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Back To Blogging Basics

I’ve written a post called 7 Reasons Why You Should Stop Blogging and read and agreed with  Vidya Sury’s  7 Deadly Sins of Blogging. However, when Fabida,  who writes at Shocks and Shoes brought this article –  12 Reasons  You Should Start A Blog Today – to my notice, I knew at once that I just had to write this post.  

I was particularly struck by the following points in the article:

  1. Make a difference in the lives of others.
  2. Document your life in an empowering way.

  3. Find your authentic voice.

If you’re a writer, you really don’t need more reasons than these to start a blog.

A while back I shared that my blogging mantra includes actively using social media and networking. However,  I’m starting to wonder whether I really want to be such an active networker. I’m increasingly disenchanted with social media and how it insidiously begins to take over our lives. What’s the value in it, I’m wondering? I will continue to be on social media, but have already begun to cut back on the time I spend there.

I’m going Back To Blogging Basics

Now I want to go back to the basics:

  1.  Writing with passion – People tell me anyone can be a blogger and I agree. It’s simple. Yes, software, templates, a good commenting system and great SEO are all important elements – because we want to get ourselves heard. What makes the difference between a blogger and a great blogger is passion. Today I want to remind myself to write with passion about subjects I’m passionate about.

 

Seth Godin quote

2.  Connecting with my readers on my blog. I’m not going to try to take those connections onto other social media platforms – except to find avenues to share the work of others.

As an experiment, I have taken off most of my social media buttons on this blog. I’ve left on some simple sharing buttons.

I never did buy the idea of link dropping, preferring to stick to smaller blogging groups, but I’ve already started to cut back on the groups I am a part of. The decreased social media presence will continue.

What I will do (yes, I know  you’ve heard this before ;)) is focus on responding to comments and visiting the blogs of those who comment and those of like-minded bloggers.

I would like you to take a minute to visit Leo Babauta’s website (do come back here after that!). Talk about keeping things simple. I won’t ever get to that stage as far as a template is concerned- because I like color too much, but I love the focus on quality content he has.

Leo Babauta quote

3. Publishing consistently – I think that it’s definitely important for regular readers to know more or less when we’re going to be posting. I try to stick to a twice a week schedule. If I’m going to be posting every day (like this month) then I let my readers know in advance. I also need to let them know when I’m taking a break. Once again, it’s about making that connection with your readers.

  1. Creating quality content – I aim to write stuff that evokes emotion and a response from my readers. My posts may not always be of the feel-good variety, because they will reflect my own questions and doubts, my experiences good or bad, and I try to keep it real. I think the important thing is to make sure my content is relevant and useful too.

I am attempting to keep things simple and will rely on you, dear reader, to keep me honest.

What are the blogging basics as far as you are concerned?

This post is written for the letter B for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014. José and I are undertaking the Challenge on our blog, From 7Eight too.

 

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105 Comments

  1. […] are passionate about whether it is travel, art, food, or a hobby, some of the benefit comes from sharing what you love. Blogging in a public arena also allows you to connect with other like minds, educate, learn, and […]

  2. Cindy Cindy April 11, 2014

    Thanks for these awesome tips in blogging. As a newbie, they are to the point and exactly what I had in mind, but could not envision when creating and managing my content.
    I’ll be trying harder now.
    Cindy

  3. Feature Friday: Everyday Gyann and The Naptime Novelist Feature Friday: Everyday Gyann and The Naptime Novelist April 11, 2014

    […] or purple, lives on a diet of cheese and cupcakes or what. All I know, is I really loved her Back to Blogging Basics post. Not that I haven’t read a ton of these kinds of posts before. Corinne is a variation […]

  4. Miste Anders-Clemons Miste Anders-Clemons April 5, 2014

    Thank you for bring ing up this most valuable point. I was thinking that there are two blogging basics to me. One, is providing relevant content and two, is creating relationships.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Thank you for sharing, Miste! You’re absolutely right about what matters.

  5. Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson April 4, 2014

    Thanks for your thoughts on blogging. You are definitely a connected lady! I enjoy your posts and am sure you’ll find that balance you want.

  6. RM Hepler RM Hepler April 3, 2014

    Oh, I am so guilty of the social media addiction! It’s both a distraction tool and a fun way to connect with other writers.
    I’m actually hoping the A-Z Challenge will get me blogging regularly again.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Yes, it’s truly distracting – I’m planning to ease back. I do hope the challenge gets us all back to our blogs. 🙂

  7. Sulekha Sulekha April 3, 2014

    Love your blogging basics.My blogging reflects my thoughts and moods. I love humor and romance along with motivational and inspirational topics but am yet to write on the spiritually uplifting ones. I am at a stage in life where my thoughts are undergoing a transformation and my outlook towards life is changing gradually. Social media is fine as long as it is contained to a limit.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Thanks, Sulekha. Your blog is lovely – a reflection of you, my friend. 🙂

  8. SD Neeve SD Neeve April 3, 2014

    Totally agree with you. This isn’t my first blog, but I learned through trial and error over the years that things soon begin to encroach on our lives. I now have two blogs on the go, one I only write to once a month, and thats Bloggers4Peace, and the other, which is the one I’m using now, about my stories and my writing life.
    I am only part of two groups, Blog Blitz and the recently joined IWSG, which I’m still finding my footing with.
    Basic is always best I find. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Thank you for sharing. I’m going to learn from your experience.

  9. Aditi Aditi April 3, 2014

    Cheers to keeping it simple! Consistent writing is something I’d like to do diligently and hope the A-Z is a start! As for social media – it is quite addictive. In fact I have become active only once I started blogging but I have restricted myself only to one or two blogging groups ( you know that! ;)) and connecting with like minded people!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      You’re so right, Aditi. We’ve got sucked into social media because of our blogs and now at the cost of them, sometimes!

  10. Debbie Debbie April 3, 2014

    Sounds like a great plan, Corinne! The social media aspect often does get in the way of actual blogging.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Thanks, Debbie. Social Media is not bad, but I’m finding it taking me away from blogging – the reason I got into it in the first place!

  11. Proactive Indian Proactive Indian April 3, 2014

    I believe that I must “write with passion about subjects I’m passionate about.”

    In everything, including in blogging, after following the basic rules and etiquette, I believe in doing things the way I think are correct. I sometimes wonder whether I’m being a stubborn mule in thinking and doing so. Reassuring to read this post from you!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      You are doing the right thing, Pro. There’s no doubt about it!

  12. Shelley Munro Shelley Munro April 3, 2014

    It’s funny because I’ve been thinking about social media recently and read an article in our local paper about a reporter who closed his Twitter account. I enjoy blogging and have met some wonderful people this way.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      I don’t find Twitter as bad as Facebook, Shelley. I’ve had a great experience on FB – don’t get me wrong. But I don’t want to use it for my blog any more. 🙂

  13. simple girl simple girl April 3, 2014

    Wow!! Interesting tips.. I do not know how much of a passion I have .. All I know that, for the first time, I am making time for something religiously after having joined work .. Hope to continue to do so…

    Personally I do not like social media. I feel very exhausted with it. It is like I am bombarded with information at such a rate that I cannot take it ..

    I love how you are being honest with yourself.. And I visited Leo’s website from here. It is simple, frill free.. I definitely go through his writings..

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Thanks, Simple Girl. You’re on the right track with your blog. I love your theme and posts for the Challenge.
      Glad you liked, Leo Babauta’s site. His writing is also simple and no-nonsense.

  14. My Inner Chick My Inner Chick April 3, 2014

    I agree, Corinne.

    One can have everything, but without the “Passion,” one has NOTHING.

    Great points & insights. xx

    PS. Social Media is beautiful & horrible at the same time!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      I know you have loads of passion, Kim and that’s one of the many things I admire about you, my friend.

      And agree about Social Media – lovely to connect with old friends, but I don’t want to ‘have to’ do it for my blog.

  15. Monica Deshpande Monica Deshpande April 3, 2014

    Corinne! I couldn’t agree more. I was just having a rant about how I would like to blog without all the distractions that seem to accompany it. It doesn’t help that I am a social media Luddite. 🙂
    Your post is a welcome read and very reassuring. Thanks!

  16. Amrit Rukhaiyaar Amrit Rukhaiyaar April 3, 2014

    Great post Corinne, you inspire to write, you know…

    one of the most important thing on my blogging basics is keeping the post from being too long.. readers run away seeing those long posts, I have noticed.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Thank you so much, Amrit.
      Yes, long posts do put off some people. However, I’m starting to write to the length I need necessary. Content curation is also important.

  17. Cathy Olliffe-Webster Cathy Olliffe-Webster April 3, 2014

    An authentic voice – yes, I completely agree. If you’re not speaking from your heart, what’s the point of speaking? My authentic voice isn’t always “nice” but it’s me.

    A good post – reminds me of what’s important in blogging.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      Thanks, Cathy. I agree – nice or not – it’s our voice and we are meant to use!

  18. Loni Townsend Loni Townsend April 3, 2014

    Passion, yes passion. Being unable to sleep at night and needing to pour out my thoughts is the reason why I started blogging. Networking had never even crossed my mind until this past year. I’m terrible at social media, barely have a presence on facebook, tweet only occasionally, and share rarely on Google+. But blogging? That’s fun. I like that.

    Excellent post, and I’m glad you’re getting back to the basics.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 6, 2014

      I need to learn from you, Loni. Less networking, and more blogging for me too! 🙂

  19. Kajal Kajal April 2, 2014

    Great blogging basics points. I think it does make sense to stick to smaller groups and interact and learn, rather thank just link dropping in bigger groups and not really creating an impact. Loved the quote from Seth 🙂 Thanks!

  20. Chai a Cup of Life Chai a Cup of Life April 2, 2014

    Corinne, you hit the nail on the head. (Is that the correct phrase?) There is no shortage of social media, groups, etc that it is easy to forget why we started blogging in the first place. At one point I wrote down all the sharing tools I could use and ended up feeling overwhelmed and scrapped them all and kept the basic ones I enjoyed. Thanks for this post.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Oh yes, it’s easy to get sucked into this – and they keep inventing new platforms on which we just ‘have to’ be seen, Amelia!

      PS: Hitting the nail on the head – absolutely right! 🙂

  21. Darla Sue Dollman Darla Sue Dollman April 2, 2014

    Great post. I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to take the time away from your family, friends, pets, spouse, to write, then YOU should be in that writing. It should be meaningful, and reflect who you are!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Thank you, Darla. I love what you said. I’m going to create a picture quote of that. Your writing certainly reflects lovely YOU. 🙂

  22. Cristina Cristina April 2, 2014

    I wish we could have coffee and talk about how refreshing this is to read. You know, all I read and see is focus more on social media and then when CopyBlogger turned off comments – well the internet exploded and then blogs started to follow suit! I lean right where you do. Social media is great, for those that are about that. BUT, as a writer, we write and want that to always have a sense of intimacy and connection with our readers. Oh please, let’s grab that coffee together!!!!

    🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      That’s going to be a seriously expensive cup of coffee, Cristina. 😉 Someday, someday!
      Yes, I’m still wondering about Copyblogger – I can’t understand that.

  23. Rachna Rachna April 2, 2014

    Incidentally Corinne, I have resolved to do the same this year. In addition to blogging, I write professionally as well. And I wish to take blogging back to more reading and connecting with bloggers through blogs. Overdose of social media definitely distracts and detracts, and I am already cutting down my time there. Your post comes at the perfect time for me. Quality, honesty and passion were the reasons for the hobby in the first place.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Thanks for sharing, Rachna. Good luck to you with your resolve! 🙂

  24. sugandha sugandha April 2, 2014

    Corinne with you cutting down on social media, a lot of your co-bloggers will miss you

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Seems like you didn’t get what I said, Sugandha. I’d rather connect with people on my blog now.

  25. moondustwriter moondustwriter April 2, 2014

    You are so right. 4 years ago I was a crazed blogger, had a public site that got 1000 hits per day, got a shorty award (twitter) and then I came to the realization it was too much. I enjoy meeting a few quality people, I write for me, I’m doing this A to Z madness with the hope of finding a few potentials for publishing. Simplicity and stay true to you!

    Happy A to Zing

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Thank you for sharing. It’s lovely to have someone like you, who has been a successful blogger, agree with what I’m saying.

  26. Ananya Kiran Ananya Kiran April 2, 2014

    Hey Corinne,
    I checked Leo’s website, this is the first time I have seen something like that. Thanks. IT was so refreshing. BUt I could not find the comment section.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Hi Ananya – Glad you liked it. Increasingly some ‘big’ bloggers including Seth Godin and Copyblogger are taking off commenting. Copyblogger has moved the conversation about their posts to Google Plus. 🙂

  27. Danny Simon Danny Simon April 2, 2014

    Wow! COming from an expert like you…this is something I’m definitely going to come back to… I’m not a regular blogger but one thing that has kept me coming back is my vision for why I first started it….and that’s to get me into the discipline of writing and making a difference….Great post!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      I’m hardly an expert, Danny. But I’ll admit to being a constant learner. Yes, it’s important that we keep re-visiting the reason why we started to blog at all.

  28. Fab Fab April 2, 2014

    Thank you for the mention, Corinne!! That article mentioned several valid points, as does this post!! I completely get what you’re saying, sometimes social media even leaves me with a weird feeling of guilt; that of not visiting all the blogs featured. Sometimes all this talk of SEO and networking can be so confusing that it’s good to be reminded of the very basic reason we started to blog.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      You’re welcome, Fab. Thanks for the link. It really made me think. I like the aspects of social media where one can share inspiring links like you did and have meaningful conversations at times. It’s the link dropping and the pressure that gets to me. I think you’re very balanced about this. 🙂

  29. usha menon usha menon April 2, 2014

    Corinne you are very correct. The focus on social media and writing the basics are entirely different aspects altogether.I prefer to write the basics and leave the frills all together.

  30. Inderpreet Kaur Uppal Inderpreet Kaur Uppal April 2, 2014

    If everyone is sharing then who is writing and if everyone is writing then who is reading?
    Social media is intrusive and time consuming.
    You have hit it spot on!

  31. Jayanta Tewari Jayanta Tewari April 2, 2014

    Thanks for this talk about these basics. Yes, I took up blogging seriously 2-3 months back just out of sheer passion in the path of reinventing myself. These thoughts somewhere echo with my own understandings as well. Thanks again.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Glad you liked this, Jayanta. And good luck with your blog.

  32. Modern Gypsy Modern Gypsy April 2, 2014

    Interesting points! I so agree that the whole focus on social media means there’s hardly any time to blog! Now why didn’t I think of keeping things simple myself? 😉

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      So true. Each time someone creates another platform and we go rushing to join up – just in case miss out on something!

  33. Found In Folsom Found In Folsom April 2, 2014

    My blogging basics..ummm…write from your heart. Don’t write to please audience. Read blogs you like even if they don’t read your blog. Don’t make the statement come true, I scratch your back and you scratch mine 😛

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      And you do write from your heart, Lata. That’s what makes you and your blog special.

  34. Candi Candi April 2, 2014

    I am pinning Seth Godin quote. I agree, you have to have a purpose and you can use this platform to make a difference in others lives

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Thanks, Candi. Glad you liked the quote. It struck me too!

  35. Vanessa Terrell Vanessa Terrell April 2, 2014

    Great post! My blog is all about my passion so I can agree on what you wrote about. Thanks for sharing!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Thanks, Vanessa. Yes, you’re the Queen of stamping, are you not? 🙂

  36. Leo Leo April 2, 2014

    Never been much of a social network person, Corry 🙂 Has its advantages and disadvantages. But oh, I’m glad to be writing regularly and happily again. Even commenting often, which I was missing of late.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Yes, in the end, writing is all that matters, isn’t it, Leo? Glad you’re back at it.

  37. Crystal Collier Crystal Collier April 2, 2014

    Great thoughts. I’m totally in love with blogging. I’ve been on the sphere since 2008, and I’ve seen so many people come and go, but I also have lasting relationships that have been so beneficial–whether from an emotional standpoint or a professional one. I couldn’t have done the publishing thing without my bloggies.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Seems like we both into blogging in the same year, Crystal. I love blogging too and I’m glad we’ve connected.

  38. Swathi Shenoy Swathi Shenoy April 2, 2014

    I love this post 🙂 I am totally new to blogging and I can use some basics 😉 Even I had stopped using FB until I joined the a-z group 😀

  39. Sreeja Praveen Sreeja Praveen April 2, 2014

    I’d gone away from FB for a very long time, till I got into the AtoZ group this year. Till then, my presence on FB and other social media was very less. Now it is mainly for connecting with blogger friends, and for spreading a word about their work 🙂
    Lovely point, Corinne. Social Media or not, we are always with you as readers, and we know you’re with us 🙂 Cheers !!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      After the A to Z, I’m seriously cutting back, Sreeja. I’ve already started the process. And I’m so glad we’re connected. ♥

  40. Kathy Kathy April 2, 2014

    Just this year I have cut back considerably to the groups I belong to a choice few, and at this time an A-Z group which you and I are both in. I found that I didn’t want to just drop links anymore or stress myself out trying to keep up with it all. Technically, if you take away the A-Z group, I belong to one group on Face Book. The other groups encompass the weekly writing challenges that I always participate in each week. It makes sense for me and is a lot more manageable. ♥

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Manageable is a good word, Kathy. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with social media and end up feeling guilty too.

  41. Richa Singh Richa Singh April 2, 2014

    I just read Vidya’s comment and smiled to myself because as soon as I had read this post I had sent you the same message.

    I confess I hated the idea of not blogging the way you have listed, initially. But then somehow the bug bit me, or the idea of defeating ‘them’ at their own game did, I don’t know. Now that I am into it I will agree the charm is intact. I love social media, it is something that finds me hooked on to. Perhaps a few months, years (or say never) I will get bored and move on.

    Until then my attempt will be too keep the blogging as a medium preserved while the ways of connecting suited to social media networks as well.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Yes, we did have a great conversation about this, didn’t we, Richa? I remember a third voice in it too! 😉

  42. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury April 2, 2014

    Okay, so you know I have a big smile on my face as I am reading this. And you know why.

    Hugs. Three cheers for getting back to nature/basics!

  43. nabanita nabanita April 2, 2014

    I agree blogging first and foremost is about writing with passion…and also I agree that being on social media encroaches on our time…I have spent the whole day yesterday on facebook and it’s tiring and at the end of the day I didn’t write a word y’day…yes we should actually come back to basics

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Facebook is a big time suck, isn’t it, Nabanita. I’m slowly minimizing my activity there.

  44. Rajlakshmi Rajlakshmi April 2, 2014

    I agree, one needs passion for writing to be a great blogger, else the posts would just sound lifeless. Once in a while it’s always advisable to go back to basics 🙂

  45. Obsessivemom Obsessivemom April 2, 2014

    There comes a point when things get too complicated and it’s best to return to the basics. It’s time to rethink the basic reason why we started to blog.. for most of us it was/is the love for writing or sharing our feelings and thoughts. In the end that’s what counts – not the pageviews, not the shares and maybe not even the comments, other than the few regular genuine ones.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Precisely, Tulika. Sometimes we forget to be ourselves on our blogs!

  46. Shiva Shiva April 2, 2014

    Passion..that is the key word… I am trying to get my basics right and keeping it simple. Connecting with my readers and making an identity for my blog is what I want to aim at as of now

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2014

      Thanks, Shiva. And you’re doing a great job with your lovely writing.

  47. Sheethal Sheethal April 2, 2014

    Some time back I wanted to get away from social networking sites…. but now I use that to connect with all my blogger friends and blogs. For that… Thanks to you 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 3, 2014

      As long as we know how to balance it, Sheethal – too easy to add too many people, right? Then we begin to feel overwhelmed. I’m trying to ease out of a lot of unnecessary adds! 😉

  48. Beloo Mehra Beloo Mehra April 2, 2014

    Love this post! Back to basics always works when things get a bit too much. There is some deep beauty in keeping things simple and authentic. I really value this post from a seasoned blogger like you, because as a relative newcomer to this world of blogging I have a lot to learn. And when the learning such as this resonates with you deeply, it is so much more meaningful.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 3, 2014

      Thank you, Beloo. I’m glad this resonated with you. Be yourself – works for blogs too!

  49. Tasha Tasha April 2, 2014

    Very interesting points. I think there can be a big problem with social media when you find that’s all you end up doing. Blogs seem to be where you can see much more of a person than something like Twitter. I’ve recently tried to add some things to my blog that might be useful to others, so hopefully there is more than just me bathering on :).

  50. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg April 2, 2014

    I so agree about writing with passion and connecting with readers! Yes, with so many social media options, which can take up a lot of time, keeping it simple is the key!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 3, 2014

      Thanks, Shilpa. Yes, connecting is what it’s all about and with passion!

  51. Suzy Suzy April 2, 2014

    Yay Corinne – my thoughts exactly – blogging is all about writing with passion and interacting on blogs and less about social media. Glad someone thinks like me 😀

  52. Shailajav Shailajav April 2, 2014

    Did you read my mind this morning? I was just thinking along these lines about blogging and social media and how the latter is taking away a lot of time from blogging itself.

    I love the simplicity and elegance of the design on your blog and hope we continue to connect over the blog and elsewhere 🙂

    Big fan of Leo and so is my dad 🙂 He literally walks the talk, doesn’t he?

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