What I Learnt After 4 Months of Blogging/Advice to Other Newbie Bloggers

1. Draft, draft, draft!!!

Quicker things like my This Week in Links posts, I can usually just write, spell-check and then publish immediately. But with longer posts (like my Wonder Woman series) I will write several drafts before I can finally pummel my writing into something coherent.

2. Fact check EVERYTHING

Ideally before you write a full draft. I found out a couple hours before I published my post on Themysciran femininity that the majority of the Amazons were real athletes and my assumptions were completely off. It’s boring, but fact-check and save yourself some online embarrassment.

3. Make photo editing easy

I wanted to make my cover photos more personal, so after struggling to use Gimp I finally found Befunky.com. Its free software lets you crop, add text, filters, and borders easily.

4. Know the difference between bad writing and writing that doesn’t interest you anymore

If the writing feels wrong, go back and do it again. But if you’re struggling to write because you are bored out of your mind, perhaps it’s time to look at it from a new angle or scrap the piece entirely.

5. Ask a friend to read your work

This really shook up my arguments and helped me write more clearly. If you don’t have a friend or family member that can look over a post for you, join a local (or online) writing workshop.

6. Write everyday

When I just started my blog, I avoided writing and only got into it when I felt motivated.

I got sick of jotting down all my big ideas but then just letting them get stale. I’ve worked up from a minimum of 15 to 25 minutes a day, and my goal is to continue until I get to at least 40 minutes daily.

Getting into this habit has actually made me look forward to writing. Even if I am struggling to write, I know that by the end of the day I made progress.

Now I just need to bring this same level of dedication to my coursework

7. Follow people whose work you enjoy

Reading the work of experienced, sharper writers helps me see the flaws in my own writing, and lets me see what works.

Some of my favourite creators right now are Ijeoma Oluo, Hannah Witton, Anita Sarkeesian, Lauren Orsini, Ira Glass, Felicia DayLindsay Ellis, and Esme Wang.

Who do you look up to? Tell me in the comments section below!

7. Pace yourself when writing a series

My Wonder Woman series was fun, but by the end I’d lost interest and writing the last post was a struggle. I think this was partly to do with the time between posts – about one per week.

If I did it again, I would bang out drafts much faster so I could preserve my initial enthusiasm, instead of making it a long slog for myself.

8. Write down all of your ideas

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Once something comes to you, scribble it down somewhere so that you can come back to it later and see if something will develop out of it.

9. Consider whether you want a theme

Having a single, solid theme helps attract a readership that shares your interests.

For example, on my other blog, What in Tanknation?!, the theme is just the tanks that me and my boyfriend build and paint.

Here, I struggle to have a coherent theme because it’s really just stuff that interests me. That’s why when I was gaming more heavily a couple months ago, my blog featured mostly video game reviews, but recently I’ve been focusing more on feminist film reviews, and I’m going to branch out into some interviews and posts on chronic pain.

As I’m not heavily into one particular topic, I struggle to build up a followers list as there’s no consistent content. If you’re looking to gain more followers, I recommend finding a theme and sticking to it.

10. Write drafts in Google Docs, and then move them to WordPress

I’ve found writing drafts in WordPress to be nowhere near as easy as writing them in Google Docs, just because there aren’t enough features that help with editing.

I installed the WordPress for Google Docs add-on that lets you export docs to WordPress’s drafts, and now the entire editing process is much more streamlined.

Images originally from Toei Animation.