"I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I'm still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers? I'd genuinely appreciate it."
Many clients ask for advice regarding blogs, so I though it would turn this question posted on one of our blog articles into a little article of its own.
Starting a blog can be a daunting undertaking, but in reality this should be a fairly simple affair. Making your blog a successful destination for readers might be a little harder, but lets focus on just getting started.
A few basic points when starting a personal blog:
Decide on the theme of your blog - are these just your own personal musings that you wish to share, or do you have a specific interest to write about?
- Blogs started as peoples personal online journals, however some of the most successful ones are very focused on specific interests whether it is toe fetishes, 1950s sci-fi, or cute kittens.
- Don't try to write full articles - just start simple with your musings and thoughts, let it grow and find your own balance.
- Remember this is about broadcasting your thoughts and opinions, so don't be shy. Just get started!
- Enjoy - if you enjoy the writing, people are more likely to pick up on this and also enjoy reading it.
Starting a corporate blog can be a bit more complex as there are a number of decisions to make before you begin
- Is this an individual persons blog talking on behalf of your company or is this a corporate entity?
- Will this have multiple writers or will this be a single tone of voice?
- Will the blog be part of your website or will it stand a little bit separate with its own distinct persona?
- These decisions will really affect the flavour of your corporate blog
Whilst many of the issues relevant to individual’s blogs will also apply to a corporate blog, here are some more specific issues and consideration:
- Remember an out of date blog with little activity is the worst-case scenario - do it properly or don't do it at all.
- Understand what you are hoping to achieve with your blog - make sure your objectives are clear.
- Come to terms with the fact that if you want interaction, then you will need to provide commentary and opinion which people will respond to, something potentially controversial or at least polarised. This can be hard within a corporate environment where controversial opinions are shied away from.
- Don't try to turn someone who is not a natural writer into a blogger (even if they are knowledgeable) - find someone who already blogs (even if it is about their favourite football team) and divert their attention to writing for your blog.
- Make dedicated time for people to contribute/write, even allow them to do it in their own time and to get this time back.
- Incentivise staff to write - top blogger wins a prize! This might be number of articles or number of responses to articles etc.
- Measure the success of the blog and fine-tune your articles to tap into this. Cater to your reader’s tastes.
- Start simple - maybe an off site tumbler blog until you have things running smoothly.
I am sure there are many other nuggets and pieces of advice that I may have left out, but this is a start...let me know any of your own experiences.
Finn is a founding director of Liquid Light, and he still (after 22 years of web design) likes to get involved in projects. When he is not worrying about the clients, he is studying Chinese medicine, working with young criminals and doing spartan challenges.