Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Beginning Blogging Basics - How To Find Your Blogging Voice

Do you want to blog but have no idea what topic or subject to choose? These beginning steps will point you in the right direction. Blogging isn't difficult, but you need a basic plan to get started.

The expression "write about what you know" couldn't be more true for bloggers. There is a blog for every subject and industry imaginable these days. For new bloggers, how do you know if the topic you write about is the right one for you? If you are new to blogging, follow these easy steps to set yourself up for blogging success.

Step #1 Research First

Don’t just write about anything, and make sure you can easily write about the topic you choose. Have you been breeding French bull dogs for years? You could write a blog about your experiences. Do you want to start a blog, but don't know how to choose a subject/topic? Sit down and write a list of your hobbies, interests, and skills. What sets you apart from other bloggers? Who would be interested in reading your blog? Remember that your blog is NOT another platform to sell or advertise; leave that to your website.

Step #2 Before You Write, Find Your Blogging Voice & Style

Choose your own voice and style. Don’t be a "copycat" blogger. It's okay to research other bloggers to see what's out there, but don't try to piggyback on a blogger's writing style. You want to make a name for yourself. A blog should sound more casual and friendly, so don't talk down to your audience. Avoid using too much jargon and slang. However, if your blog calls for slang and industry jargon it's acceptable to infuse words here and there, but don't go overboard.

Step #3 Outline Your Blog Posts

It's important to create an outline before you blog. If you are a new blogger, write a rough outline of your first posts. Make sure you include a welcome/introduction post and share your background with your readers. It's important not to take a "shot-gun" approach to blogging. Pick topics and subjects that interest your readers. Check out forums, discussion boards and social media to get ideas for topics. Don't be a copycat blogger, but it's important to stay on top of trends and current events. It's okay to write about similar topics that other bloggers in your industry write about, but remember to put a new and different spin on these topics.

Step #4 After You Write Posts, Edit Your Content

Edit your content before you publish your blog posts. Ask a friend or colleague to read your posts for grammatical errors. Use spell check and make sure your content makes sense and isn't too long-winded. Mix up the word length. If you want to write article-length posts, stick to about 300 to 500 words. You don't want people falling asleep from boredom, because your blog posts are too long. Use bullet points and lists to break up copy so it's easier to read.

Step #5 Plan Ahead & Automate Multiple Posts

Take advantage of free automated blog/social media software and set up posts ahead of time. Write your posts for the week or month so it saves you time. You can write and plan your posts months in advance. It helps to set up a blog editorial calendar to keep yourself on track. The biggest mistake new bloggers make is to write one post and then forget about their blog six months down the road. Try to write one post a week when you first start blogging. Some bloggers post every day but a few times a week is enough. Some bloggers only post once a month. It really depends on how much time you have for your blog. The key to blogging success is to keep up with your posts - whether you post once a month or once a week.

Blogging isn't rocket science, but it does take time and planning. Have fun with your blog! Remember it's not just about you. Your blog should entertain, inform and educate your readers.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before you start blogging

About the Writer

Therese Pope is a copywriter and digital media buzz-icist. She owns Zenful Communications, a marketing communications company nestled in the foothills of northern California. She helps small to mid-sized businesses create a positive online buzz around their brands.
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