Recently I have been helping several friends start blogs to fuel their main business or create a platform for their area of expertise.
Perhaps you are considering starting a blog in the new year.
Usually, I say start the blog by following your instincts, and I’ll review and make suggestions. Starting with little knowledge of digital media and a burning passion to talk about one of their favorite interests, they all make the same mistakes.
So here I offer first time bloggers the basics to creating a COMPELLING blog. Please note, if you’re blogging for yourself and friends, your goal is not to be “compelling.” These notes are for those who want to convey a point, motivate people to absorb information, and generate a loyal audience.
1. SAY HELLO – Write a short introduction to what a visitor will find on your site.
2. POST PICTURES – Almost every post should have a picture so readers can recognize the topic visually. Especially if you’re talking about a product. They might not know the name, but can recognize the packaging.
3. WRITE POTENT POSTS – Communicate the most important details in the least amount of words. Learn to convey your ideas without rambling. People’s attention span is VERY short online, so you need to make sure you communicate the most important components. If the reader wants to know more, they should visit the website.
4. MAKE FRIENDS – Most of the time, you aren’t trying to be journalist, but more of an advisor. Unless you are truly an expert in your field, write like you are talking to a friend. Be personable. Interject your experience, but try to obstain from rambling. Your objective is to communicate information and have people get to know you as a person as they read regularly.
5. WRITE NATURALLY – If you aren’t a walking dictionary, don’t use the thesaurus often. And use meaningful adjectives. “Amazing” is often overused, but instead, try to describe how you really feel about product/experience.
6. USE LINKS – Insert hyperlinks to company websites, relevant articles, and posts you have written in the past about the topic. Not only is this helpful for your reader, but it will help expand your reach online.
7. CHOOSE RELEVANT TOPICS – Discuss what you love, but make sure it is applicable to the season, current events, technology news, new to the market, etc.
8. INTERACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE – Post your email and allow comments. Readers will have questions and often those inquiries will inspire future posts. If one person has the question or sentiment, you can bet that others do as well.
9. RAMBLE AWAY – Don’t feel like you can’t post personal notes or write extensively about a topic. If you keep most of your posts potent and elaborate every once in a while, loyal readers will recognize that you are particularly passionate about it, and choose to read it or skip it.
10. REBLOG – Take content from other blogs you enjoy and post them on your site. This shows your audience what inspires you and that you recognize other relevant people in the field. It will also expand your audience and presence in the blogosphere.
For beginners, I suggest starting with the tumblr platform. It’s very self-explainitory. However, if you ever have aspirations to build out the blog into something more, you should take the time to learn and use WordPress now.
Now you have the basics to begin. Happy posting!