GUIDANCE FOR BLOGS – Here is a guide to the things you must do – and what not to do.
This is about blogging rather than commenting. There are many other guides to the do’s and don’ts of commenting. This guide is only about writing blogs not comments.
Here is a list of things you MUST DO if you want your blogging to be successful.
a) If you are just starting in Steemit, set your expectations low. Don’t expect to get many rewards, votes or comments before you have written 100s if not 1000+ blogs. Steemit is not an easy money place. Just because you see some bloggers in the hot or trending section earning $100s of dollars does not mean you can do it. These bloggers are already famous and have thousands of followers. Your next blog may be much more brilliant than theirs, but sadly you don’t have the followers yet. They do. No votes is the norm when you are new. It will take a long time to grow worthwhile followers.
b) Make sure your blog would be interesting to others. Write well. Write intelligently. Don’t make spelling or grammar mistakes. Take care of your layout. Use correct punctuation. Use headings and paragraphs to groups ideas. Make your text and layout pleasing to the eye. Always proof-read what you have written many times. Could you write something better? Can you improve something? Is what you have written clear?
c) Photos are not essential. They can be useful to illustrate a blog. Photos just for the sake of it may not add anything. There’s no rule. So use your brain to judge what is appropriate. If you are writing about a family day in the park then a lot of photos can make your blog come alive. On the other hand, if you are writing about “Does God exist” – or a blog like this one, then it is hard to see the added value of inserting photos. It could seem quite contrived.
d) Use tags appropriately. You don’t have to use all 5 tags. Make sure the first tag most closely reflects the topic you are writing about.
e) Write because you love writing, not because you are trying to earn a reward.
f) If you have written about 25 excellent and interesting posts, you should expect between 5 and 10 genuine followers. If you have them, then you are on the right track. “Genuine” means followers who have a reputation above 40 and who share similar interests and write similar blogs to your own.
g) If after 25 blogs you still have less than 5 genuine followers, and are getting less than 2 or 3 meaningful and interesting comments per blog, you could be doing something wrong. Maybe you need to change something.
Here are some recommendations to keep your most valuable followers:
i. Don’t allow the quality of your writing to deteriorate. Your blogs should only get better, not worse.
ii. Don’t write pointless posts.
iii. I sometimes see people who start writing here with a few brilliant posts. I follow them. Then they get disillusioned and write shorter less entertaining or less interesting posts hoping for another vote from me. I see these boring posts clogging up my feed, so I un-follow them.
iv. If you write boring articles you will still get followers, but not the type you want. These will be the kind of followers who don’t read your articles and whose votes are worthless.
v. You want followers like me. Having one follower with my voting power is worth 1000 times that of the people who follow just for the sake of follow-for-follow. You want to keep high reputation steemians – those with a reputation above 50, like me, interested. If not, - if I find your latest blogs lack quality, - I will simply un-follow you - to keep my feed clean.
vi. Don’t expect everyone who reads your blog to vote. Your readers are not charities. They want to be entertained, by something original and interesting. I only reward effort that I enjoyed. It’s like the movies. It does not matter how much time and effort was put into making the movie, I’ll only pay to watch it if I like it. I’ll only come back a second time to pay to watch the sequel if I enjoyed the original. If Star Wars versions 1,2,3,4 and 5 were brilliant, I’ll keep coming back for more. But if versions 6,7 and 8 aren’t as good, then I won’t come back for versions 9, 10 and 11.
Here are the things you MUST NOT do:
Don’t cut and paste news stories from other websites. That’s theft of copyright material. You are depriving the owners of their revenue. You are trying to make a profit for yourself at their expense. The journalist did the hard work and you are lazy. If everybody did that, we would have the contents of every newspaper clogging up steemit. You will be flagged if you plagiarize.
Don’t cut and paste content from elsewhere on the web if you are not the author. The same comments as above apply. It’s OK to quote a phrase, a sentence or a paragraph if you cite the original source provided your motive is to illustrate a point you are making on your own original blog.
Don’t publish third party photos, even open source ones, without citing the source. Posting someone-else’s photo without any meaningful discussion or commentary about it serves no purpose to steemit users. There are plenty of photography sites which are designed for that. If you post other people’s photos – whether open-source or not, then, if it is not part of a useful discussion, or to illustrate a blog, it will be seen as spam posting just like copying news articles.
The same comment as above applies to videos. Publishing someone else’s video in your blog, on its own, does not justify you getting rewarded for it. We can go to Youtube to find original videos by original authors without your help. Once again, doing this is downright theft. It’s like stealing goods from Walmart and then selling them in your own store. You will be flagged if you try to milk the steemit reward system by doing this. It is OK to use an extract of a video to illustrate a point you are making in your original blog.
Do not engage in blogging activities designed to “game” the steemit rewards system. Examples could include publishing lots of short boring blogs with the motive of harvesting votes from friends or an army of bots. There are lots of ways people discover to try and game the system. Experienced steemians are no fools. They will see it for what is. Sooner or later a whale will start flagging you. Your reputation and rewards will be shot to zero.
Do not publish blogs containing only the same information that would already be found on a dedicated site, such as dictionary translations, sayings, anecdotes, famous quotes, idioms, and so on, unless what you are writing is original, i.e. your own work. It should be more useful to others than what is already found on the dedicated sites.
Do not misuse tags. Adding a tag like “life” or “photography” to this blog would be misleading.
Do not post advertisements or quasi-advertisements. Do not add your own referral links to try and re-direct people to some “money-making” scheme where you will earn a commission for the referral.
When blogging, remember that some of your readers will be very different from you. They will have different backgrounds, religions, cultures, and ways of thinking. What you find funny, some may find insensitive, offensive, or plain rude. Don’t stop this from letting you voice your opinions, but be prepared to face disagreement or arguments from others.
Don’t abuse others, exact revenge or act like a child. We’re grown ups. Someone didn’t like your blog? Tough. Forget it and move on.
Don’t try and write when you are drunk or on drugs. You might regret it later. Remember, this is the blockchain. Everything you write is stored forever.
If you are a school-teacher or a preacher, do not encourage your students to write here. They are not ready for the harsh criticism that can be meted out by those who are not trained in dealing with sensitive little souls.
Don’t spoil your blogs with banners or non relevant animated gifs.