I return to my blog to discuss about the very thing I’m doing: blogging.
Although I’ve taken a break from writing new works, I haven’t taken a break from blogging just yet. It’s been about two years since I started this blog. The world of blogging was still relatively new to me then. Even back then I knew what I wanted this blog to be about: writing. And from those first posts up till now that has been the main focus of my posts. Although my blog has a modest following, it’s been the most prolific and most followed of the two blogs I have out now. What has helped me to continue to keep blogging?
Here are some tips I’ve learned from other bloggers that can help new bloggers out there getting started.
I’ve heard new bloggers lament, I don’t know what to write about. My short answer to that reply: write what you enjoy. I can’t stress this point enough especially for personal blogs. Think about your favorite celebrity, subject or hobby. Isn’t it true that for most for us the things we’re most passionate about, we’ll have plenty to say especially if it’s something we’re well versed in, know from personal experience or research. That principle should apply to blogging. When we blog about topics that we have a personal interest in, we’ll have many things to discuss. And if we don’t know everything (who does) will want to do some more digging. When we write what interests us, we’ll find writing new posts will come more naturally.
However once we make our blogs available to the world-wide web that brings a whole other dimension to think about; readers. That lends itself to questions you have to take into account.
1. What is your blog about?
2. Who is your intended audience?
3. What will interest your target audience?
If we have answers to those questions you’re off to a good start. Your answer to the first question should serve as the guiding force behind the posts you write about. Knowing what the point of the blog early on will help give your blog a focus instead of having a bunch of random incoherent posts. Sometimes though your blogs may contain your personal musings. Those are okay especially if your blog is of a personal nature that mimic that of diary entries. However having a focus gives our blog a sense of consistency. Even if we vary it up every now and then, readers will have an idea of what to expect in terms of content. If your first couple of posts are on a given subject (e.g. fashion, technology, health, sports, photography, writing, etc.) readers will expect future posts to be about that.
That leads into the answers for questions 2 and 3. What you write about will appeal to certain readers. Therefore it’s important to consider the audience of that subject matter and what will appeal to them in future posts. But you still want to write about things that of interest to you as the blogger. You don’t want to get in the habit of writing posts just to take up space, or writing about topics you have zero interest in. Otherwise writing will become more of a chore and it will get boring fast! That’s why it’s important that you write about what you want to write first and then think about your audience. That way you avoid that pitfall. At the same time your blog should attract readers. The types of readers will depend on what you’re blog is about. Having a blog with a focus helps to draw those who will be invested and more likely to appreciate what you have to say. It’s important to strike a proper balance between writing what you like but also what your readers will care about too.
Write Quality Content
Quality may seem subjective. Especially with the different types of blogs and different writing styles. But what applies to virtually all blogs is good writing. That means making sure your grammar, punctuation and spelling is correct. You don’t have to be an English major to run your posts through spell check before hitting “Publish.” It makes your writing more professional not to mention readable. There’s a lot more involved obviously to this like making sure your sentences flow together, watching your tenses etc, but I think you get the idea. This is blogging 101 after all.
You’ll have short posts from time. That’s ok. However you want to aim to write or post something that’s going to be useful or insightful to your readers. Depending on what you’re writing about, your readers may want more ‘meat’ in terms of the content of your posts.
In writing, quality is more important that quantity. Posting regularly is good even recommended. Posting at regular intervals (which I don’t always do lol) is good practice recommended by a lot of bloggers. When followers know when you will post new content there more likely to return. At the same time you have to pace yourself. Although I have more time on my hands now, for the most part, writing a blog post every week let alone once a day was not feasible with my schedule. Not to mention posting daily can pose a challenge in terms of keeping to that schedule let alone coming up with fresh engaging posts. You never want to feel pressured to post just anything for the sake of a deadline if the quality is going to suffer.
Deadlines can be good. It can motivate us to stay on task. If you blog for a news outlet or for money, this will be of greater importance to you and rightly so. For me I try to write a new post every month. Some people post weekly or bi-weekly. I stick to once or twice a month on average. When writing, stick to a routine that works for you.
Connect to your readers
It’s important to connect to your readers. Here are some quick points to help you reach more readers and potential followers.
1. Use catchy titles. Your title is often the first thing viewers see. There’s no hard rule to titles. Generally I try to make them simple and to the point.
2. Tags are your friend. With people searching for blog through tags, using good tags are important. Think of tags as keywords of what your blog covers. You want to aim to use popular tags that people will likely be looking up that are still relevant to your post. It’s even better if you use tags or keywords that are actually in your blog or title.
3. Comment and follow blogs similar to yours. Did you genuinely like what they posted? Show it by liking it and/or commenting. That might bring new eyes to your blog. They’re more likely to return the favor if they see genuine interest vs. a solicitation to read your blog.
4. Make it easy for readers to connect with you. One of the best ways to start is by having an About Page. Make sure to tell readers a little about yourself. What’s your background? Hobbies. Any interesting facts about you? Those are all good things to include without spilling your whole life story. I’m an introvert by nature but even then you need to make it easy to connect with readers. Make sure you have a follow button that’s easily visible so others can follow you if they like what they see. Don’t forget to include share buttons so people can share your posts with others which will drive more traffic to your blog.
5. Continue to keep writing. You only get better by writing more. So get out there and write!