When you think of the word Journalism many things come to mind, but with the rapid extension of technology progressing through the lives of millions each day, one of the keys is online blogging. An array of thousands take to blogging each and every day, hoping to hit the big time … however, they’ll never make it because they keep making the same mistake.
With great blogging, comes great irresponsibility — I mean responsibility. There’s more to success than just jotting down your ideas on digital-scratch paper and publishing it. Believe it or not, writing the actual post is the easy part. There’s a stack of stairs to climb before viewers will even begin to consider your content. It’s not the fact that what you write is bad, it’s the fact that they just don’t know you, your site, or what you’ll even be writing about in general. However, have no fear, that’s why I’m making this list; to help novices like you spark off your dream career of a well-known blogger.
1. Social Media
Unlike in 1999, where a website consisting of how to fix a clogged toilet would wow the common man, today’s game is another story. Many bloggers, who strive for comments, views, and support, are missing the main step that will actually set their site off. It’s not the content, it’s not who you are, it all starts with Social Media.
Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and so much more opt small writers every day to bigger and bigger writers, until their sites are the next ESPN. When you sign up for a social media page, it’s now your page. When you write your content, post it to the media page, it shoots out not to all your everyone’s, but to everyone who is following you, (if you choose to make a fan page on Facebook that is, which is highly recommended). Look at it this way: if you have a mere 100 followers on your Facebook page, and you shoot a link to all of them every time you post, you can best guarantee at least 40 of them will see the link, and, ranging from the interesting of the content, at least 20-30 of them will click on the link. It’s small, yes, but that’s 20 or 30 more views than you didn’t have before!
But it gets better. You’ve heard of the saying, “What goes on the internet stays on the internet.” Well, that’s exactly right. You never know who will pick up your link off of Facebook, they might share it with their friends, who will share it with their friends, or they might find it really interesting and follow your site. Without a doubt, involving yourself in social media is a much-needed gig for any starting blogger. Don’t make the mistake of starting it too late … gain your followers now and create a stable fan base early.
2. Write content in the category of your choice … and stick to it.
I cannot stress this enough. If you love basketball, don’t make a blog on cooking strategy You’ll find yourself grinding yourself to make new post, when it should really be you wanting to make new content.
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In other words, if you choose to do a blog on coding, but really have no experience with coding, it won’t end up with the best result. However, if you choose to do a blog on your profession, basketball for example, then you can post new content daily without even having to think about. You should always write about what you want, and not what you think will get you the most views. Because readers of all kinds will pick up if you’re just writing for the views … and believe me, that will annoy many first-time readers.
Regarding what I said above, switching topics will have your readers scratching their heads. If you write one blog on cooking, and another on football recaps, your readers won’t know what to read … ending up in them leaving your site for good. Pick a category of writing, and stick with it. You can always make a separate website for something you want to do, however, once you’ve picked a category, it’s key to remain loyal to it and your fans.
3. Put Effort into everything you write
Right now, I sit at 627 words, and am basically sharing everything I’ve learned over the years of blogging with you. However, as I mentioned in number two, it’s not hard to jot out a post like this because I’m doing what I love to do.
This number three combines with number two in a way. If you aren’t doing something you want to do, you don’t have a chance of putting quality effort into every post you do. And without quality effort into every post, you can say goodbye to the dream of having a steady fan base.
However, with that being said, if you do put effort into everything you write, it won’t go unnoticed. Granted, not everything you post has to consist of law-degree type material and thousands of words, however, don’t try to rush a post and end up with an airy article just to meet your set quota for the day or week. If you don’t have time to post, don’t post.
4. Cease the local trend
If you blog about the daily news, and something about Barack Obama stating something obscure about the Benghazi attacks, don’t hesitate to jump right on it. Don’t wait a few days and lazily put a post together. No, when you hear the big news, head for your keyboard and start pounding away. Your readers will want this, and once you provide it to them, they will water over it every time. Just posting Top 5’s and historical post will bore your readers, and likely lure them to a new, more interesting site. Granted, with that being said, a Top 5 and something historical is always nice to have on your site for a good read.
5. Engage your readers with prompts and visuals
Whenever I see a post without any pictures or prompts, it makes me cringe. It especially gets to me when the author complains about not having comments and views … well, what do you expect?
On my website, I strive to put images every 500-or-some words. A picture is like an automatic refresher for any reader. If you’re reading word upon word, it’s not just tiring on the eyes, but it’s boring in general. However, adding a picture here and there will clear up the reader’s mind and set him back to reading the content.
Engaging your readers with prompts is a key to receiving comments. Using words like “I” and “you” is a fundamental technique advanced bloggers use. If you notice, I’ve used both of those words frequently in this post it self. However, it does have its limits. Plus, if you are writing about news and attempting to remain un-biased, restraining from overuse of those words is a good idea. Granted, it never hurts to throw in a few.
As a side note to this, I would suggest putting words bold and italics, asking the reader what they thought about the post and any ideas. It’s a great strategy I’ve been using on my site for years, and continue to use this day.
Remember, doing all of these things will lure more and more visitors to your site each day, but if you don’t write content frequently at least every day, none of it will be useful. Make sure you have a consistent amount of articles posted each week. Personally, I would suggest no less than five posts a day. On my site, I strive for 4-5 … a day. It seems like a lot, I realize, however, for each post is more views.