August 4, 2014

Ian Sharp: Captain of Blogging


Surprised? Me too! I know I originally said I was just going to hang out here for July; but I got comfy and I'm staying for one last post, at least. I'm not sure how many more posts I'll make, or their frequency, but as for today I do have a post for you! Destiny is obviously a fabulous writer (duh) and I don't think I keep pace with her in fiction (even though I try) I do know quite a lot about blogging, and I've written a LOT of blog posts in my three years as a blogger. So while I am residing on the website of the queen of fan fiction, I decided to lend my writerly skills, and give some tips and help pertaining to blogging!



Blogging is a bit different from other writing in the sense that blogging is used to share news and opinion with others, and in some instances sharing or selling an idea or concept. Blogging is heavily dependent on your tone and social skills, as you won't just be writing, you'll also need to interact with commenters, tweets, etc related to your post; on top of promoting your posts yourself through social media and such. For me personally, passion is most important in blogging, or really writing period. You must be passionate about your content for your heart to be in it. For example: when Tournaments came to Wizard101 I couldn't be truly excited for the feature, I didn't PvP and didn't enjoy it. Any post relating to something I don't particularly enjoy is not going to be my best. Make sure that what you post means something to you and that you enjoy the topic, that makes everything easier.

Blogging is a great method to sell ideas and opinions, but in sharing them you need to be careful to balance opinion from fact. Let us return to high school and remember logos ethos and pathos; they really do mean something! Balance in your work is important because not everyone agrees with you. I can say "Housing is the best feature in Wizard101" and someone could easily tell me it isn't. But if I back myself up with some reasons, my opinion looks a lot more solid. Also be site to use legitimate facts, do research when necessary, and make you understand what you're talking about!!

When writing, make sure you're comfy, and not distracted. Some people can write perfectly well at a desk, others need to be sprawled on a couch. Some write on a paper pad, others on a computer; I actually write almost everything on my phone or iPad, so that's it's always with me. Write when you want to; don't force yourself to write, you won't end up with anything good that way, trust me.

Another great strategy is to be organized. Some people write well without planning, MOST do not... I know I don't. You don't need a great huge plan and blueprints, but a simple web chart or jotting some ideas down is always helpful. I use a simple web to plan my stuff, and I've found my better posts are the ones I planned and thought through. Here's an example (Read this Post Here):



Also be sure to write down your ideas! You may think "I'll remember this later" but rarely do you actually remember it. I write down any idea I have because I know I'll forget it in 10 minutes if I don't (I have the memory of a goldfish guys). It isn't always a banged out idea, but I jot a sentence down, if I have time I write a paragraph or so. Just enough to remember your idea and pick up where you left off.


A greatly planned and written post is, well, great. But there are certainly ways to improve it. Always proofread for simple grammar errors and ways you can improve phrasing and such. Once you know the writing is good, it's time to make the post shiny. How else do we do that? Images! Images are usually a good thing in a post, and done right add to the post and give the reader something visually appealing to look at. Make sure to balance photo use, you DON'T need 12 images for a two paragraph post (unless the photos are literally the topic of the post). Balance it out, maybe an image every two or so paragraphs. Also be sure to use images that actually relate to what you're writing about, and make sure you have the rights to post that photo. Google is not a source, only use an image if it's yours, you have permission to use it, or you bought it (like stock photos). And STAY AWAY from clip art, it's not the most professional looking (glares at those cute doodles).

Something I've learned (the hard way) is that you're not going to immediately get a response to what you post, and you don't always get a decent response no matter what. Make sure you share your post through any appropriate outlet, tweet it, Facebook, whatever gets it to potential readers. Luckily for the KI community twitter and Facebook already have a great fan base to tap into. Also make your sharing genuine, share and talk about the post, don't just drop a link and expect people to flock to it.

My last piece of advice, is to enjoy blogging. Remember that at the end of the day you do this not for site views, comments, followers, but do it because it's fun and you like writing and sharing things. Keep positive and enjoy it as an outlet and a way to meet new people and learn.

I hope this helps some people, and I hope to see more amazing blogs show up in the community. Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

2 comments:

  1. Really brilliant stuff. This needs to be linked to every blogger kit out there. Well done and so wonderful of you to mentor those out there that want to jump into this fum world with us. Well done Sir. :D

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  2. Fair Ashley HolystoneAugust 05, 2014

    Oh! (Claps hands once) Super! My friend is planning on doing her own blog and she's asking ME to help her with it (since I'm the computer gal of the two). This is gonna be such help, thank you Ian :D

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