You don’t have to be a novelist to blog, anyone can do it. However, it can be daunting when you’re not used to sharing your thoughts with a wider audience. If you’ve been used to writing in a particular style for work, how do you adapt to the more casual Friday feel of a blog without dumbing down your thoughts?
I thought I’d share a couple of tips to start you off:
1. Have a reader in mind. This will help your focus. What age is your ideal reader? Where does your ideal reader work? What is your ideal reader’s hobbies? Your ideal reader will evolve as you get into the groove of blogging, but it can be a helpful place to start.
2. Ask yourself: what would your ideal reader like to hear about? You are an expert, whether you know it or not. Perhaps you have years of education behind you, or know how to make the best beans on toast. Someone out there will want to know how you achieved these things, so tell them.
That’s the difficult part over.
Now for the writing itself.
1. Do not treat blogging like an essay. Convert footnotes into links to other blogs, or articles, or books, etc….
2. Keep it brief. Let’s face it, attention spans are shorter when reading online, so try to give yourself a limit. I’d say 300-1000 words is a decent amount for a blog post.
3. Use images to break up the text and provide your reader with an extra way of understanding your post.
4. Edit! Read your blog to check for spelling and grammatical errors. I would recommend getting a friend or a colleague to check over your first few blogs too.
5. Keep it professional. Yes, blogging is a more casual mode of communication, but it’s not an opportunity to air your dirty laundry in public either! Don’t use it to complain about any individuals for instance…
What happens after that?
1. Share your blog posts! Use social media networks such as twitter and Facebook to let them know you’re blogging. Create a newsletter and send it to your contacts.
2. Respond to comments when they come through.
3. Read other people’s blogs and comment on them.
It really is that easy… Best of luck!