Blogging 101: Advice for new or Starting Bloggers
This year I had a conversation with the president of BAM (bloggers at MAC), and we discussed a common challenge related to the blogging community; blogs, no matter how good the content, or how passionate the writer, often have trouble generating traffic. We could pour our hearts and souls into creating sentences that for hours we painstakingly string together into beautifully crafted content, but alas without readers, that content lands in a beautiful but abandoned virtual landfill.
After reflecting back on the topic, I thought that it would be helpful to provide some tips I have learned along the way for those of you who may be looking to get started with a blog, or may want to gain more activity with pre-existing domains.
- Decide your audience. One of the first things you need to do is decide your theme and more importantly, your audience. What is the purpose of the blog and who do you want to reach with the content you are producing? WCG aims to produce content for McMaster’s undergraduate students. The blog aims are to create a community of shared experience by addressing the excitement and challenges of being a Marauder. No matter what you are producing, always think about who you’d like to reach, and why. It makes a complete difference in the readers you will attract, and keep your readers coming back.
- Edit your posts. Always, ALWAYS, read over your posts, and read them out loud. You will catch so many more mistakes that you may have overlooked by just reading in your head. Also, have a peer or friend read it over, and relay the errors to you. Working with the SSC means that my posts are constantly edited for quality and errors. While it can be a tedious process, it is a huge help. Being able to make and accept edits makes you a better writer.
- Promote your blog. Promotion is key. Take advantage of social media and share your posts as often as you can. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are great channels for reaching your target audience. The use of hashtags can also help to reach your audience and create a conversation thread. Developing partnerships and networks for your blog also helps in spreading the word. If you can get a guest blogger or have other bloggers share your content, reach will increase. This is a huge step in attracting more readers. Make strong connections, and keep using them to your advantage as your blog gains more interest from readers and don’t forget to reciprocate. The word “community” is used for a reason in blogging.
- Don’t be afraid to try out new ideas. Step out of your comfort zone because it may lead you to a great post. Explore your community and attend events, you never know where a new idea may spark. Do DIY posts, try writing about cooking, or even invite a friend to guest post. The ideas you can try out are endless, and you may enjoy the outcome as you write your posts. Even vlogging may be cool to try. Whatever you do, remember you have nothing to lose, so anything is worth a try.
Now that you have my advice get writing, get promoting, and remember that as much as you seek to attract the attention of others with your blog, you should be satisfied with the outcome and be proud of what you are creating. At the end of the day, your posts are a reflection of you and what you stand for. Be authentic, your readers are as interested in your posts as they are about you.
About the Author
Taylor Noble blogged for the Student Success Centre from 2015 to 2016.