Blogging is perhaps the original social media, and the number of people who prefer reading blogs to reading Facebook and the like is significant. It’s fun, interesting, and exciting to read what others have to say and to interact with them, sharing points of view. While no two bloggers are alike and there are no hard and fast rules as to what makes a “good” blogger, there are definitely a few steps you can take to improve your writing. Here are just a few things that you can do to take your blogging skills to the next level.
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Blogs are about life – good, bad, or indifferent. Don’t make your blog about the fake, perfect life that you imagine; make it real by being yourself. When I was a young mother, I found it very interesting and entertaining to read the blog of a frazzled mother who just wanted a few minutes to watch Dr. Phil between changing diapers and cleaning up spit up. The pages featuring mothers who had perfect children who slept through the night and were potty trained by 18 months were a big turn-off. Why? Because they weren’t reality. They knew it, I knew it, everyone knew it. When you’re real, people relate to you, and real writing is what people want to read, even if it isn’t always pretty.
A good way to make your blog meaningful is by keeping up with what is going on in the world. Watch the news. Read new books. Subscribe to magazines. Study politics. It is really hard to consume this type of media and not have something to say about it, and if you are talking about what is going on right now, other people will want to read it. Another advantage to reading is that you get a lot of new ideas about how to turn a phrase, tell a story, or offer your perspective. Just because writing is on the internet does not mean that it is quality writing. You will stand out from the crowd if you are a good writer in conventional terms, and these skills help to make your blog shine.
Be Regular, But Not Forced
Some people will tell you that you have to blog every single day to be successful. I would submit to you that this is not necessary as long as your posts are somewhat predictable and regular in nature. How often should you post? As often as you can while still having something important to say. For some writers, this may be every day. For others, it may be once a week. Work the schedule that works for you, and be sure to take your time expressing your ideas. You want your readers to look forward to everything you write and not have to weed through a lot of forced dud postings to get to the meat.
Don’t Ignore Appearances
It may seem silly to focus on how your text appears, but it is actually very important. Readers like to see clear photos, good formatting, and consistent headlines and spacing. If your formatting is off, it will detract from the message of your post. If your formatting is spot on, readers will ignore it completely and spend their time thinking about what you had to say. This goes double for proofreading and correcting errors. Many bloggers get so caught up in their stories that they don’t worry about the way it looks on the surface, and this is a huge mistake.
If you want people to keep coming back for more, make sure that you have comments enabled and that you respond to them as you receive them. Blogs can entertain, inspire, irritate, and inform, and people who have strong feelings about what you write often want to talk about it with you. On many blogs, one of the best parts of the entire thing is the comment section. Don’t make the mistake of turning the comments off to avoid rejection or confrontation, and also don’t ignore people when they take the time to comment. If someone is commenting on your blog, they are taking the time to say, hey, I read what you wrote and I care enough to respond. Even if the comment is negative, it is still a form of flattery if you look at it that way.
Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, and that is part of what makes the blogosphere so wonderful. If you follow these tips, your blogging skills will improve, drawing your audience in even more than before.