"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.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why "One Size Fits All" Blogging is Not the Best Approach



I'm always amazed when I'm out shopping and trying on clothes that claim, "one size fits all"... only to find... it really doesn't. :-) Unfortunately, that generic, all-inclusive labeling is a misnomer for many reasons.
But, I imagine it gives designers and stores more bang for their buck.

Rarely does the "one size fits all" approach serve its intended purpose.
And I find that blogging is no different.

Yet, so often, bloggers will research other successful blogs and try to emulate their success by writing on the same topics, following the same format, using similar constructs, and showing very little originality and authenticity. And it almost never works.

Don't get me wrong; I think that it behooves us to study what Darren Rowse is doing right.
And I think it's important to examine other successful bloggers in various niches to see what they're "up to," to make decisions on our blogging journey based upon what we discover.

But, with so much competition these days, you better be bringing something more to the table, baby!
If your blog followers wanted to read the thoughts, voice and style of other bloggers, they'd be reading them. Hello?

With this in mind, here's what your blog project should take into consideration to be a successful pursuit:

1. Your Goals
In other words, are you blogging to entertain? To educate? To rant? To raise consciousness of an important cause? Your goals will determine your game plan.

2. Your Target Audience
Sometimes, particularly with newbie bloggers, there is a tendency to try to "be all things to all people." Big mistake here. Who are you trying to reach? What issues are important to this group of people? Speak their language. Address their needs. Write with them in mind.

3. Your Style of Expression
Let your personality and your personal truths shine here. Follow the important rules, (like grammar, spelling, proper protocol), but dare to be different too. e.e. Cummings did! For example, despite the many experts that recommend that we write for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and targeted keywords, I rarely do.
In the past, I've always felt that it compromised the quality of my writing and my flow. But, in the future, I may think a little differently, after reading a great post by Sarah Webb at ProBlogger on this timely topic. You'll find that my posts sometimes contain fragments (to vary sentence length).
Heck, I may even use slang, if I feel so inclined. :-)

4. Your Personality
Authenticity resonates with readers. Be you. One of the bloggers featured on this site, as someone I enjoy reading is Princess Jones. She's a real hoot. Even when she's addressing important business topics, she puts her own spin on things. Others that I also enjoy for their sense of humor would be Linda O'connell, Susan Sundwall, and Becky's Bliss. Though I do keep up with some of the "authoritative sites," many times I follow a blog based purely upon the blogger's personality, credibility, and the quality of the content. How about you?

5. Your Strengths and Interests
Though I suppose that one could launch a blog on a topic in which they have little expertise or interest, I wouldn't advise it. As someone who has been paid to blog for other folks, on topics that weren't exactly my cup of tea, there's a difference between posting a few of those on assignment, and constantly creating content on a site that requires week-to-week upkeep. Don't make it harder than it has to be. Passion about your subject matter will help you to persevere. Choose wisely.

For the right "fit" make sure to customize your blog using these considerations.

Your turn.
Thoughts? Agree or disagree?

Image Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

12 comments:

  1. just dropped by to review this website. It appears really good and I had a
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    ReplyDelete
  2. I read follow several blogs. Some are on writing; some are Christian-on the order of mine. I enjoy them but they each have their own style.

    If I were starting out, I don't believe I would want to copy another person's style because I am who I am and the others are who they are.

    BTW: Hubby came home one day with a surprise for me-a new bathrobe. The tag said "one size fits most." :)

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 2, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      quietspirit,

      Good points here. And the comment about the hubby and robe made me chuckle. Thanks for starting the chat off. :-)

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  3. Thank you, my dear. May you always have a pen in hand and prosper. Yours is one of my daily GO-TO blogs. Thanks for all you do.

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  4. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 3, 2013 at 4:37 AM

    ...And thank you, dearest. :-)

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  5. Yes, I recently read somewhere about how Employees are Imitators and how Entrepreneurs are Innovators.

    I also like the - Be You - part, I also read about the importance of being authentic in the Book titled: 'Do You!' (that btw you can also find on the Books & Subscriptions page on the Home Business Blog.)

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  6. I think what you've said here matters because if blogging isn't fun for you, then you'll end up quitting anyway or just creating sloppy content that even you wouldn't read.

    I'd say most bloggers aren't just passionate about their topics, they're also passionate about the act of blogging and the world/community of blogging to some degree. If you start a blog just because you feel you have to or to be like someone else, you might not get the results you expect.

    By following the advice you give in your post, I think most people will truly enjoy their blogging experience.

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  7. Oh, and thanks for the shout out :-)

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Sarah,

      How true. Blogging definitely requires passion to go the distance. Thanks for adding to our chat. And, you're welcome. :-)

      Delete
    2. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      As a matter of fact, I do believe that there's some merit to the book title, "Do what you love and the money will come later."

      Delete
  8. This reminds me of Oscar Wilde's quote, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." I think a successful blog should reflect the author's personality, for as you said, that's most often why we visit! Good post and food for thought. :)

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  9. Thanks, Karen. Great quote to live by. :-)

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