Author’s Note: Most recently, I presented my blog for the Intercultural Blogger Conference in Leipzig, where over 35 people, many from different countries and interests in creating a blog themselves attended. One of the eight different presenters I met was Stewart Tunnicliff, known by many as the Lingo Guy, who has three blogs that are devoted to writing and blogging. While he presented the technical aspects of blogging at the conference, this guest column features ways to keep the online column going- and interesting to the readers. Here’s his reasons why, and please do check out his sites if you want tips on how to create and write a good blog. 🙂
Keeping momentum going and a consistency in quality of content and smooth running remain the bane of most bloggers, myself included. Recently I did a presentation on the technical aspects of blogging. Here I would like to rerun some of those cogs that keep the machine running and elaborate on content too.
Trends come and go and bloggers either listen to the cyber chit-chat or stick to their guns. I used to keep my ear to the ground, but these days I want to keep to principles but be consistent in design and content.
Therefore I have in the back of my mind my requirements for my blogs function and specs for the template I use but also stick to three basic principles –
Keep the design clean and the navigation easy for the user.
Categorise content thematically.
Pique interest with visuals.
The last is important to get and keep the attention of the user/ viewer, but can be problematic technically. The burden on the server and the loading time are often affected by a need for images. This is why I use a compressor and a cache loader. The plug-ins I use on Word Press are Smush it and Comet Cache.
Viewers and users will move away from the blog quickly, therefore a personal or story element keeps avid readers returning to your blog. My first ever blogging was for a magazine called so social, and theLingoGuy blog is my go to for telling my story or even helping me with my skill of staying creative in my writing.
A biography is a given these days, but also a picture portrait as opposed to an avatar tends to be the norm. This lead me to theLingoGuy branding for my goodopenenglish blog, and to choosing the categorised themes with a personal connection. To date Never in my classroom and Geek or Nerd? How absurd! are the most popular traffic wise and give me a chance to pontificate on my passions of teaching and education, and technical or other geeky stuff. My facebook page for theLingoGuy competes with my blog for traffic, but I tend to share short snippets of interest there rather than the longer article blogs.
This attitude I have developed with all my blogs, except I use instagram for my art and am even considering phasing out the Stew Tun’s Art facebook page. After all managing all these outlets is time consuming. This is I feel still a good way to personalise marketing and tell stories. This is why I also have guest bloggers for goodopenenglish and members writing for the non-profit site Leipzig Writers. I think it is a good way, like the Flensburg Files does, to collaborate and for the reader to experience a different voice.
During the intercultural bloggers cafe I was able to hear Jason’s voice alongside others. Although not every blogger does this I think it is a good chance to create new visitors and collaborators. The Flensburg Files reminds me thematically and with that added personal touch of the video channel Germany v America that seems to have gone quiet recently 😦 .
Motivation is a big factor in blogging, and from the event I was able to spin off a prezi workshop. This is something that bloggers should consider. How to use the blog as a platform for their other passions as they do feed off each other. And just a quick comparison of the blogs I run can indicate how mine flit between all three.
Hope you drop by my sites and I look forward to many more collaborations.
theLingoGuy blog – http://www.goodopenenglish.com
Stew Tun’s Art – http://www.stewtun.com
Non-profit writers blog – http://www.leipzig-writers.de