"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, November 1, 2014

Retrain Your Brain! Innovative Ways to Update Your Blog and Maintain Momentum...




With millions of blogs launched into the blogosphere, and new ones created each year, it’s an extremely crowded and competitive field. In fact, “Google” writing blogs and you’ll render over 1,500,000 search results.
Adding insult to injury is that in order for blogs to help build a platform and sustain a popular following, updates must be made on a regular basis. Experts recommend weekly.

That’s a pretty tall order.
So how can bloggers infuse their sites regularly with interesting, informative, engaging content to capture an audience, avoid burnout, and stand above the competition?

By redefining what a blog post is. It’s time for a paradigm shift…
First let’s examine the “original” definition of a blog post.

Once upon a time, blog posts were considered “textual” entries appearing in reverse chronological order on a blog, (also known as an online journal).
Bloggers would often use posts to rant, raise awareness of important causes, and even to showcase their creative poetry.

Fast Forward to 2014...
With 100s of niches, themes, approaches, and professional goals, a blog post can differ depending upon who’s doing the blogging and the blogger’s objective.
For example, a food blogger, seeking to promote and sell her recently launched cookbook might share a “blog post” in the form of her favorite recipe.   
Here’s some “food for thought": you can too.
 
So what exactly is the criteria for a blog post?

To diversify your blog content, and provide for more innovative posting, here are some examples of different techniques and tools used by today‘s successful blogger.

Try one or all of these to expand your blogging horizons.

A blog post can be:

  • A writing prompt
  • A recipe (often used by food bloggers). You can use family recipes or food as a metaphor for another concept even.
  • Photographs or images
  • A You-Tube Video
  • A book review
  • A music review
  • A rant (often used by younger bloggers or recreational bloggers)
  • An info-graphic
  • A how-to/tutorial (often used by tech sites or teaching sites)
  • Links to other interesting sites/ resources
  •  A listing (top 10 reasons)
  • An interview
  • A guest post (provided by other writers in your niche)
  • A survey or poll
  • A debate on a current issue or controversial topic (school reform, immigration)
  • A poem
  • A contest (to promote a book, product, or service) and to increase traffic
  •  Quotes (the site, TinyBuddha.com attracts a mega-following based upon this simple practice)
  •  Quick tips (decorating, gardening, shopping)
  • A success story or failure---
For example, a post I penned, “10 Mistakes I made in 2010” on my writing site, was a big hit.
 
Get the idea here? A blog post is limited only by your imagination.
Darren Rowse of Problogger.net, goes further to suggest that bloggers should “experiment with different types of posts” to help battle with what he calls “blogger’s block."

Now that you know the different types of blog posts that are potentially possible, here’s how to deliver:
  • Recognize that a blog post doesn’t have to be of epic proportions. Size doesn’t always matter; substance is equally important. For example, sometimes I will share motivational quotes and a beautiful image on a Monday, to help inspire other writers for the rest of their week.
  • Remember that passion is a prerequisite to successful, long-term blogging. Choose a topic that excites you, and most times your readers will be excited too! A good approach here is to consider a blog based upon your hobby or profession.
  • Consider the benefits of guest bloggers to help you to keep up with the demands of blogging. You can either pitch people you admire and ask for a guest post, or create general guidelines for guest posters and place the information in a prominent place on your site. Make sure to include the length, acceptable topics, and desired format.
  • Make sure to encourage reader feedback to determine what method/technique works best for your particular readership and goals.

Follow these timely tips to keep your blogging "mojo" and keep your readers engaged regularly.

Your turn.
Thoughts? Anything you would add here?

7 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer. I enjoyed your post today. It's true that there are millions of blogs out there and to keep up momentum, one must be vigilant.

    I have written 7 days a week for the past five years on my blog, Writing Straight from the Heart. It is truly a labor of love. But, like you said, writing is my passion and I love sharing slices of my life with others.

    I have followers from many different countries as well as from throughout the USA and blogging has enriched my life in immense ways.

    Thanks again for your insightful post! Susan

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    1. Susan, how wonderful to hear from you! So glad you enjoyed the post. And even moreso, that you took the time to tell me.

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    2. 7 days a week? I salute you for your hard work and commitment to your readers! :-)

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  2. Excellent advice. I agree, this kind of variety not only helps keep us going, but offers wonderful variety for our readers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight, Jen. :)

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I appreciate your time and input. :-)

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  3. Talking about variety, since I also have a few other topic specific blogs, topics on any of the other blogs, - about for example movies, music, travel and photography - can sometimes also give me ideas for my writing blog.

    For example writing about travel writing, or about the functionality of (work) spaces, like how a home movie theatre type of space with movie posters on the wall, movie magazines etc. etc. can give a movie going feel, and

    How in a somewhat similar way a room full of writing memorabilia, inspiring writing books, writing trade magazines (and a writer's coffee mug) can instantly give a 'Going to Write' feel.

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