Day One’s assignment is to forget about what your blog looks like or even if it has a proper name yet, and to write a “Who I am and why I’m here” post. It may seem a little bit obvious to introduce yourself when starting up your blog, but lots of people don’t do it right off the get-go, and plenty never do it. I’ve checked out tons of blogs that left me wondering, “Who the hell is this person and why should I care about what he/she has to say?”
The fact is, as The Daily Post explains, that writing that introduction post has the joint benefits of letting your prospective audience know what to expect from you, as well as helping you yourself decide what this whole blog thing is going to be all about. You can write exclusively about yourself (pro tip: people care about you more if they feel like they know you), or explain your goals and reason for starting the blog, or even just write about how you honestly have no idea what you’re doing yet. The point is to get words down, to have something available for your prospective readers to look at and (hopefully) think, “Hmm. This person sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll follow.”
When I first started this blog I wrote just such a post, one that – while it didn’t give up much information – gave an idea of who I might be as a blogger. It was a small example of my voice, of what people might have to look forward to if they chose to follow me. In retrospect I may have been a little more forthcoming with the personal information, as this blog has now become a key component in my author platform, but we all have to start somewhere.
So for argument sake, and to be able to say that I did, in fact, do the “assignment”, here’s my new “Who I am and why I’m here” post:
My name is Tracey Lynn Tobin. I’m a 30-year-old wife and mother of one spectacularly cool little girl. I’m trained and regularly work as an Industrial Instrumentation technician, but at the core I am, and always will be, a writer. I’ve been writing fiction since the third grade, and while I’ve had numerous breaks from writing as I’ve grown, I’ve always come back to it. In recent years I have focused a lot more on my writing, on refining my style, on finishing what I start, and on building an audience. I’ve not been published as yet, but I plan to be in the near future, with my first novel being a zombie apocalypse that I’ve been working on for a few years now, called Nowhere to Hide. This blog serves the dual purposes of helping me to build that audience I spoke of, while also being a way to keep myself writing even when writing seems impossible.
Oh, and by the way, I love horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, and I’m happy to talk at length about my many obsessions, which include the Marvel Universe, the Whedonverse, and Super-Who-Lock (Google it ^_~).
There…how’s that for an introduction? 🙂
The second part of the assignment is to ensure that you give your post some good tags, the kind that a search engine will snag and lead readers to your post. For example, for the purpose of this post I’ll make sure that I tag “Marvel Universe”, “Whedonverse”, and “Super-Who-Lock”, because those three things are certain to be regularly searched on the multitude of search engines. The fact that I’ve included them in my post won’t necessarily bring anyone here, but put it this way: if you don’t put the tags in there, search engines have no way to identify your post, and no reason to bring it up in any search results.
Two extra things that I’ll mention that aren’t actually part of the Blogging 101 assignment:
When considering the tags that you’re going to use for your post, remember to identify yourself in some way. As Kristen Lamb explains in Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, there is going to come a time when people are going to be searching for you by name, and whether that name is your real one or a pseudonym, it makes it a hell of a lot easier for people to track it down if it is attached to your blog as often as possible. Step back and imagine what you would type into Google if you were searching for a particular person. For example, since picking up the tip from Kristen, I’ve started tagging each and every one of my posts with the two tags: “Tracey Lynn Tobin blogger” and “Tracey Lynn Tobin writer”. That one little change alone has made it so that now if you go to Google and search for my name, every result on the first page is actually me.
And the last thing that I’ll point out is that the “introduction” post you’ve just created makes an excellent “About Me” page for your blog. As previously mentioned, people are more apt to care about what you have to say if they feel like they know you a little bit, so making sure that you share that information in a way that is easily accessible can be a very important step to creating a successful blog.
That’s it for Day One! Catch you all tomorrow!