Monday, January 27, 2014

5 Beginning Need-Greater Blogger Tips

As a reader of need-greater blogs I'm fascinated by other people's pictures and experiences. I've found some things work well and some things don't. Again, these are just my opinions they are not hard and fast rules but guidelines to make your blog easy to read and easy to follow.

I realize that I am opening myself up to criticism here, but I hope that I will help someone else even while my blog is always a work in progress.


#1- Beware of the busy backgrounds and hard to read type. This is one of the hardest things about reading someone else's blog no matter the subject. You love that pretty distracting background but as people read your blog they get headaches because they can hardly see the tiny type and highlighted bright colors in your posts. Choose readable type and backgrounds, not sure about it, ask. I think I had one of the most horrible backgrounds offered and no one said anything until I changed it. Lesson learned and now shared.

What do I mean by unreadable type? Here's an example:
If you can read this you're amazing. But the rest of us would like to read your blog and your words make them easy to see.

#2- Use photos but not too many per post. If you're the kind of person that is thinking about doing a blog you've probably got a ton of pictures. You don't have to post an entire roll or even half a roll into one post. Choose your best shots and then divide them up by theme and create different posts for each group of pictures. Why? 

People need time to respond to what you're posting. When you have too many pictures in one post it can be overwhelming to try to comment on everything that you liked. By the time you've reached the end of the post you've forgotten what you wanted to say. Also in addition to just having the photos adding captions is kind. You don't have to 'name' every individual person but if it's a view or a group it's nice to know how you know the people or where you're standing when you took the photo. That way you don't have to read through lots of paragraphs in order to figure out who is in the pictures or where the it was taken.

#3- Allow and encourage people to comment. As a need-greater with a blog you no doubt want to build-up and to interact with people who are doing what you're doing or you want to invite people to try the 'need-greater' life. Being positive helps that along. But honesty is good too. If you're having a bad day it helps people to see that we're all in the same race to the finish and just because we're serving where the need is, doesn't mean we don't run into difficulties.

#4- Shorter posts more often are better than a long post once a month. Remember in the definition of a blog it uses the term 'regularly.' I know you've got a life to live wherever you are serving so how do you do that when you can only do the blog thing once in a while, (Or you have intermittent internet service)? There's something you can do on your blog that you might not know that you can do. You can write posts in advance and you can 'schedule' them to be posted publicly on some date in the future. I cannot tell you how much your peoples will love this. Friends and family who are following will get a steady flow of updates from you instead of a months worth in one post. 

#5- Read other need-greater blogs. Funny, when I started this blog I didn't even know I was going to be a need-greater. Then suddenly I was and I didn't know what to write. As soon as I started reading other people's blogs, however, I learned what kinds of things were interesting to me about places I'd never been so that I could create similar content for the friends reading my stuff.

I hope this helps and I'll try to post more tips down the line. If you've got questions or comments to share on this topic please add them below,  I love reading what you have to say!


  1. Great tips. Here are a few more tips we have learned...

    1: Remember who is reading your blog. You will quickly start meeting local friends who will read your blog. Saying things about how they live makes you grateful for all you have will hurt feelings.

    2: Remember not everyone wants to be posted on your blog. Check before posting pictures of friends or using their names.

    1. Good point. Although our intentions may be to be honest and open it's important to respect our brothers and sisters, their way of life, and their privacy.

  2. I LOVE the scheduler. Then when I'm in the "mood" to blog, I just do a bunch at once and it looks to everyone else that I'm blogging all month long.

  3. I especially like the tip of being honest on your bad days. I guess one might be afraid that writing a post like that might be discouraging, but I'm sure it's best to keep things realistic. Great tips!! I've just started my second attempt at a blog and I hope to stick to this one this time. Thanks!

  4. My tip would be to write a blog, sleep on it, and then read it again. You would be surprised how many mistakes in spelling and grammar you can find with fresh eyes. Not to mention all the little changes that you'll want to make now that you've read your whole blog typed up and formatted and with pictures.

    I'm not very good with the "scheduler", once I write a blog it's hard for me to let it sit. I just want to get it out there! But I have found it helpful to keep a file open with blog ideas. Interesting subjects, ideas or pictures that aren't quite a full blog yet but can inspire your next story. Collecting ideas and stories this way helps me to group them together. And if something does happen to come up on the subject I have an "almost finished" blog ready and waiting. This also helps because we all know missionaries and need-greaters are very busy and it's easy to forget a great story or idea we wanted to write about. But writing a few sentences between brushing your teeth and putting your service shoes on will help you remember that great idea you had.

    A Missionary's Life