In this social media age, everyone and their cousin has a blog. The internet has made it incredibly easy to express yourself and talk about your passions online. Blogs range in topic, but a few popular ones are food, relationships, business, humor, and books/writing.
So many people are blogging, but how many people are blogging about blogging? Writers are told that one of the first things they need for their platform is a website and blog, but how should they go about starting one? I’m sure there are plenty of tips and tricks out there on the internet. In fact, I’ve read blogs that discuss how to be a successful blogger, but the truth is that I’ve learned most of what I know from just doing it.
Experience is often the best teacher.
But you came here for actual, tangible tips. Well, my tips are quite simple. Brainstorm, write, post, repeat.
90% of blogging is coming up with ideas to write about. When you’re posting on a weekly schedule, it gets hard to keep it fresh. This is why I love using mind maps. Mind maps are where you start with a keyword (the topic of your blog) and come up with as many words or phrase that relate to the keyword in five minutes. So, if my keyword is writing, I may include words such as publishing, editing, querying, novels, genres, etc. Within a few minutes, my page is full of related topics or words that I can write about.
Keeping an ongoing list of ideas is the key to being a great blogger. Your audience wants new content and having ideas stored away will save you from scrambling at the last minute to come up with something relevant.
Now for the actual writing part. Blog posts are pretty formulaic. There’s usually some sort of introduction, followed by the main points you want to discuss, and it ends with a conclusion that wraps things up. You may not like the idea of formulas, but the more you blog, the more you will find that you develop your own unique formula and voice. You may number your main points like I do. You may not. You may start with a funny story, or maybe you’ll start with quote or statistic. Regardless of the specifics, do what feels most natural to you. Your audience wants to feel like they’re being invited in for a conversation, not a lecture.
The posting part is easy. You just click the publish button, or you can schedule the post for a specific day and time. You can include tags, categories, and images on your posts to help keep things organized and to help with SEO. Once the post is up, don’t just let it sit. Share it with friends, family, and other followers on your social media accounts. You’ll learn over time which accounts tend to be successful with your blog posts and bring the most engagement.
As soon as you’ve shared your post, you should already be thinking about the next one. Blogging works best when it’s consistent, so you know that next post will be coming around again soon. Don’t let it catch you by surprise. Keep a list of ideas and be attentive to life and social media for new ideas to add. What questions are people asking or pondering? What ways can you address the topics that are important to those around you?
Keep a calendar with your posting schedule to stay on top of things. I can promise you that if you don’t give yourself deadlines, you will fall behind on posting.
Was this information helpful? What other questions do you have about blogging? Who are some of your favorite bloggers who are doing these things well? I’d love to hear more about it in the comments!
Megan Burkhart (writing under the pen name Megan Lynne) is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her recent awards include the 1st place Tar Heel Award for her speculative fiction novel and an honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition in the inspirational category. Megan is also a junior agent with Cyle Young Literary Elite and a freelance editor with Sherpa Editing. Find out more about her at meganlynneauthor.weebly.com