This part conveys information about blogging materials or ideas about what to blog about, to hopefully dispel some of the road-blocks to blogging that many experience. Part #2 will concentrate on the inner workings behind your new blog: how one may go about customizing it and utilizing the space available to them, for their advantage.
I got curious enough to enter into Google: ‘Blogging Definition’ and got back 18 million results. Seems there’s no shortage of opinion as to just what blogging is all about, so I chose the top one which states as follows:
‘a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites. 2. a single entry or post on such a website: She regularly contributes a blog to the magazine’s website.’
I believe there’s a lot more to it than the above encapsulation because one might blog about little known facts, poetry, songs, other peoples blogs, health, recipes, science… You name it, we blog about it. Yet how does one consider just what most people are interested in reading about? That’s as least as important as techniques one might use to compose a blog entry. Those are the two most important questions I shall answer for you here:
- Topics of General Interest – Obviously ‘Blogging’ is a topic of interest. Believe it or not, even experienced bloggers sometimes grapple primarily with what captures the interest of their peers. What’s spooky, is that we’re all interested in each others social interactions in general, and sometimes we’re a little hesitant about presenting the awkward side of that coin. The hard part is, that’s the side of the coin we’re all intrigued about. Chances are, if it’s about something easy to handle, others can handle it easily as well, and won’t be interested.
- Captivate your audience – If it is about an experience, it had better be intriguing! It had better keep your audience guessing about the outcome until the end, or why need they keep reading? It ought to contain a climax and an anti-climax. That is, it should gradually build to a crescendo, and then be summed up with an object lesson that everyone can gain from this ‘unusual’ experience.
- Start at the beginning – A lot of people complain that they have a topic in mind, but don’t know where to start. Start with a subheading called : ‘Introduction’. Generally and briefly explain what your blog entry is going to be about. Do this by answering the five W’s of all journalism: Who, What, When Where and Why. Then use your post to elaborate on them. This will not only give your audience an overview to follow, it will also help you to set up how you intend to explain the order of events and prioritize your approach.
- Condense and confide – Try not to be to wordy about any one thing. Always get to the point, and don’t forget to ask your readers what they think about your conclusions and opinions about the matter. This allows the reader the confidence to comment, if they believe you have an open mind about it. Most people don’t have a lot of time. That’s why it’s good to mix up your entries with, picture quotes, recipes, poems, songs, short stories and humorous antidotes: because they’re short. Some people buy books for the pictures? No! You can compose some long posts as well, as long as they concern complicated topics designed to instill confidence, such as blogging…
- Be controversial – No one’s going to care about the ins and outs of tying your shoe laces! Talk about how you handle, sex, murder, ignorance, injustice, community affairs, prejudice, world shaking events, what’s wrong with what’s right… Make bold assertions, and suggest solutions. What do people like to watch on TV generally? Blood, guts, intrigue, survival, humor, war, intrigue, mystery, suspense, violence, a good horror shtick? Or how well little, johnny did on his essay? Just be sure to be unbiased that’s all. Do you think black Americans have too many special privileges? You can say so without calling them dirty, or saying you think they have a low I.Q. or commit all the crimes on Earth: arguments of the closed minded… People will agree or disagree with you. But at least it won’t be boring milk toast! To pose pertinent questions, you’re just going to have to shoulder some amount of risk.
- Take full advantage of point form – And use ‘Bold’ on the points you expound upon as I did here, to give your audience the option of quickly jumping to the part of the post that interests them most! It saves them time, and you aggravation for lack of likes. In other words, don’t underestimate the value of properly formatting your entry… Examples of point form posts may include: ’10 ways to overcome fear’ or ‘The 10 best movies of 2014’… If you’re not sure, you’ll be surprised how quickly they come to you, once you begin.
- Find topics over The Internet – That’s what it’s there for! Don’t copy it word for word. Make reference and give the website if it’s extensive. Or, read through it quickly, and write about it, developing your own opinion. Since we all crave pictures so much, I start a lot of my searches with ‘pictures of’ and ‘picture quotes by’ famous people that tend to captivate audiences, such as: Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman etc.. They didn’t get famous by sitting on their butts all their lives! They’re hard working, intelligent people who usually have something worthwhile to say.
- People enjoy ‘How to’ posts – Em… As long as it’s not about how to tie your own shoelaces… ‘How to comment’ or ‘How to avoid sarcasm in 3 easy steps’ etc.. Something that’s going to grab peoples attention.
- Feature and reblog other people – But don’t just concentrate on that alone, or you’ll loose your own identity. To many people just concentrate on one subject in an attempt to write very little, and therefore narrow their audience to people who like to read very little about you!
- Don’t knock yourself out – Don’t build your life around blogging or you’ll become a Drone! On those days you don’t feel like blogging, those are the days you can just through up a quote, or jot down a spontaneous 5 minute poem.
- Don’t forget The Reader – Post first. Then go to The Reader. Comment often in a sensible and helpful manner if need be. Commend them for their efforts, give them likes if they deserve them, and chances are, they’ll reciprocate on your blog
- Build upon your followers in other ways as well – Become involved on other forums such as: Facebook, Twitter and Google+… Leave comments and pictures there as well. Build up a rapor (STINKING DICTIONARY!) with them, and make some friends before mentioning your blog and include reference to a post, only about once every two weeks or so. This is a case where: ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ really DOES apply. If you keep bugging them to come, they’ll purposely avoid you.
- Believe in yourself – If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anybody else to? You must exude an air of confidence, encouragement, kindness, humor, whit, make suggestions, composure, promote ideas, lead the way, and set it by example… Look at what everybody else does, then don’t do it! Be unique. Stand apart from the crowd and walk the road least traveled. It’s a lot less crowded there, brings people’s attention to you, and causes everybody else to quip: ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’
This is the anti-climax I was talking about. Be free spirited, observe others blogging techniques, and learn from them! Speak from your heart, yet don’t forget to back it up with common sense and reasoning. Don’t be overly religious or political. I know I’ve said before that those are the two things that control us and therefore should be talking more about, but you can’t fight City Hall. People set up huge road-blocks against that because they choose to decide for themselves, and that’s the name of that tune… And it IS cheesy to pedal your goods over a basically free forum. The people who do that, can be found in your spam queue. Give stuff away freely! The Internet used to be like that once. Keep in mind people have to pay for a connection in the first place, and own computers that essentially come to them broken and vulnerable. It doesn’t mean you’re a Sucker! Well, if you’ve gotten this far, at the very least, you’ll read a lot of blogs. ‘May good fortune smile upon most of you…’ – Spartacus