I have a habit of making everything more complex than need be. Parenting, writing, dinner. You name it. I over-analyze it, over-write it, over-cook it, before—if I’m lucky—finding the simple, elegant, less time-consuming approach. And let’s face it, we’re all after that, aren’t we?
In my house that would ideally mean (sigh) the kids happily getting good grades and doing chores without being asked, a book contract in the mail for me, and a five-star meal for five bucks ready at 5 PM for hubby.
Mission impossible. Or not?
Well, while we’re still at the beginning of this year, I plan to start simplifying this blog. Here’s why.
This week my writing friends sat me down and told me my blog posts were too long. “Fit for a magazine though.” A sweet compliment meant to salve the critique that was code for: “Your long posts are scaring off readers.” But my critique partners are right! That’s why they’re my partners. They help make me a better writer. I not only expect criticism, I demand it. If only my husband knew this!
Blog Readers Want a Moment of Inspiration Over Coffee
Award winning bloggers and friends Rudri at beingrudri.com, Linda, and Luanne at writersite.org offered me some great advice. Most blog readers peruse blogs two over coffee to take a tidbit of inspiration or learning into their day.
Until I can tame my zeal for longer stories, I’m calling a number of posts “Just a—Travel, or, Parenting, or, Food, etc.— Moment.” (I’m probably over-thinking this, but I need a little structure to break long-winded habits.) According to my friends and the general blogging community, here are some helpful hints:
Stop thinking so hard!
Things Successful Blogs Consider
Audience: is the blog for you or your audience?
(A stickler for me. I was having fun pouring hours of research into
complex articles when readers, including me, want to get in and out quickly.)
Focus: structure your content and style for larger audience.
Simplicity: keep it simple.
Posting frequency: posting 2-3 times per week regularly (eeekk!) is recommended to gain a following.
Post length: keep posts between 200-500 words. No more. (Gulp!)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): use SEO parameters (say what?) and key words in blog posts to ensure readers searching for topics find your post.
Things blog readers love:
a blogger’s: imperfections, foibles, weaknesses (oh boy, are you ready?)
So, Now What?
Bear with me. Along with finishing the last four chapters of that decade-old memoir, updating the kids’ chore list, I’ve set the goal of shorter, more frequent posts.
And now, about that five-star meal for five bucks, does anyone have any recommendations?