Commit to creating
Content is king. It is the lifeblood of the internet. Content is available in abundance; good content however is quickly becoming a rarity as there are misconceptions about the function of certain platforms such a blog, formally web log in the early years of the Internet.
Are content creators truly aware of what content consumers expect?
Contrary to popular belief, blogs are not personal spaces where you share your deep private thoughts. That idea is dated, it is from a time when blogs were informal diary-like entries by non-technical people. But all that has changed. Blogs are now spaces containing content that users/researchers go to find information published by experts that can help them. These content consumers don’t care about the content creator, they care about the information for which they are searching.
All blogs need to have a WIIFM Factor- What’s In It For Me... If that factor is not present, it will be quickly passed over and never be revisited. If one fails to achieve a revisit, monetizing is out of the question, at least until one understands how to utilize this predominantly free space. My favorite platform is Wix. Many people use Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr among many other, but it doesn't matter, use the one with which you are most comfortable.
Being a serious blogger takes commitment and planning. It is even more difficult when you have a full-time job and you must do your own research. I have found that Its best to pen about four or more blogs before you post the first one to give yourself a little buffer. Its also best to write two at a time to keep the buffer in place. Blogging is a lot like committing to a gym routine, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. But when you stop, it is hard to start again. So it’s better to create an editorial calendar before starting and have some self-imposed deadlines so you can keep your readers edified.
A few tips for mastering the art of blogging and doing so meaningfully:
Create your keywords. What do you want your blog or content to be known for? What are the words or phrases you want to be associated with your brand? Think about this before you begin writing, create your list and find creative and clever ways to include these words or phrases in the body of the blog.
Information you present ought not to be just what your thinking. Yes your opinions are important, however when you decided to blog, you decided to become a part of a larger community - the internet. Draw on what other experts in your area of interest are saying about your subject matter and create links to their site. Be careful not to plagiarize when doing this as that would create a host of problems for your
The number of links will depend on the length of your blog, the rule of thumb is to have at least one per paragraph, however that all depends on the subject matter. If you have expert knowledge in the area, you may be able to write at length without references, however, it is good practice to include others in the field where possible. Have a minimum of 5 links in your blogs and a maximum of 10 for a 500 word blog. Professionals usually have blogs much longer that 500 words, but its a good place to start.
Check before you publish:
Check your links, ensure they go to the right place before you publish. Check your spelling and grammar as often as possible. A Tip: I use a Mac, and before I publish, I copy and paste my content in Notes and select the “speech” option so that the content can be read back to me, this way even if I can’t see my errors, I will hear them. Other softwares exist that can do this, so I would suggest this be utilized by anyone who intends to start blogging seriously. One great way to scrutinize your content is by using the Hemingway Editor or Readable.io.
Keep it conversational:
Find the balance between conversational, academic and professional to represent the tone of the blog.
Graphics and headings are great to break up text into chunks. It makes for easier reading. We tend to like reading lists, so as best as possible, use bullet points and attention-grabbing headings to attract readers to your content.
Photos and Headlines:
Use original photos where possible. Where it is not, create infographics and where that is not possible, create your own abstract images with the help of Canva. For headlines or sub-headings, try to create effective headlines. A great way to test your headlines is use Headline Analyzer.
A Proper Introduction:
Give your readers a proper introduction. After you have created your blogs, resist the need to jump straight into publishing. Make it a point to properly introduce yourself; speak of your background whether regarding your education or your experience and expertise. Tell readers why they should care about what you have to say and why you are saying it. Are you fulfilling a passion to inform, are you trying to build your brand, advance your career? Tell your audience when they can expect new posts and give them a commitment of some sort, a social (media) contract that governs how you will interact with them during the life of the blog.
Once you have taken the leap, it your duty to be in-the-know. You don’t want your blog to be tone def, you want your posts to be intelligent and current. Remember the more you blog, the better you will get at it, so start short and basic if you must, and increase your word count and depth as time goes by.
Thanks for reading. Keep watching this space :)