"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

5 Ways to Defeat the Doldrums!



One minute.
You have a quick minute to convince the average Blog reader that your post will be worth investing their time before they click over to another spot to be entertained and enlightened.

Let's face it, we are bombarded with daily messages: T.V. commercials, Emails, Ads, junk mail, etc. Who has time to read everything in depth?

This being the case, competition for today's reader's time is fierce! Not to mention, many are long on expectations with short attention spans. :-)

Bore them and you might as well say "bye-bye"! In essence, it's blogging suicide.
Of course, "loyal followers" are a little more forgiving, as long as your performance does not steadily decline.

If your Blog suffers the blahs (see my recent post for specifics) and you would like to increase your readership and your influence, here are five tips to take your blogging game to the next level!

1. Grab them with vital titles! Titles are teasers that if done effectively, create interest and intrigue. Try these techniques for starters: make a provocative statement, ask a thought-provoking question, or use a popular quote.
2. Have a conversational tone. Don't speak at your readers, speak to them! Blog writing is different than academic writing, or technical writing, or magazine writing. Don't get it twisted. :-)
3. Stay true to who you are. Authenticity matters. Better to be the best you than a mediocre copycat.
4. Know that presentation matters. This includes providing posts that are spell checked and grammatically sound. It also means incorporating quality photos and images to provide visual appeal and a little variety.
5. Loosen your collar! Show a little humor and humanness. Show us your struggles, your stressors, your short-comings and your shine!

And as a bonus point---you should stay on point! In other words, if your blog's focus is writing, don't confuse readers with tips on how to bake a cake, or political rants, or basket making. It's okay to tie in varying topics periodically, (if there's a correlation) but the more focused you are, the more readers can focus on what you have to offer and trust your expertise.

Of course there are other factors that contribute to a bodacious blog experience, but these five are the most crucial in conquering the blog blahs!

Do you agree or disagree? What other factors would you like to share?

Image: graur codrin

8 comments:

  1. I totally agree! I have major A.D.D. and so if your don't catch my attention when that small window is open, forget it, you lost me! lol I also believe that catchy titles lures the reader in but in order to keep them you must have something more to keep them coming back. Great tips, thanks!

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  2. Yvonne,

    So glad to have your "attention" and your loyal support. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  3. I totally agree. I can only spare so much time in the week for blog hopping so I appreciate blogs with short but "good stuff".

    One thing I think is important too is our visibility at other's blogs. I've gained many followers by being seen at another blog.

    Good post. Always thinking about ways to improve and maintain my blog, so this is much appreciated.

    Happy Wednesday,
    Karen

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  4. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 3, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Thanks, Karen. You're right; visiting other blogs is a "blah" buster too!

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  5. I have a question sort of unrelated, in journalism, and english we are not supposed to "you," or "I." Well in espository we can use "I," but, do you agree with these rules?

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  6. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 3, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Katie,
    Hi! Not sure of what you mean...please elaborate. Thanks!

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  7. I find that bloggers who effectively practice your second point--i.e. using their blog to speak *to* readers instead of *at* them--keep my interest more than bloggers who seem to be either talking to themselves or a small group of their followers. I also appreciate pictures in a blog, since whatever image the blogger chooses to capture tends to drive the blogger's emphasis home as effectively as the blog post itself. Exhibit A: the snapshot of the guy accompanying this blog post. When I look at that picture in relation to your post, I see a guy who is staring down at a computer screen and celebrating with fist pumps that he has found a "way to defeat the doldrums!" Lol. Makes me want to root for him. Thank you for the practical advice and encouraging other bloggers to show their humanness!

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  8. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 8, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Janette,

    Great feedback! I greatly appreciate your thoughtful input and your time. :-)

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