Don’t focus on having a great blog.
Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.
It is still early in the year. Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions or goals is to write more. Maybe you have been promising yourself for several years that you’d finally get started on your own blog. But you’re not sure where to begin.
If writing is an art, then, blogging is one way of using words to come up with art. This is because people who are into blogging are also artists who carefully choose words to best describe their feelings, sentiments, wishes, and desires. Blogs were first introduced in the mid-1990s, as web logging. It has continued to grow and has gradually saturated the virtual community making the Internet a viable source of greater information for personal and commercial use.
To begin building your blog, all you really need is an account with blog providers, like Blogger or WordPress, to name a few. In most cases, these kinds of blogs are free of charge.
Generally, blogs are created for personal use. Like keeping a journal, people are able to write about their daily adventures, sentiments, and whatever ideas they want to express online. But with the rise of online businesses, blogs had gradually taken the limelight in providing businesses with an opportunity to boost their productivity and presence online. This is where the business blogs have come into play.
Business blogs are created basically to advertise the services or products of a certain web site, online business or brick-and-mortar business in order to increase sales. Moreover, business blogs are also one way of promoting the company so that the other readers will know that a particular company has an online presence. With blogs, entrepreneurs are able to establish a name in the virtual marketplace through the use of informative articles that can be useful in the reader’s life. From there, it is possible to make money with blogs by syndicating it to your business’ web site. This can be done through the RSS technology.
So, if you are thinking of creating a blog, whether for business or for pleasure, you need to know some basic things to help you get started and build up some interest online.
1. Consider your audience
Even if your blog is generally personal, you should still consider the minds of your readers. You have to think of something that would interest them. After all, most people who write blogs are not totally confined to their own personal interests. Most bloggers want to be “heard” (or read) and would love to be better known, even if it’s for just a few minutes. So, it is very important to write in a manner and about topics that would interest other people.
2. Pictures do speak a thousand words
To make your blogging worth the browsing effort of your readers, it is very important that you include at least one picture. This does not mean that you need to place a picture of yourself in every posting. Almost any photo will do. But, it is always helpful if it is related to the topic of the post. What you are trying to do is to get noticed, and you do this by drawing the eyes and attention of potential readers into your “story.”
Always be careful to check licenses and accreditations if the pictures you decide to use are not your own personal property. Be mindful that the images you use represent someone else’s hard work, and they should get the appropriate credit for it.
This is also another area where you need to keep your audience in mind. Know what appeals to their senses, and what they may find offensive. Yes, it’s your blog, but you want someone else to read it too. It is an old, but true adage that it takes a long time to build up a reputation, and only moments to destroy it.
3. Make your blog constructive and beneficial
Even though you are entirely free to write anything you want, what you write should still be created to be beneficial to your readers. This can be in the form of supplying some knowledge, helpful advice, a new perspective or a service. Perhaps a review of a book you read recently, or a movie.
4. Avoid making your blog multifaceted or complicated
In order to have an interesting blog, try not to overuse some highly technical terms or words. Even if the people reading your blog are not in the same “industry,” your writing should be approachable and easily digestible to almost everyone. After all, with rare exception, you are not writing a scientific discourse or debate. So make what you want or need to say plain. Stick to simple facts. Bear in mind that most people will be initially scanning rather than scrutinizing each post word for word.
5. Make your blog interactive
As much as possible and if your capacity will allow it, make your blog interactive. You can do this by placing some video or audio clips in your blog.
Place an area for comments or for some feedbacks. In this way, you can get some impressions or reactions of other people. Who knows, you might even gain some friends and a loyal following just by making them feel at home on your blog site.
Indeed, blogs are rarely created just for the mere fun of it. They should also have a purpose. So, if you want to try to harness this craft, the best way is to start writing.
What advice would you add to this short list?
What questions do you have about getting started?