Midweek Mumbling – How To Be A Better Movie Blogger Part 1
This week we are discussing what you need to do to make it as a movie blogger.
Please excuse my little self-help post. I will back to my general rants/mumbling next week
Now this is not in any way an attempt to make myself look bigger than I am. I am not trying to say that I have made it and that I am now the best thing since sliced bread. Far from it. All I wanted to do in this weeks Midweek Mumbling is try to share some of the things I have picked up over the last 7 months since I started this little site of mine.
When I started this up in January this year I had very little, no that is wrong, I had NO knowledge of what blogging was all about. I had no idea how consuming it was and how much of a family community the ‘Movie/Film’ blogging world was. And ultimately I did not know how much FUN it was.
I started on Blogger but soon got myself a domain name and hosting and went solo so to speak.
SO where do we start then?
OK firstly you need to choose your blogging software. I have gone for WordPress.org as i like the freedom of it, especially as it is not stuck to the main wordpress site and I can add as many adverts or different bits that I want!! Very flexible. Although the benefit of using free sites like wordpress.com or blogger.com is that well, they are free. Also when you get going and get some really big hitting days the servers won’t let you down as Blogger and WordPress are really big. I speak of this with painful memories. I managed to get one of my posts on to the front page of IMDb and the sheer weight of traffic managed to blow the shared server up that I was using!! SO be warned. I have found the solution as I will tell soon. It is to do with using the correct plug-ins.
What do I post?
Any blogger will tell you it is all about the content. Good original content is a must. But make it personal. If you only watch foreign films or silent classics then post about them, there is absolutely no point in trying to pretend you have your finger on the pulse of HOLLYWOOD news if it doesn’t interest you. If you are not a massive Film Buff but love watching films, and you do not really know the meaning of ‘sub-text’, or ‘narrative’ then do not use those words. Stick to what you love and it will shine through. Be natural have fun. Want to do a list, do a list. Try and add images too as they will help you get hits from google. Also if you post some movie news that you have read make sure you link to the original source. It is just good etiquette.
When do I post?
Personally I do not blog at the weekend, but this is a choice I made early on as I have a young family and I want to spend time with them. I know really good bloggers that post twice a week, and some that post seven days a week so it is entirely up to you. Just keep to it!! I have set myself a schedule, and I recommend you do the same. Now it may not be a 5 day schedule like mine, but I would lay it out so your readers know what to expect every time they come over to your site and KEEP to it. If say you have a ‘weekly movie release’ post you do on a Tuesday, then don’t leave it to Wednesday to post. Your readers will soon get bored and not come back.
How do I get people to read my Film reviews?
Well all I can say here is get involved. What do I mean by this? There is a whole world out there, full of movie lovers like yourself and they may well be thinking the same thing as you. So go find them, read their articles and reviews. Make sure you leave them a nice comment and inevitably they will follow the link back from your name to your site and do the same. My suggestion is to go and comment on 10 blogs a day. From this you will get 3-4 good comments from people that are into the same thing as you. My daily rounds now are up to 30 or so blogs I read and comment on. I call most of these Authors friends now and I really enjoy learning new things about something I love to do, which is watch film. SO get to it. Don’t be shy, bloggers love comments!!
Another thing to consider is Twitter. A good friend of mine Joel Burman is in the middle of doing a great series on how best to use Twitter so I recommend reading his blog HERE for information. Twitter is great for meeting film lovers and sharing your blog with the world. It seems a bit daunting at first but once you get going it will feel like the best form of promotion out there. Nothing quite like getting new followers.
I have got a comment, what do I do now?
Most bloggers comment on a site and come back later to see if the author replied to the comment. It is really good etiquette to reply to these as soon as you can. It makes the commenter feel like they are interacting with the site. It all helps in building
Once you have replied back, click on the commenters name and visit their site. Find something you like and comment on that. Feels good doesn’t it?
OK I am getting the hang of this, but where do I find like-minded blogs?
I know I started by joining the LAMB (Large Ass Movie Blog). this is a great community with lots of interaction with its members. Monthly blogging events and also a great yearly award which is highly coveted by movie bloggers (although they are all far to humble to say so). LAMB has over a 1000 movie blogs in its books and a good place to start is look at the directory and start reading the blogs and making comments. When your blog is over 3 months old you can apply to be a LAMB and be featured on the front page of this great site. One word though is be patient. I for one did not quite realise how long it took to get in to the site and I re posted my submission and was rightfully told off!! So remember patience is a virtue.
I am getting more readers and I am getting comments, what else can I do?
There are lots of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) things you can do, but luckily there are a lot of great plug-ins that do all of this for you. I am not going to list this today. Next time I will talk you through the best WordPress plugins. OK they may not be the best but I have through a great deal of trial and error finally got my plugins set as I like them. Not only do they help with the infamous SEO but also enable you to streamline your workflow and it means you will have more time for writing about what you love…FILM
For today, here ends the mumbling…
Do you agree with how I blog? Is blogging an interactive sport? Or do you prefer not to get involved? Do you have any tips you would like to share? Comment below…