Everything you need to know about blogging successfully.
If you've ever thought of starting a blog and hope to run it successfully then you need a road map to guide your journey. Having an idea and the capability to write is just the prerequisite for blogging but your success will depend on how good you are at juggling the various factors which affect your total readership. Here, we take a look at the most important aspects of blogging and how you can ensure that your blogs hit the bulls-eye every time.
Who to begin writing for?
What are you going to write about?
Research and discover
Make it your priority
As you plan your first blog post and mull over the idea, keep in mind the first set of audience who would read your post. It could be close friends, family members, colleagues, or close acquaintances who would become your first readers. They will, therefore, also become your first validators.
Write your blogs for them to begin with. Initially, they will read because it's you who is writing but they will continue reading only if your content keeps them engaged. Their response (positive, negative, or neutral) will tell you, at the very beginning itself, if you are on the right path or not.
It may very well be that the topic you wish to write on may not be of interest to the people you know, in which case, you can share the first posts on social media for a somewhat larger audience to test its acceptability.
Now that you have a certain set of audience in your mind, you need to work on the content plan. What you write about will define who your future audience will be and how many people would become your readers. So, how do you decide what to write about? Keep the following aspects in mind:
a) Expertise - People prefer reading those who are an expert in their respective fields. For example, people interested in athletics would definitely read Usain Bolt's blogs since he is a top athlete. If he starts writing about fitness and athleticism, readers would definitely flock in to read. While you need not be at Usain's level, you need to figure out the subject on which you have more than an average level of expertise. The idea is to create a space for yourself where your words have an impact.
b) Consistency - Blogging successfully is a marathon and not a sprint. You need endurance and stamina to keep going and consistency to keep performing. It should not be the case that you run out of topics to write on after just a month of launching your blog. So, before you write the first word of your blog, try framing a long-term content map for yourself. Jot down the ideas, think about variations, brainstorm on titles, and start when you feel confident that you would be able to generate content consistently.
c) Analyze the effect of your content - Try to understand the effect of your content. Is your content meant to entertain or to inform? Would it appeal to your reader's emotions or their reasoning? Are you writing to influence opinions or trying to share your own? 'To what end' are you writing? If you have a good idea about the kind of impact you wish to have with your blogs, you would be able to pick the topics much better.
d) Be yourself - The most important element of your blog posts would be the individuality you bring to them. Your voice, more than anything else, would help you create a loyal fan base. Play to your strengths. For example, if you are funny then try to bring humor to your posts. If you are analytical, then engage your audience with your iron-clad reasoning. Add a personal flavor to your posts and your fans would admire the flair which comes with it.
To succeed as a blogger and to stay current with your content you need to do research. This allows you to discover new topics as well as develop new perspectives for yourself.
a) Find out your competitors - Research thoroughly about other content creators who are working on the same subject as you. Go through their content, not to plagiarise, but to understand what they are doing to succeed. Monitor their content to compare with yourself and find ways of improving your own work if they are performing better than you.
b) Discover new trends - Content trends keep changing every day. What is popular now may be boring tomorrow. As a blogger, you need to monitor the trends and the new techniques content producers are employing every day to engage their audience.
It is not enough that you have enough content and you publish them consistently, it is the quality of your writing which will make you stand out from the crowd. Be concise, clear, and to the point. Write simply and express clearly. The easier it is for your audience to read you, the better your interaction with them would be. Keep improving your writing techniques as the way you frame your words would make all the difference in the world.
If you are planning to become a successful blogger then you need to make it your priority. Blogging sporadically tells your audience that you are not serious about blogging and their interest in your content declines as well. The fact is that if you yourself cannot give priority to your writing, why would someone else give priority to reading you. Successful bloggers work hard to keep their audience interacting and they have done so by being on top of their game, every single time.