personal stuff and I worry about being identified on the net.

You can include a lot of detail about things you've done recently without talking about anything very personal. Or you can talk about personal stuff without giving the kind of detail that identifies you. This, I do all the time.

emoticonI waffle too much.

Waffle is good. People want to read about what a real person whom they can identify with has been doing.

emoticonPeople don't comment on my blogs

If you blog regularly, you'll soon find that people do in fact comment on your blogs. The same people who commented will come back and comment again. It takes a bit of perseverance. A bit like losing weight really, but much easier.

emoticonI haven't got time

It doesn't take long. Honestly, once you're into the swing of it, it doesn't take long. 10 or 15 minutes, normally (this one is taking me longer because I'm thinking about what I'm writing, for a change!). It also pays dividends. You get loads and loads of support and loads of new SparkFriends.

emoticonI'm too busy reading other people's blogs

Tut tut! Where would we be if everyone said that?

emoticonWho would be interested? I've got nothing to say

Everyone will be interested. You don't have to write momentous stuff. I wrote my last blog on how I got stuck in my bra. That is not going to change the course of history. It changed my personal history very slightly. A blog is about detail, what you were thinking, how you felt.

My top tips

1. If something funny or interesting happens to you during the day especially if it's related to fitness or food, make a note of it. It's blog material. It can be very small eg you tried a new vegetable, you didn't buy chocolate.

2. Write something other people can relate to. One thing's for certain, whatever has happened to you, has happened to other people and if you write about it people will reply with their own experiences.

3. Try to make sure your blog tells a story with a distinct thread running through it: where you were and what you were doing, what happened, how this relates to your SparkJourney, and a good punchline at the end.

4. Practicalities: write the blog in whatever word-processing software you use. It's easier to spellcheck, move text around etc. Split it up into paragraphs to make it easier to read with a triple 'enter' button (carriage return) between paragraph before copying it and publishing it on SP as a blog. It's good to use a photo if you've got one, and if you use a portrait (top to bottom) photo rather than a landscape (side to side photo) it comes out bigger because of the way the SP software works. You don't see the photos till you publish the blog, but you can edit the blog later and you can move the photos around just by cutting and pasting the link in edit mode.

So there you are. Now it's time for all of you to blog, because this is my last blog.

Now THAT'S a punchline.
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