My Blog Is My Bestie
It seems like blogs are a dime a dozen these days. The Internet is inundated with them. It’s like the idea of blogging exploded over the last decade. Today one can find a blog on just about any subject. You don’t just want to wake up and smell the coffee, right? You want to drill down on the best coffee beans or explore coffees of the world. I know a guy who has a blog. Are you a spice-girl who lives in the kitchen cooking up all kinds of delicious dishes? There are recipe blogs galore. Oh, you love a brewski on Friday night but downing a few isn’t enough to satiate your beer knowledge thirst? As my dear departed momma used to say, “I’d bet my head on a chopping block. . .” there’s a blog about that. Wine, and chocolates, and workouts, oh, my! Google that $hit, you’ll stumble on dozens to the 10th power.
Okay, that brings me to author and writing blogs. Aspiring authors are advised to create a blog. Sounds good on paper, I mean in digital form, but it’s not as easy as it appears. If you’re already a published author, it’s a bit more straightforward because you have a theme at the ready - your book. It’s a starting point to build around. If you’re a wannabe author, you’ll need to figure out your niche. What do you wish to blog about? Who is your target audience? Once you’ve established that, compile fresh articles relating to your topic. Make sure you write in a way that showcases your voice and style. Design a logo and home page, figure out how often you’ll add content, and get blogging.
Ha, I made it sound so easy. It’s not, it took me several years to finally launch my Wordy Tips & Tidings blog. And I had help. My golden tech guru, Alyssa, took my website ideas and breathed life into them. She designed my website, logo, home page etc. Her mad skills were, and still are an immeasurable tool I rely on for troubleshooting site issues and expanding as needed. In fact, the idea of blogging was one I deflected for a long time. That’s probably because many of the blogs I read were boring and tedious. I lose focus when I’m bombarded with too much text.
I didn’t enter the blogging realm with the expectation of cornering the market on blogs. I hoped readers would like what I had to say. That they’d find my articles, writing tips, and author interviews exciting, inspiring, helpful. I thought I was blogging to help writers and would-be authors. I quickly realized that blogging helped me. It made me a better writer. It helped me sharpen my voice. Since I add content two to three times a week, I learned efficiency, precision, and how to accomplish research in a timely manner. While educating others, I discovered a few tips of my own. That’s why my blog is my bestie.
Thinking of starting a blog? Keep a few things in mind and you’ll be on your way.
Establish your niche and target audience, as explained above, then pivot to article ideas that will bring out your true voice and writing style. A unique voice and clever style will help make your blog a success. Readers want more than info; they want to get to know you. In my case I accomplish this by sharing my own writing struggles. I help others ward off mistakes and I get down to the nitty-gritty about what works and what to avoid. Your blog may be very different but it’s your style and personality that will keep readers clicking on your URL.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give those wishing to create a blog is to keep your info short. Break up big paragraphs with images. Find those related to your article and get creative. Use a website like Canva to design your own images, banners, boxes, and posts with artistic flair, fonts, and colors. Add related links to your articles whether they take readers to your previous articles or to other websites. Use bullet points and numbers to separate info or fashion a box using Canva and throw that info inside it.
To draw readers to your blog, promote your website and articles on all your social media. Don’t be shy about asking others to share your posts and links.
Add a comment section to your blog and encourage readers to share their thoughts. Answer any questions and respond with emojis to let followers know you care what they have to say.
PLEASE, I can’t emphasize this enough, check and recheck your articles for typos, spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. I’m obsessive about this and do find errors. No one is perfect, so it’s possible a mistake got past my eagle eye, but I do try. Trust me, no one wants to read blogs with repeated mistakes.
Or I should say . . .