DIY Blogging: You Can Do It!
Published By: Kristina Chung
The idea of becoming a blogger sounds easy in theory. Easy, until you open your first word document and realize you’re lost for words. Writer’s block, anyone? Let's start from the beginning. A blog needs to be interesting, informative, and/or relatable enough to create a real connection between you and your audience. You also need to create incentive for your audience to keep coming back to you, and not another blog about the same topic. This means defining your target audience before you even publish your first post, so let's start with that:
Who is your target audience?
Truthfully, you could probably spend hours brainstorming this. But to stick with the basics, define who your content is for. Who are they? What kind of lifestyle do they live? What are their interests? How much money do they make? What is their occupation? Age demographic? The more you narrow these variables down, the easier it will be to create content since you'll have an exact audience in mind.
Branding is essential.
Do you have a topic? Assuming that your answer is yes- how can you convey everything about your brand in the fastest way possible when people enter your site? This can be influenced by a color palette, the layout, overall aesthetic, font choice, logo, visuals: anything that contributes to the blog's first impression. If the first impression does not match what content that the blog is offering, it can get confusing. It can be helpful to navigate other successful blogs and observe how they curate their online brand.
Decide on a tone.
Will your blog be serious and business-minded? Lighthearted and casual? Of course, this depends on your target audience (which is why determining your target audience should be your number one priority). Take note of certain characteristics that come with a "type" of tone. Will you use contractions (ie. did not vs. didn't) in your diction? Will your topic match your tone? Are you going to use industry-specific jargon, or layman's terms? Are you going for relatable or informational? You don't necessarily have to fall into one side of the spectrum. However, it will benefit you to assess your blog's identity and tone with an honest and open mind, in order to make sure it aligns with your blog's overall vision.
Is it readable?
Yeah, it's awesome to have a blog with great content, but can your writing sustain a reader's interest? Try reading your sentences out loud, either to yourself or to a friend. Focus on the flow of the sentences. Do you have multiple run-on sentences, or too many short sentences? If you're having a hard time determining how to increase your blog's readability, it may help to (again!) take a peek at other similar blogs to see what they're doing right. Gathering other peoples' honest opinion can also help take your writing to the next level, but also requires some thick skin and a willingness to take constructive criticism. In the end, remember that this is your blog and no one can tell you explicitly how to run it, but outside feedback is can be very valuable.
The beginning stages of any blog can be frustrating, especially since you won't be getting tons of traffic right away. You can expedite this process by offering your expertise and guest posting on other, more popular blogs. You can also offer a space for guests to post on your own site. By doing this, you'll be fostering relationships within your blog's industry. Another tactic for increasing traffic is utilizing your other social media platforms to complement your blog content. For example, you could post with a link to your blog on your Twitter or Instagram every time you create new content! You may also consider doing some research about SEO to make your blog posts more discoverable. Or, if you have the budget, hire an SEO expert to help you.