To develop a platform, you need to start know how to blog most effectively. Blogging is the best online resume and an introvert’s best friend. The writing in your blog can tell so much about you as a writer. It can tell your readers about yourself, your family, your likes and dislikes, your values and the type of writing that you do. It also shows how serious you are as a writer.
If your blog is successful, your personality will shine through it. That’s why it is very important for writers to create a blog and to maintain it regularly. It is one of the best ways to give potential publishers and agents a glimpse of you as a writer.
Here are a few benefits of creating a blog for yourself.
- A blog is a free, behind-the-curtain chance for writers like you to be heard, seen and experienced. You don’t have to leave the confines of your home or office. All you have to do is get to your blog and write.
- Writers, who don’t have an urge to write in any other place, can analyze anything in the world on their blogs. They could share their unique perspectives on different subjects without criticism.
- You can moderate the comments that potential people will leave also. That way you can get their feedback only once in a while.
- The blog offers you a way to speak in public without leaving the comforts of your home office. How GREAT is that! you don’t have to get ready, stand in front of a large group of individuals or do anything else.
- Agents appreciate to read a solid blog from potential clients. A hot blog with a large following has a better than average chance of a book offer even without pitching.
- Many people sell their books through their blogs. So, if you have a book out or will have a book out, you could post it on your blog and people will be more likely to buy it.
The Mechanics of Writing a Good Blog
There are many aspects of writing good blogs, from choosing topics that people will be interested in to choosing themes for your blog which are the best, and structural aspects of the most successful blog. I will cover each of these areas in this section.
Good Topics for Blogs
The basic requirement for a blog is to solve a problem or provide entertainment. So, if your blog does one or both of these, you have a successful blog that readers will keep coming back to.
A blog is about more than just posting. You also have to provide quality content consistently.
The theme of your blog can be whatever you want. It can be as altruistic, broad, narrow, quirky or serious as you desire. But each post must do one of the following or it’s not worth writing a blog post. As a blog writer you should:
- Draw a laugh;
- Solve a problem;
- Provide tips;
- List references;
- Show beauty;
- Provide an AHA moment.
In other words, each post should trigger the reader to redistribute it to their friends. Soon readers will want to buy your books and read them too.
Good Habits of a Popular Blog
Professional bloggers are quick to explain good blogging habits because a bad blog is worse than no blog at all. Don’t be remembered for being too bad to return to.
Good blogging habits are not difficult to develop. They just take a dedication and stick-to-it-ness. It is very much like writing a book, maintaining a column or anything that involves writing. Blogging takes a good work ethic.
Here are a few ways to write a good blog:
- Be brief. You don’t have to necessarily fulfill any exact word count to write a good blog. One safe bet is to write blogs that are about 500 words. Write tight and get your message across cleanly.
- Be prolific. The more you post, the better you write, and the higher your ranking in search engines. However, don’t’ just throw out thoughts. Successful bloggers research, edit and plan subject matter. Daily blog posts are great but time-consuming. At a minimum, post weekly.
- Be observant. Take note of how readers respond. You may also want to study the analytics behind other people’s posts.
- Be consistent. Pick a regimen and stick to it. Develop a plan for your blog and stick to it. This is crucially important. For instance, Mondays you may want to address writing markets, Wednesday you may want to consider writing about work-in-progress topics, and Fridays you may want to have bulleted lists of writing resources, news, and reflections. Follow the same structure every week.
- Be thematic. Create a focus or theme for your blog and stick to it.
- Be diligent. Good bloggers see their blogs posts as necessary. When you know you will be busy and can’t get to your computer, write your posts ahead of time and repost them.
- Be connected to other blogs. Choose at least four or five blogs to be connected to. This will give you more visitors and readers of your blog.
Structure of your Blog
Every blog post should grab the reader in some way. So, it should follow a distinct format.
Let’s take a look at a good blog layout, from the top to the bottom.
- Create a great headline—something that will grab the reader.
- Make sure that the first three of four sentences determine whether readers will want to keep reading your post. So, make them insightful and intriguing.
- Don’t post your blog without a visual. Go to free stock photo sites to find one that fits or insert one of your own making. Pictures snare faster than words.
- Create sub-headers. This line makes a promise to the reader of more good to come.
- Deliver great content at all times. Try to make an emotional connection with the reader about half-way from the beginning of the post.
- Quote from experts in your blog posts often.
- Have another sub-header again. This will show the reader what is to come.
- Provide more clarifying advice or content, make your point, show results, and wrap it up.
- Call to action.
So, in sum, the best way to structure your blog is to break up the copy, write succinctly, and compel readers to follow through on some sort of call-to-action, even if it’s no more than a question to get them to interact. The longer people stay, the better the chance they’ll absorb your message and learn to like what you offer.
Irene S. Roth