My niece and daughter started blogs a few days ago and enlisted help from me since I have been blogging since 2009. I am very supportive of their new venture but, want to give them some staples to always keep in mind. We have very different personalities and I want them to be ready to deal with anything positive or negative that may come their way online. So here are my Beginning Teen Blogger #101 Tips for them.
1. Be Yourself – Your blog is an extension of you. Let your personality shine through your writing. Don’t be what you think people want you to be, you’ll come off as not being authentic and trust me it will show. There are many opportunities that you may get to meet your readers and you don’t want people to see you as one person online and completely different in person. Like night & day! You want consistency!
2. Moderate Your Comments – Thank my lucky stars I’ve never been in any online altercations on any social media platform but, I know that sometimes people can be cruel and leave nasty comments when they don’t agree with your post or they just might not like you. I have always moderated my comments and I’ll post them for the most part unless it’s totally derogatory or offensive in any way.
3. Be Consistent – If your are going to post 2-3 times a week on specific days about a specific subject matter or theme, continue to do it. Your audience will look for that on a weekly basis and may even message you about when your next post will be published. That’s a loyal reader! Your blog is your brand so whatever you are communicating let it show consistently throughout your blog, even design wise! I know I can help in that department! *wink*
4. Be Social – You’ve started a blog, now what? You need to promote yourself on all your social media platforms to get people back to your blog. Start a conversation on Facebook around your blog post and leave a link. You can also start a Twitter Chat based on your post, create a hashtag and get to it with your friends on Twitter. You can promote that too and tweet out a link to the article the chat is based on. Use Instagram and Pinterest to post pics from your blog and leave the link.
5. NO ONLINE CYBER-BULLYING – This is why comment moderation and being able to block unwanted followers is such a great tool on most social media platforms. Teenagers can sometimes be cruel and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of something like that. I don’t condone bullying in and way and would hope the way you’ve been raised, you wouldn’t participate in a horrible act like that against another person. Much like when talking… you think before you speak, well online you think before you type!
6. Online Etiquette – Be sure to give credit where credit is due! If you use someone else’s photo be sure to credit the photographer. If you use your own photos be sure to watermark it if you’d like credit if someone decides to use your photo. Same goes for blog content. If you share a quote or another bloggers post please be sure to link back to the original blog post. You don’t want any copyright or plagiarism issues. *Also let the person know that you’ve used their photo or content.
7. Have A Strategy In Place – Know why you are blogging and what you hope to gain from this venture. Is it just an online journal? Is it a business in the making? Where do you see yourself in the future with it? Go back to why you started blogging in the first place. What passion ignited your will to want to start a blog. Keep that flame burning throughout your journey. It may change but, you’ll always have some direction if you hold on to it.
8. Know who your readers are – In this case let’s say fashion forward teenagers who love style and like to keep up with the latest trends! you will need to have a blog that reflects that and speaks to your audience. So your blog would not reflect my design or content, I speak to entrepreneurs, mommy bloggers, arts and entertainment bloggers, along with fashion and style bloggers that are more in my age appropriate range.
9. Don’t Get Sucked In – This goes back to having a strategy in place. Use a editorial calendar and plan posts. Choose a day to do your writing and schedule your posts. You can also schedule your social media posts. Spend a few minutes when you have a chance interacting with your online audience but, know when to unplug! As I type this I need to take this advice myself but, this isn’t about me right now! Ha!
10. Be Open to Suggestions and Advice – Be open to creative criticism and don’t take it personal! Know that people will always have an opinion that they are entitled to and you may not always feel the same way, but that’s why we are all beautifully unique. Seek advice from peers and listen to what they have to say and always continuously educate yourself on blog and social media trends. I’ll take you to your first blog conference and I can’t wait! I’ll always be here for you and GOOD LUCK!
So, how did I do? These are just a few things I came up with to tell my niece and daughter and I’m sure as things come up I will share them but, can you think of anything I should add to this list for these budding teenage bloggers?