This week's series, long-term blogging, has been about what to do if you've tried blogging, and have decided to stick with it. We've talked about planning your content, developing your network, taking care of business, and what to do when you go on vacation. Now, let's talk about the most important part of making blogging enjoyable prospect over the long-haul - keeping it fun!
Let's face it - if blogging becomes something you don't enjoy, you're not going to want to do it. Precisely what motivates a blogger to keep going varies by individual, but here are some things to consider.
Interaction with the Readers
If you are able to establish two-way communication with your readers, they will become your friends, and your blogging will be an extended conversation with them. This will make sitting down to the keyboard a lot more enjoyable.
Growing your Numbers
If you're a "numbers," kind of person, finding ways to increase your traffic from the social networks and search engines can be a big motivator for you. Study your stats daily over a period of time, and see what's working, and what isn't, and cultivate those habits which draw in more readers.
Remember your Sense of Humor
Occasionally, you may receive something in your e-mail that is truly funny (and hasn't already been "done" to death on the web), that you might want to share with your readers. Also, including a funny video or cartoon can lighten things up, and encourage readers who don't normally comment (and bloggers who don't normally link to you) to do so.
Make it Personal
While it's never a good idea to share information about yourself online that could pose a security risk (personal identification, address, children's names, etc.), you can still let your readers feel they "know" you by occasionally sharing information about stuff you like - a movie you liked, a favorite food, a hobby, whatever. Readers who return frequently often do so because they like the blogger as much as they like what the blogger writes, so let them see a real person behind the writing.
In the spirit of fun, here's a little something for the World Cup fans, mystified by the Vuvuzelas (horns that resemble really long Kazoos) - this is a quick-reference guide from GraphJam to when to appropriately use them:
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.