What makes a Blog Successful?
This week’s blog is all about successful blogging! Firstly, let’s quickly look at what a blog is. A blog is a personal website packed with features enabling you to develop a ‘voice’ among the online community. For those people out there that are trying to convey a message across a wide audience, whether it be sharing ideas/opinions on a topic or even sharing their personal experiences, successful blogging is perhaps one of the most crucial and fundamental steps in doing that.
Before you write your blog, there are questions that you must ask yourself. These questions will not only aid in writing an effective blog but you will also be able to clearly identify the path in which you want to take your blog post. The following three questions, in my opinion, are the most crucial questions you should ask yourself:
- What is the purpose of my blog? – By identifying the purpose of writing your blog, you will provide yourself with a clear path of where you want to take your blog and what you want the end product to look like. Stating the purpose of your blog will not only help you, but it will also provide your readers with an idea on what they will be reading. Identifying the purpose will also aid in answering the next question.
- What is the message that I am trying to convey? – Writing about something you are interested in can be easy. However, without an underlying message, your readers will not have a clear understanding of why you wrote the blog and what message you are trying to convey. In the end, it will just be a bunch of words put together. So have a clear message and this will leave your readers wanting more!
- To whom am I directing this message to? – Who is your target audience and why? You can direct your message to all demographics or you could if you want, focus on a specific demographic. If it’s a personal experience, it can be all demographics. However, if it’s something you feel strongly about that relates to a specific set of demographics, it would be best to make that clear. In saying this, you must also consider the topic you are writing about.
One thing that most people forget to create before writing a blog is a blog strategy. Gone are the days when launching a blog and publishing posts was enough. In order to be successful in the online community, you are going to have work your tail! Here are a few strategies that I think are most crucial in developing your online image.
- Content: With anything you write, your content must be of a professional standard and must not include foul language and slang. Another ‘no no’ is of course plagiarism. If you have used another person’s work, give them credit for the work they have produced and include the source as a reference. Including a link to your references is a great way of providing your readers with a chance to read the original content.
- Learn from others (including your own mistakes of course): Learning from others is one of the easiest ways for you to improve your blog posts. So observe how others write and layout their blogs. Be creative and lure your readers in, make them come back for more! If you can, add pictures and videos to your blogs. This makes it easier for your readers.
- Consistency: When publishing your blog posts, keep in mind that all your blogs must be consistent. Keep your formatting such as headings, font, font size, line spacing and your blog layout the same for every post. Be professional and take pride in what you write!
- Networking: Social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + are all great tools that will help you in getting your blog out there for more people to read. Ever heard of the ‘viral effect’? Posting a link to your blog on your social networking sites will attract friends/work colleagues. If they like your blog they could possibly share your blog with their friends and colleagues. Before you know it, your blog has gone viral!
If you’d like to read up on other strategies for ways of improving your blog posts, Lorelle VanFossen has provided a detail insight on blogging strategies which I think will help anyone starting off.
You can also watch this quick 2 minute YouTube video on ‘Tips for Launching a Successful Blog’.