Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meet Debra Eckerling

Today I am happy to welcome a guest blogger, Debra Eckerling. She is the creator of Write On! Online – http://www.writeononline.com/ – a website and community for writers. If you've never visited, stop by. It's a great place for writers at all levels! Today Debra is sharing with us some tips on blogging. Enjoy!



Ready, Set, Blog


By Debra Eckerling, WriteOnOnline.com





The hardest part of blogging is getting started! Many see blogging as time-consuming, and spend more time procrastinating than they would have spent blogging. If you are prepared – if you have a vision, a mission, and do your homework beforehand – blogging will be a cinch.



1. Name your blog. Is it a personal blog? A blog to promote your writing? Your business? Brainstorm at least 10 names, preferably 15 to 20. Pick a name that you will be happy with as well as a tag-line/mission statement! Choose your favorite headshot—it’s very important for readers to see your face—and a logo and/or book cover if you have one. (Don’t have a logo? Find some clip art to use until you can have a more professional version designed for you.) You want text and graphics that people will identify with you. “Branding” is key.



2. Determine content. What are you going to blog about? What types of articles? Are you going to write essays and interviews? Or use your blog for news and showcasing your products and services? There are no wrong answers. Just get a sense of what you want your blog/website to be.



3. Decide on a production schedule. How long will your blog posts be? Posts that are 300 to 500 words are certainly acceptable, and anything over 1,000 words should be broken up with bullets and bold text. How often will you blog? Start with once or twice a week. A big part of the blogging-overwhelm is that people think they should blog every day. Ideally, yes. Or mostly. But eventually. Daily blogging is something you can build up to if you’d like, but consistent blogging – a new post every Tuesday and Thursday – is even more important.



Now that you’ve figured out the what of your blog, go to WordPress.com or Blogger.com, and sign up. Whichever site you choose, will walk you through the set-up process.



Remember, you can always add content to your site, change the layout, upgrade to a custom theme, add new pages, get a customized url. These are enhancements. The most important part of starting a blog is to actually start.




Debra Eckerling is the creator of Write On! Online – http://www.writeononline.com/ – a website and community for writers. Debra has written for national, local, trade, and online publications. A communications specialist and “personal trainer for writers,” Debra trains individuals, experts, and entrepreneurs, so they can organize, articulate, and complete their writing projects. http://www.writeontrackla.com/.


To meet another awesome writer, stop by Robert Medak's blog tomorrow to meet Heidi Thomas.




12 comments:

Mari said...

Debra, So glad to have you as a guest today. Thanks for the good blogging tips!

madcapmaggie said...

Debra, excellent post, and love your blog. It's a shining example of what and how a blog should be.

Judy Croome said...

I'm sorry I didn't have these blog tips when I first started blogging! It would have saved me muddling through a lot of experimenting to find the level of blogging I'm comfortable with (Once a week, every Monday; rest of the week answering comments and visiting blogs, and occasional mid-week blog posts when something exciting happens)
Judy (South Africa)

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks for hosting me, Mari. Thanks for your lovely comment, Maggie. And, Judy, I am so glad you were able to find a blogging schedule that works for you.

Blogging is such an essential part of any business - writing or otherwise - I am happy to share what I have learned. Write On!

Deb
@WriteOnOnline
Facebook.com/WriteOnOnline

Nancy Famolari said...

Debra, thanks for the useful comments. I often find blogging difficult. You've given me a kick to restart!

Debra Eckerling said...

You are welcome, Nancy! Glad to hear it. Good luck!

Deb

Donna M. McDine said...

Wonderful post! Straight and to the point. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Best wishes,
Donna

Karen Cioffi said...

Great pointers for blogging, Debra. I try to make my posts at least 400 words so I can use them on ezines also - they just upped their minimum word count to 400.

Magdalena Ball said...

Good advice, Debra. The explosion in blogging over the past few years is quite amazing, and as you rightly point out, with so many easy tools, there's no excuse for any author not to have a blog to connect with readers.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thank you for your comments, ladies. And thanks for the info, Karen. I will remember that. Here, here, Maggie!

kathy stemke said...

Great blogging tips Debra. Thanks for sharing.

Heidiwriter said...

Blogging is quite fun. When I first heard of it I thought, "This will never fly." Boy, was I wrong!