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Thursday, 5 October 2017

Blogging Tips!


Hello there! This post is going to be about advice to those wanting to start their own blog, those who already have a blog who want to grow their audience, or those who just want some tips on expanding and improving their blog.


Me tryna be a stereotype
when I had braces
I started blogging when I was very young, about nine; it was something my dad encouraged my brother and me to do. (I’ve also always wanted to be a writer, and blogging is a great platform for practicing writing). Since then I’ve had a few blogs, most of which I’ve deleted. (I have a philosophy blog that I only posted one thing on; click here to have a look). The one I’m currently working on is the one that I have spent the most time, energy and dedication on. 

So, the tips I can give regarding blogging:

Have a clear topic in mind. What kind of blog is your blog? What is it going to be about? There are different types of blogs; personal blogs, fashion blogs, travel blogs, political blogs, life skills blogs, marketing blogs, culinary blogs...the list goes on. If your blog is a way for you to grow your business or is about marketing strategies or other stuff I don’t understand, it's a professional blog. A ‘personal’ blog is more like a diary; it’s a way of letting off steam or sharing your voice with the world. This is a nice way to communicate your ideas and thought in a way so some people close to you and those in the online world can read it.

My blog is a social comment ‘opinion’ blog; I write my opinions on things. It’s not a personal blog because I don’t write about my day-to-day life. I do write about some very personal things online but it’s more in context with a post I’m writing (or as a way to bring up a subject that may help others open up about their own sad experiences, such as mental illness, bullying, trauma etc). For example, I have some posts about school and education, and I link in personal anecdotes and experiences with the overall topic. Something like religion or politics, which is purely based on my opinion as opposed to experience, is going to be less personal and more 'factual', with facts being used to back up my opinions.

Think how often you want to post. I started this blog in January; it’s October and I have over 20k views, which to me is great and unexpected. I think posting daily has contributed to my surge in views; I started off averaging at about a thousand views a month and currently my view count per month is three-four thousand, and hopefully will continue to expand. I typically post every day, and started off twice/thrice a week. How often you want to post is entirely up to you. I post daily because I’m constantly writing and thinking and always have something ‘to say’ or to comment on. 

Once you start blogging, you’ll hopefully find yourself getting into a nice rhythm of how often you post. (It also depends on how ‘seriously’ you take your blog, but we’ll get into that). I recommend starting out at once a week, as this gives you a lot of space to think about what to write and communicate your ideas over the course of the week. I typically write out my posts once, and then paste them onto Blogger and edit them, as well as adding images and relevant links. You also want to post regularly as it will attract regular readers and commenters, and make people take you more seriously as they will expect regular content from you.

Have a clear goal in mind. Why do you want to blog? Is it to let off steam? Is it to connect with others online? Is it to educate people? Is it to grow your business and make money? Perhaps it’s just for fun, a way to document parts of your life. Whatever the reason, make sure you have a ‘purpose’ and some sort of goal regarding blogging, particularly if you want to blog regularly.
GOAL!
For me, blogging is part of building up my online profile. My dream is to be an author and musician, and I share some of my poems and fiction and music on my blog, as well as my regular writings. Blogging is ‘independent journalism’, and can be a great way to build up an online profile in order to get yourself known in the world of writing.

Respond to your readers. If people comment, respond! I respond to most of my comments, apart from when I feel I have nothing to add to what the commenter has said. If someone asks you a question, respond. The internet is about communication. Exchanging ideas and sharing information with others. I don’t have comment moderation on my blog as I don’t want anything to prohibit people from leaving comments. Some people do; if that’s your preference that is fine. Some of my posts do have ‘silly’ or ‘random’ comments, but this is the internet and as someone who already has a YouTube channel I’m sort of used to that already.

Read other blogs similar to what you write. I watch A LOT of YouTube videos, and follow YouTubers that think similarly to me as they give me inspiration. I also have a selection of blogs at the sidebar of my blog which you can check out. Because I post about a range of topics, not just one thing, I read stuff that covers different topics. A well-known online blog that I do like to read and follow on facebook is 'Atheist Republic.’ Looking at stuff similar to you will give you ideas on writing material, and allow cross-commenting and connection. 

Make it look good. The formatting of my blog is simple and easy to read. At the top are headings of all the different types of stuff I post, and a search bar to search content. I have ‘read more’ links on all of my posts, apart from the shorter ones. No one wants to see a massive block of text; it’s overwhelming and off-putting for readers. Make sure you have images, relevant links to other articles that are similar to what you have written, and if necessary, videos. Have a clear background that people can easily read.

The internet is saturated with information, and if an article looks boring or tricky to read, within several seconds chances are you’ll have moved on to something else. You want to grab the attention of your readers within seconds with a clear image and catchy opening line or title. My most popular post does this; ignoring the content, the opening line is something that attracts people because it’s an unusual and humorous thing to say. If a sentence opens with ‘I love dick; I love grinding on dick;’ chances are people are going to click on that. I could have started it by saying ‘I don’t agree with the concept of gay pride because....’ but that wouldn’t have gotten half as many views.

In terms of word count, I think it just depends on the content. My posts vary in length; some are pretty long like this one, some are shorter, and some are in the middle. It’s good to make posts as short as you can, but if the topic is engaging enough then people will read. (And how it looks plays a massive role in this too.) Moreover, if you're writing something 'informative', be sure to add relevant links to relevant articles or other posts of yours. 

4 comments:

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    1. Looks very interesting, nice formatting and a range of intriguing topics!

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