Alchemical Thoughts

Clips with advice on blogging and writing for June 2009

Posted on: June 17, 2009

I keep clipping items about blogging and writing in my feed reader. Some of them are things I want to read later, and others are things I might want to try out. As often happens, life has a way of trumping blogging as the old saying goes. So for now, as I have done before (like here and here) I am gathering together some posts on blogging and writing that I think are must reads and not to be missed. For me, kind of like making notes in a commonplace book. Actually, when I think about it, this blog serves as sort of a commonplace book for me. Anyhow, here are the links with some notes:

  • Some items from Problogger:
    • "5 Ways to 'Systemize' Your Blogging," a guest post by Nick Thacker. Thacker mentions keeping a schedule, which is something I have found myself struggling with as of late. Not because I lack things to post about. What I find difficult is hunkering down to put the posts together, or at the least, make a schedule of ideas, then hunkering down to put them together. 
    • I liked this post because once in a while we do find ourselves without Internet access. Mr. Rowse in his blog suggests then "How to Improve Your Blog When You Have No Internet Access." This happens to everyone at one point or another, so these are ideas on making the most of the time when you can't get online. 
    • Rowse warns us of 21 Mistakes Bloggers Commonly Make. Right away I know I am guilty of number five: irregular posting, at least for my main blogs (it is not an issue here). Part of it goes back to my struggle with finding the time and probably need to focus more too. 
    • And readers come and go. I never worried too much about how many readers my blog has. But it is reassuring to know that readers come and go, so don't be depressed about it. Learn here then "How to Lose Readers [And Not Get Depressed]"
    • More on consistency and keeping a schedule: "Be Consistent and Useful: Thoughts on How Often to Publish on Your Blog."  
    • This I definitely need to read and heed closely: "Develop a Plan to Boost Your Blog's Profile and Readership Online." Not so much because I want to suddenly get famous, but because there is some good advice here on planning for blogging long term as well as some very good reflective questions I would like to write out when I get the chance. 
    • An assignment: "Write a 'Review' Post." You would think that as a writer and librarian I would be able to write some pretty decent book review posts. I read a lot. But taking the time to write something substantial, something you could call a review, is not something that come easily for me. Maybe this is something I can work on. I certainly review articles from the library science literature, but I would like even for those to improve on the style a bit. To supplement this, I would also read "What is the purpose of a book review? And are book reviewers writing anything useful?" by Michelle Kerns over at since we are on a roll about reviews, I may as well toss this on as another bonus or supplement: CW at Ruminations reviews the book Half of a Yellow Sun. What I found useful in this post was the simple review format CW uses.
  • From Write to Done:
    • "The Cycle of Creativity and How to Ride It." I need to look at this one more closely.
    • This one looks very reflective: "Are You a Spiritual Pioneer?
    • I need to work on improving the "about" page I have now on my main blogs. Maybe this advice will help. Here are "Five Tips (and a bonus) on How to Write a Fantastic About Page." After all, the "about" page is one of the first impressions a reader gets about your blog and you. For me, since I use The Gypsy Librarian as a professional tool, I would like to improve that.
    • A guest post by Jonathan Mead on "How to Create a Highly Viral Blog." No, I have no aspirations of infecting anyone. Having said that, there are some basics here for writers that are very good.
  • From Anecdote:
  • From Copyblogger:
    • "Your Blog vs. The World: 7 Steps for Winning the War for Attention." The advice on knowing your audience is good advice for any writer. 
    • And sooner or later someone might say something you may or not agree with. Someone might leave a comment in your blog about something you wrote. I am also thinking of a recent comment I got that I did not get back to. So, you should know "How to Handle Criticism." From the list, I liked the last one: let it go. I think that is why I did not go back to that one comment. Sometimes it is better to just let it go.

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June 2009
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