Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stumble on Your Blog: Blog Content (Part 1)

When I started blogging, I wrote a list of things I was interested in. I was consumed with the thought of filling a niche in. I'm not a person who enjoys craft a whole lot, and I already had a blog about horses with my bestie, HorseFrenzy.

I ended up with my life. So I tried to keep to that, writing posts about my life. But it was hard to conform to, I wanted to blog about other things. So in the end I ditched the idea of being a niche blog, and concentrated of writing what I liked, when I liked.

You've got a great design you love. So what should you be posting as your blog content? Most people will tell you to stick to one or two things you love, and blog about them. Fill a niche, and attract reader with the same interests. Ta da!

I don't think you have to have a niche blog, I get along just fine blogging about what comes to me. If the title of your blog is 'DIY I Love', then you are probably best to stick to DIY. But if your title doesn't really relate to a niche, then you can post what you like.

So you have decided that your blog is a niche blog, or you have decided it won't be. You're excited, but then you stop. What am I going to post about? What makes a good post? What if no one likes my posts? 

I think there are four main things to a good blog posts:

1) Make your content original
2) Post often, even if your posts are short
3) Make sure people can comment and interact
4) Make sure you have a topic, and you don't stray to far, be structured

Don't copy people. Take ideas from other posts, put a spin on it, your own opinion, and link back to them if you quote them, but never, ever copy. For example, if you see a blog post about starving kids in Africa, but you disagree with what the author said, you could do a blog post about what you think. If you agree with the author, you could still write you own blog post, just don't copy them.

Once you have an idea for a blog post, work out what your point is. So, back to my starving kids in Africa example. Your point is that while it's sad that kids are starving, there is only so much we can do.
You need to structure your post into paragraphs and sub-ideas. You need to build up to your point, then conclude.

To help me structure, I often start with a bullet point list, with a point for each paragraph. My points may look something like this:

  • It's sad there are starving kids, we are lucky
  • There is effort groups ect.
  • We should be doing what we can as citizens 
  • But there is only so much we can do 
  • Conclude
  • Maybe some links to charities

I tun each point into four of five sentences, and may come up with some extra ideas as I go.  So my post is structured from the start. You don't want to leave people going 'Ha? I'm so confused, what was that supposed to be about?' after they read your post. To often I come away thinking 'Well, the pictures were nice, but I wonder what the post was supposed to be about?'

Once your post idea is structured, you can get down to the writing. I'll talk about that in part two, along with keeping it original and making sure people can interact.

I don't claim to be an expert, I'm writing about what I know.  

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