TODAY.AZ / SEO & E-Marketing

3 timeless blogging lessons

03 October 2011 [17:00] - TODAY.AZ
I had not considered blogging as anything more than personal journal-keeping till a few months back, a place to record one’s thoughts and feeling, and document my life as it unfolds. It was only when I chose to use my writing for something more than just personal documentation that I began to examine the principles behind successful blogging. This was when I began to realize that there are two distinct worlds in the blogosphere.

The first is the blog of the cyber-activist, a community of rebels with keyboards who hammer away at the established and non-questioning way of looking at things, usually with a pet cause that they champion, such as governmental policy reforms, or environment friendly measures that can be adopted by everyone.

The other is the world that hides behind the overt activism, providing it instead with the guns and the ammunition of magical followership, sharpening the knives of technique, and researching into methods of marketing and selling causes to a sufficiently large number of readers to make your blog attractive enough to advertisers.

These two worlds coexist very harmoniously since they not only feed off each other, but also strengthen each other’s case. So you have the women’s rights activist learning from the blogger who writes about 24 ways to drive more traffic to your blog. It is a perfect case of you scratch my back, I scratch yours. The problem I faced with this realization was that I didn’t really fit into any of these two categories.

Most of my blog posts are way too long to sustain the attention of the average blog reader. (Which explains why I rarely find comments on my posts, since most of them have nexted me before they reach till there!) My blogging is a catch-all, with commentary and news that encompasses the ridiculous and the sublime, the useful and the trite. I have no niche that I write for, no one cause (beyond ethical living) that I feel very strongly about, and no tips that I can offer anyone after the introductory “be kind to yourself.”

I blog because I believe in the power of writing to change lives for the better, and that is all that there is to it. I blog because I feel it is the best way I can use my gift of communication to make a difference to my life and times. Done.

Being a voracious reader, and having an open mind much of the time, I have, however, imbibed some of the mystic and unwritten laws of the blogosphere. While I wait for inspiration for my next random post, I thought it prudent to put them in my words. These are the three lessons that I have learned that have made me feel good about what I do, as well as helped me earn readers, respect and returning visitors.

1. Create

Writing is about creativity, and not keywords and SEO tricks. Those are the herbs and garnish on top of the dish. If you focus on creating a great piece of writing every time you sit to write, you will build up readership across time without fail. If instead you just focus on the garnish, you will perhaps get a large volume of crawler traffic but lose readers who come looking for substance.

Write because you want to get what you have in your mind out there in the open. Write because you want others to benefit from what you have benefited from. Write to create value in the lives of your readers. Write each post to make your reader think, to free them from suffering and to empower positive changes in their lives. Write each post as if you have been given 10 minutes of prime time on a national TV channel. Write each post as if it were the only thing of importance. Write for human beings, and not search engines and traffic fakers. Write what will make a difference to a human life, and not your blog stats and advertising revenue. If you do not have anything significant to say, don’t write, but if you do, put your heart and soul into it.

2. Organize

Clarify your thinking. Declutter your blogging life in terms of topic, tools, and technique. If there is a single recurrent theme in your writing, make it central to your blog, and hive off other posts either to another blog of your own or as guest posts on other blogs. A prominently displayed list of labels or categories sorted by most frequently used can help keep your off topic posts lower down on your readers’ radar.

A common advice for bloggers is to write short sentences and paragraphs. Decide if your target audience includes readers who cannot get past dependent clauses. Even if your preferred style is a convoluted one, go over your choice of literary devices, and get rid of the ones that clutter your writing. Look out for repetitive techniques, topics, sentence structures, words and phrases. Everyone has a finite vocabulary and it is natural for you to return to the comfort of the familiar. Exercise your reading skills, expose yourself to uplifting literature and varied styles of writing, and explore a broader range of subject matter and different genres in order to add depth to your own writing. Refrain from peppering your posts with links, but learn to throw in just a few links of real value and relevance.

3. Persist

The modern generation of Internet users have a terribly ADHD way of looking at content (that is what writing on the internet is called, content!) which is compounded by the immediacy of how the worldwide web works. Blogs that do not update frequently tend to be fall to the bottom of the pile. This does not mean you have to sit with your finger on the publish button even in your sleep. However, it is a proven fact that consistent and frequent publishing of content tends to keep your blog more alive than otherwise. (I tested this out by republishing older content, and it still worked in terms of new readers, but cost me a good chunk of my regular readers.)

There will be days when you do not have a clue what to blog about, or days when you just can’t find the motivation to break out of your blogger’s ennui. Those are the very days that you need to flex your blogging muscles and nip the writer’s block in the bud. Allow it to grow, and it will sink its roots in, and convince you that it is okay to give the writing habit a break. When faced with such a speed breaker, pull out your some-day list and write from it, or spend time reading other blogs to find motivation. Fake it to make it, take an older popular post of your own and rework it into something more lively and pertinent to the present time, or surf the news channels to find something that will lend an unusual perspective to what you have said over and over on your blog. No matter what, write regularly and update your blog frequently.

These three lessons are timeless in that they apply as much to a newbie blogger as they do to the masters of the craft. With these simple tips (and if you re-read the post, you will see that there are tips within tips within tips out there), you can be confident that what you are attempting to do will stand the test of time and prove to be of real value to your readers.


/Daily Blog Tips/
URL: http://www.today.az/news/seo/95642.html

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