Monday, June 13, 2011

Blogging Tips

When I started blogging, I thought that having something to write about and a computer are enough.  I was able to publish a number of articles alright.  When I needed video which is not often, I go to YouTube.  As the number of my articles grew, my confidence grew alongside to insert videos for both my Blogger and Wordpress blogs.  For the longest time, my blogs only contained pictures or images from Google Images, Flickr or Picasa. 

I write my blog posts when the children are not around to compete for internet connection.  Not having them around is both a blessing and a bane. If they are around, I can always ask them about technical issues.  But when they are in school or elsewhere, I can download or upload blog posts, music, video, pictures quite faster.

When I took up the Certified Blog Entrepreneur Program from the Ateneo, I learned that grabbing a few images from Google or Flickr to enhance my article, is not as simple as copying and pasting.  I have to be sensitive to the issue of fair use.  But what is fair use?  From Jonathan Bailey's "The Basics of Fair Use", fair use sets a guidance to the use of somebody's work in limited situations.  Copyright is affixed to a work the moment it is published either offline like books, magazines, and other printed matter or online like blogs, websites, e-books, e-magazines and etc. It gives the author or copyright holder certain exclusive rights to the work and derivative works based on the original work.  

To add a touch of accuracy and lessen my dependence on other's works, I found out the necessity of having a digital camera at my disposal anytime.  No need to lug an SLR for me.  My motto is that if I have to read the operating manual before I can use it, then it is not for me.  I hate reading instructional materials.  A digital camera is now a must-have and I don't leave the house without it in my bag together with my wallet, cellphones, pen holder and make up kit.  Having my own camera at any time enables me to shoot anything that can be used in my future articles.  

Aside from my digital camera, I have a notebook which I can use when ideas pop out of the things, places or people that I see or meet in the course of daily activities.  Depending on the time or circumstance, I can compose a draft of an article while waiting for my turn at the doctor's clinic or while waiting for my hairdresser to finish the job that I asked him to do.  I only write on my notebook if I forgot to bring the Asus notebook.  I find it easier though to do my articles if I use my computer.

I attend to as many activities as I could.  Activities are a goldmine of writing materials.  Writer's block is a reality that affects all writers, professionals and amateurs alike.

Read, read, read. Read anything that could be useful to your articles.  News, both online or printed, are good sources of what's hot.  Writing about what's hot helps the article to get as many hits as possible.  My article The PNR Trains got a lot of hits that tripled the number of readers for my other blog Bicol Express when I published it after GMA7 made a story on the resumption of the service of the PNR trains.  I got free promotion from that GMA7 telecast.

Write regularly, once a week is okay.  Remember readers are like lovers, out of sight, out of mind.  Just kidding.  Writing regularly makes the blog site easily found by the search engines. 

I think I have already covered the most important things that a would-be blogger or writer has to have and to do.  Good luck and happy writing. 


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