Readers’ Blog

Advice to Young Bloggers and Writers

Popularity 4Viewed 8753 times 2016-5-20 07:08 |Personal category:Blogging|System category:Others| question, average, several, Advice, number

There is a group of students who follow my blog and who like to count the number of views that I get. They also like to get other stats like average views per blog post. Their latest number is 962,168 views, 400 blog posts and an average of about 2,400 views per blog post. Their big question along with several others is, "How do you do it?" Well, at best, I'll give the best answers that I can. In fact, there is no real method to it. I know that might be a disappointing answer to younger aspiring writers, but, it's the truth.

Here are a few points that I'd give to younger writers.

1. Look to add value to CD's readers' lives. I don't like to write a lot of controversial material. That's likely why I don't get a lot of comments on my blogs and am not considered all that popular (according to the Popularity Rating of the ratio of comments to views). I write to help people and perhaps, relieve a bit of my own inspirations, some frustrations and thoughts. Don't try to impress readers 'with' your words. Impress upon them ideas that are practical and can help them in their daily lives.

2. Write a lot. This is my 401st blog on CD. When I wrote my first book, I wanted to know how many words I needed to write in order to make a book of at least 150 pages. I wrote around 50,000 words. A book in English is going to take more space than a book in Chinese. Chinese words are often depicted with a single character or two. A simple English word can take up the space of several Chinese characters. Then there are spacing and punctuation requirements. I suggest that you write at least 500 words a day. Write in a journal even if you don't write something in your blog. Write, write, write.

3. Notice what people are reading and write to those needs. Most of the time, I write whatever is on my heart or mind. But, I'm constantly watching what people are talking about. I look for common themes where people have a lot of questions. Then, I seek my own answers to meeting those needs.

4. Read blogs with a lot of views. When you read a blog with a lot of views, notice the titles. What is the wording? What is the subject? Why are people compelled to read that blog? As long as I've been writing here on CD, many of my blogs are going to get highlighted and promoted on the first blog page. Of course that helps, but, why do they get promoted there? It must be because someone decided that my blog would be of interest to a lot of people. I see some blogs that are promoted there that still don't attract a lot of views. Even if you get promoted there, you still must write something to compel a reader to click on it and read your blog.

5. Say what is right and true; not just what is popular. You can get some views by sensationalizing your topic or title. In fact, I try several titles. If I'm not getting enough views, I will change my title. Sometimes, when I've gotten very few views, I have even deleted my entire blog. If people aren't interested, they aren't going to click on your blog and read it.

6. Follow your own heart. A lot of writers talk about 'writers' block'. They talk about times when their minds are blank and they don't know what to write about. I've never experienced this. I always have something to write or blog about. I read a lot and I stay true to my own principles regarding my writing. There are some things that I will not write about. Especially if it has to do with critiquing China, America or some other country. I don't write about government unless it is positive. Everyone knows what problems exist in their own country. I like to write about solutions and positive things.

7. Expect Some Negativity. I won't engage a lot of controversy. Like I said before, that's likely why I don't get a lot of comments. There are enough people, right here on China Daily, that will argue with you and criticize. That's not my business. Those negative people will show up on your blog. You have options. You can ignore them (which I often do). You can delete their comments. Or, you can block them from coming to your blogs in the future. These are common features on every blog platform that I've ever seen. You choose what you want to do with negative people, but, be assured, some will show up on your blog.

If enough people are interested, I'll share more tips in the future. If they aren't, well, this blog could disappear too. HA! HA!

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (3 comments)

Reply Report AndrewCraven 2016-5-20 08:43
    I'm the third person who has read this blog!
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-5-20 20:48
we have recommended your blog.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-5-20 21:28
Also be prepared to enter into a dialogue with people who want to clarify a point, and back up opinions with reasons if challenged.
Not all 'challenges' are aggressive, but people might want more clarity on what is written.
Don't be overly sensitive to ideas that are contrary to yours, especially if the other person is trying to understand you, or answer a question you have posed.

Find your own voice as a writer, don't conform to what I would call 'school room' writing using clichés and things like 'in the first place, in the second place.....'

Layout is important.
One big long paragraph looks uninteresting to trying and read.
Michael's blog above is well laid out and not a chore to read.
Many people give up reading if the blog is visually cluttered.

Remember that this is a public forum.
If you don't want to invite disagreement or different opinions, just keep a diary, not a blog.

Enjoy writing.
It is fun!

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MichaelM

Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.

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