What gets read?
Reading my blog, you would think there were 20 contributing writers or one seriously bipolar blogger! My posts range from funny and light hearted to informative and political. I needed to discover what my readers wanted to read and balance it with what my writing preferences are.
Research, research and more research! Think of it as FB stalking but for blogs, you need to see what your fellow bloggers are writing about and it helps to learn from the leaders in the profession. They are obviously doing something right, pay particular attention to their keyword phrases and use them in your blog posts initially to get that SEO sensitive writing down!
Informative writing or pretty pictures?
GET CREATIVE! Pictures attract and good writing retains. People scan web pages and only absorb what really interests them, use a relevant picture and catchy headline to grab peoples attention! There is no room for ambiguity, make yourself clear! “Welcome to my new post..” is unnecessarily polite and actually works against you because people aren’t wanting to be welcomed, they want what they are looking for!
Start strong. When an attractive guy tries to sell you perfume, his looks might get your attention but if he opens his mouth and sounds generic and uninspired – his looks soon lose their charm! There is no time for build-up in a blog post – try retain your reader with every line.
You wouldn’t steal a car… don’t steal content!
Einstein said; “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” No idea will be completely original, but when it comes to “borrowing” facts always credit your sources with a mention or link to the original site. The online family believes in sharing, but not stealing.
Know your audience!
You wouldn’t apply for a job starting with “Hiya, you good?”. Bear your audience in mind when you write, would this writing style or content appeal to them? Am I being unnecessarily formal or informal? Try get into the mindset of your audience, even researching what they regularly search and frequently visited blogs.
For my travel blog, I researched similar themed blogs like the Travel Tart (www.thetraveltart.com) and popular travel sites like the Matador Network (www.matadornetwork.com) just to get an idea of what my audience enjoys. I’m not saying be a copycat, think of it as educating yourself to market your product correctly.
Would you read it?
The best advice I ever got when I was puzzling over content: “Would you bother to read it?”. After completing your post, read it and ask yourself: “Is this an enjoyable read?” or “Have I succeeded in what I intended this blog post to be about?” Be proud of your content, it will show in your writing.
Last bit of wisdom would be, ENJOY it! Blogging is meant to be enjoyed, so have a laugh and don’t be afraid to make mistakes – you can only learn from them!