Yvette Pistorio

Blogging 101: Five Lessons to Take into the New Year

By: Yvette Pistorio | January 2, 2013 | 

Today’s guest post is by Yvette Pistorio.

When I was in journalism school I wanted to be Andy Andersen, the how-to girl in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”

My plan was to move to New York City and work for Cosmo or one of the Condé  Nast publications.

None of it happened.

At the time, I never even considered becoming a blogger.

I was too depressed my brilliant plan fell through.

But alas, I found blogging or rather it found me and I’m happy we met.

I started my own blog when I got engaged four years ago. My then fiancé would glaze over when I started asking him what he thought about this centerpiece or that type of flower. He told me I should start blogging about planning our wedding.

Genius, I know, that’s why I married him! (Please be gentle with me if you read that blog! I hadn’t written a story since college.)

Then I got a job as a social media manager and part of the role was blogging. I was so excited I finally got a job where I was getting PAID to write!

Great bloggers can make blogging look easy. However, the reality is coming up with fresh ideas on a regular basis is hard work. Nothing rewarding is easy after all.

It’s the start of a brand new year, and some of you might be considering starting your own blog, or writing more for your organization.

After blogging for just more than three years now, here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

  1. There are good and bad days. There are days where I can’t write a single word down and others where I write too many. There aren’t any short-cuts and there isn’t an easy way out. Blogging is hard work.
  2. Dive into blogging. There will never be a perfect time to start blogging, so just do it. A bit like having children, you won’t appreciate what it really takes until you start.
  3. The non-writing aspects of blogging. Beyond actually writing the blog post, there’s copyediting, design, SEO, technical support, and I’m sure I’m missing something else. These things take time. Sometimes I spend more time trying to find an image that goes along with my post then I do on the actual writing.
  4. Be yourself. There are a lot of bloggers and writers I admire, but I don’t try to emulate them. In reality, I can’t. I have my own voice. Plus it’s too exhausting to try and sustain a different voice and personality.
  5. Short sentences and short paragraphs. You’ll do better with short sentences and paragraphs. No one wants to plow through huge blocks of text. Trust me, I have a REALLY short attention span.

I love blogging. It’s fun and I get to write about topics I love.

But what I love most about blogging is what you learn, and where that learning can take you – heck, you can climb Mount Everest or fly away to Paris, twice a day if you want!

What lessons have you learned from blogging and what would you recommend to other bloggers?

Yvette Pistorio is an account executive and community manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online. You can find her on Twitter (Spin Sucks and personal), FacebookLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

About Yvette Pistorio

Yvette Pistorio is the shared media manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online.

  • kayfey

    kayfey I stop predicting which posts will spawn comments and which will be completely ignored.

    • @kayfey  kayfey I was bummed when I didn’t have any comments on this blog post yesterday when I checked, but then I checked this morning, and BAM!!! Lots of comments! Makes me happy even if it’s just because @Sean McGinnis is giving @ginidietrich a hard time. Lol!!

      • @yvettepistorio  @kayfey  kayfey  @ginidietrich  We do what we can. 🙂

  • First, I think people should take your advice about blogging because you do a great job with it! I love it when it’s your turn to guest blog! The one thing I would add to your list is to write every day. If you don’t, and you don’t develop a habit, it takes twice as long and it about 16,000 times harder to get started. If you devote one hour every day to writing (even if you never hit publish), blogging will get LOTS easier.

    • @ginidietrich I think I could write my name and address in an hour.

      • @Sean McGinnis Try writing instead of sending me emails. That will help.

        • @ginidietrich Very funny. I posted two things already this year and polishing a guest post right now.
          I’m still 10X slower than you.

        • @Sean McGinnis Well, not everyone can be me.

      • PattiRoseKnight

        @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich you’re funny!

        • @PattiRoseKnight  @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich Gee, Sean, stop trying to be like Gini. *rolls eyes*

        • @KenMueller  @PattiRoseKnight  @ginidietrich I’ve decided to wear my spandex biking shorts everywhere in 2013.

        • PattiRoseKnight

          @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich I request daily pictures

    • @ginidietrich Aw shucks Gini, thank you. I agree with your tip…with the week I’ve taken off of writing, I’ve noticed I’m having a MUCH harder time getting back into it.

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  • I’ve said this before, but if I don’t start the day with a period of focused writing time, everything just feels off.  Cultivating a daily writing habit makes idea capture easier, too.

    • @jasonkonopinski Agreed! I have to set aside a block of time daily too. Having the passed week off threw me off my game, so now I’m trying to refocus and it isn’t going my way so far. I started about 4 blog posts yesterday and ended up scrapping them b/c they were just horrible!!

  • PattiRoseKnight

    Short sentences and short paragraphs are key for me – I’ll open and if it’s too long i file to “read” later and we all know what happens to those LOL!  We are grateful you love blogging because you do it for us now 🙂

    • @PattiRoseKnight I know, i’m the same way. If a blog post is too long in my Google Reader, I move on to the next one. I just don’t have enough time in my day to read everything I want!

  • When I first read the title I thought it said “101 Blogging lessons” and I thought: is she nuts!! 🙂   BE YOURSELF – the greatest advice.  I can tell when someone has their thesaurus out.

    • @AmyMccTobin Hahahahaha!! Oh no, I would never try and come up with 101 blog lessons!!!

  • Really enjoyed the post! Definitely can identify with “Sometimes I spend more time trying to find an image that goes along with my post then I do on the actual writing.” Makes it sound like it’s a bad thing, but the last thing I want when I’ve spent a good amount of time writing and perfecting a post is someone to disregard what I’ve written because of a crappy image(s).

    • @wiedenu Thanks!! Lol! Yeah, I hear ya with the image. I used to write a weekly round-up of my favorite blog posts at my previous job. It was an easy way to produce content on Friday’s when our readership was low. And the images I would pick would be the most random things I could find or things I loved (like coffee and cute puppies). Not sure if anyone ever caught on, but it was pretty fun…my little inside joke that the world now knows 😉

  • I can definitely appreciate the surprise of a career path taking a unique and unexpected turn.  I took on some social projects last year that helped me get the job I have now too.  I love it when writing is part of the job!  🙂

    • @TrainUpScott It’s definitely not what I thought I’d be doing, but I LOVE my job so I’m pretty lucky. Happened a little late in life, but at least I got there!

  • Great tips. love that film. I’ve slowly started to through myself back I to the “write first” habit. Like @jason, I feel off all day if I don’t.

    • @Tinu Thanks Tinu!! I hear you…I’m procrastinating today and really need to push myself to get back in the “write first” habit too.

  • Barbara Gemar

    Your blogging wisdom is so motivational and I really thank you for posting it today! I have shared it on amptoolbox because it makes me want to run, not walk, to the nearest coffee shop and simply write instead of managing multiple streams of administration.
    Thank you!
    Barbara Gemar

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  • kstaxman

    You put together a pretty good simple lay out of some of the critical aspects of blogging and what it is to blog. Not bad in a few hundred words.
    But I think the main thing you’ve said is to just keep busy, keep writing, and the one thing I didn’t see was one that is often left out…. read lots of others blogs. For it’s always when reading what others said and thought that I get my best ideas. And constant reading improves writing as much as anything besides writing it’s self.
    Plus you get to leave great comments that get the attention of other writers leading to more interaction and hopefully more engagement. And in the end engagement is what blogging is all about because if you write the best blog article in the world but no one reads it are blogging?

    • @kstaxman I completely agree and that is a great point I missed! I read a TON of blogs. It helps keep me up on industry news and trends and like you said, sometimes gives you the best ideas.

  • brimtzger

    I enjoyed this nice, to-the-point read. Glad to see that you take your own advice 😉 I agree with kstaxman, reading and writing daily are really important and a necessity. 
    I also enjoyed your city dream. Sounds like your happy where are you, but I appreciate you mentioning it. I found myself relating to it, probably because I aspire to be the same 🙂

    • @brimtzger Lol!! I’m happy where I am, but there’s still a part of me that would LOVE to move to NYC!