Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stumble on Your Blog: Blog Content (Part 2)

In part one, I talked about finding structure and whether on not you need to be a 'niche' blog. In part two of Blog Content, I want to talk about being original, doing the actual writing, and making sure people can respond and interact.

While it's important people like the look of your blog, the fact they will be reading is your writing, is a lot more daunting. People may be thinking about what you said for a week after. Or it might drop out of their heads straight away. Either way, they are going to come away with a reaction (we hope).

So you have your structure and idea, you're ready to do your post. Your taping away on your keyboard when you realise something. You don't sound like you, you sound like someone completely different. In fact, you sound like some other blog posts you have read on the same topic. It's an 'uh oh' moment.

When you do a post, you need to be you. People don't want to hear regurgitated facts and thoughts, they want to hear what you think. Original content is what will draw your reader in. You need to be creative, and keep an open mind.

Disagree with other people.

If you really care about the subject, the passion will show through your writing (or the smoke coming from your keyboard as you type). Don't parrot what others said, take the idea away, pull it apart and put it back together with bits of you in it. For example, when I was younger, if you gave me the same duplo blocks as my sister, we would something completely different from the same thing. She would end up with a tower, I would end up with a squat building. It was just our personality.

You need to post as you. Let your voice flow out, you can edit later. As a side note, quickly: please never, ever use chat speak in a blog post. Just. Don't. Original content makes the reader go 'hey, I can relate to this' rather than 'same thing, said in a different way'.

Make sure your reader can respond to your post. There is nothing more frustrating than reading a good post, but no being able to comment, because all you can think of is 'great blog post'. Raise questions, maybe leave a question at the end of the post.

This method is used effectively at Go Teen Writers, where blog posts are followed by questions in bold. Don't just leave us there, leave us going 'wow, I have to put my opinion in here' or 'I can so relate to this', maybe 'I can't wait to try this project', 'this is way to cute..', 'great tips, but I...' depending on what the post was about.

It sounds like a lot of work, and it is. Doing a great blog post takes effort, but in the end, hopefully, the hits will be worth it. So go out there, post some great peices and wait for those readers who will be able to enjoy your structured content, and respond to your post.

Next in the Stumble on Your Blog series, I will be talking about social media, and using it to your advantage.

I have no claim to being an expert, I'm just blogging what I know. 

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