Nowadays, it’s impossible to swing a MacBook Air without hitting a blogger. While it’s great that everyone has the chance to put their thoughts on the Internet, there’s a very real distinction between good and not-so-good blogging. Whether you want to blog personally or professionally, it’s impossible to deny its impact, as 23% of total Internet usage time is devoted to social networks or blogs, and marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. (Source). There’s no one right formula for successful blogging, but we’ve put together some tips in this blog post to get any newbie blogger started (how meta).
We’ve been told over and over again that people’s attention spans are getting shorter, and civilisation is nearing its end. While there’s some truth to both statements, there’s no actual measure how long a blogpost should be, as it also depends on the topic, platform, etc. Rather than taking word count into consideration, focus on relaying content in a direct and efficient manner. This means previse diction and concise sentence structure. Keeping to 2 – 3 sentences per paragraph and highlighting important phrases are conducive for readers who like to scan. Oh, and keep sentences short.
Following from the previous point, many bloggers have a tendency to rant on and on. It’s always helpful to start with a thesis statement in your mind before writing, and make sure never diverge from the main point. Compelling bloggers also make sure to always hold a solid opinion. Note that it’s solid rather than strong. Find a standpoint and stick to it. Remember, you’re writing for yourself, which means that you have absolute creative control over your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Now that’s powerful.
While it’s important to find our own tone and style, most successful bloggers will have similar opinions when it comes to points like: write like how you talk, write about what you love, have a punchy headline, etc. At the end of the day, the best way to hone in those writing skills is to practice. Read as much as you can – newspapers, novels, back of cereal boxes, everything. Reference experts for how the write, not what they write. If you want ideas for topics – ask your audience!
Your readers, even when they’re sometimes your critics, is what makes your blogging world turn. Listen to what they have to say, interact, and build your email list to further that connection. They’re the people who are going to share and build your platform, and inspire your content. So, make friends!
The only way to build a (loyal) audience is to give people what they want, as they say. Be generous with your time, knowledge, and ideas when you’re writing, and the value of the content will show through. Be ready to put time into developing your own voice, and don’t be afraid to share everything you have in your arsenal. In a time when everyone seems to be blogging, the only way to cut through the noise is to give more – whether it’s research or prose.
Around 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs (Source). While this may seem like a high percentage, readers are constantly warned against the accuracy of online content by professional news agencies or sources. Consistently providing reputable sources for your content not only give your platform credibility, it’s also essential for paving the way for trust in the digital age.
Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.
This week, we're talking about the power of using the right data to inform your design process.
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Cover image: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash
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Cover image source: Liz and Mollie
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