On the #MWDD13 homework

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Homework? I wasn’t expecting that – but there it is…use the lunch break not only for inhaling the cakes (lovely, by the way!) but also for doing a snippet on someone or something at #MWDD13.

So I grabbed Laura – here she is! Laura is the brains behind Political Style,  and gave a fab talk this morning on how to get your blog out there, ‘reaching the USA from Cardiff Bay’. And, since I’m new to this blogging lark, I took the opportunity to ask her some questions – for most of the talented ladies at Mostly Women Doing Digital they will be very basic questions – but they might be useful for anyone considering blogging, so here they are – somewhat paraphrased, sorry Laura!

Q Do you think you have to have an extremely specific topic, to make a successful blog? (I have been wondering about this because already, my young blog seems to leap around a lot between topics…)

A Not necessarily. Political Style is quite niche, and that’s one of the reasons that it has been picked up by other blogs (including the famous Mrs O, no less!) But, you can offer regular features or topics on say a weekly or biweekly basis, which help it to hang together, and give readers something to remember to come back for.

Q How do you manage your blog alongside full time work?

A I tend to research and write posts on the weekend, when I have more time, and then schedule them for the week ahead. That way if other stuff comes up, I don’t have to be worrying about missing out a day or so – because posts are scheduled to go out in any case.

Q What’s the blog etiquette on linking to other blogs? Should you ask them first?

A People will usually be happy to have links so there’s no real need to ask them beforehand, though I often email them to give them a heads up that I’ve mentioned them. With blogrolls, the way to get featured on other people’s rolls is to email them and ask if they will feature yours, in exchange for you including theirs – and this can be a great way to generate traffic – for instance I am quite proud of the fact I am one of just three blogs featured on Mrs O.

Q Should you/do you tweet every post?

A I don’t tweet every post – if it’s a ‘filler’ post for example, then I don’t tend to tweet it. If it is more of an article than a post, eg my post on Sheryl Sandberg’s book, then I’ll tweet it and often I’ll @message anyone mentioned too.

Q Any other advice?

A Bloggers are mostly helpful people! If you admire a blogger, get in touch – they’ll probably be happy to share advice and tips.

Laura, thank you for chatting to me – and for being my #MWDD13 homework!

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