Ever since the first glasses eyed geek went online to share through the medium of the virtual print all his hopes, dreams, plans and opinions, blogging has evolved to become a viable and fun filled way to put forward people’s views, maintain a diary which could also double up as a way to find like minded peers, and also as an easy and compact way to connect with people and tell them about yourself and the things you care about, without expensive advertisement or extensive public relations networks.
Celebrities, high power brands, and the guy next door today all maintain blogs as a way to reach out to the maximum number of interested people.
There are several popular bogs today which all offer the basic e-journal facilities, and also host their own niche services, like advertising, fan fiction clubs, sports blogging, TV sitcoms blurbs, etc. but whether you set up a blog on hosting services like Word Press, Movable Type, Blogger or Live Journal, Face book or just set up your own website, there are certain things you need to remember while setting up a successful blogging sphere.
Here are my top 10 things to think of while typing a blog-
- Topic – While writing a blog, whether for commercial or private purposes, the first thing a writer should think about is the blog’s niche, or topic. Blogs may deal with a variety of subject matters, from daily doings, software, do it yourself guides, sports, books, gadgets, any almost any other topic under the sun. Whatever the topic, a blogger should ensure he or she does their homework, and thinks about what they are writing before putting it on the web.
- Type – Blogs not only have to have a topic, they must also have a way of dealing with the topic. For example, if you are writing a sports blog, you may merely give information or daily updates about the games of your choice, comment upon the performances and changes, start debates, talk about the teams from a commercial aspect, or just, as a player or a viewer, give your own experiences or views. It is important for a blogger to decide which role he or she wants to play, and then expand upon it. If a blogger does not have his or her format or priorities set, he or she may not be able to attract a loyal reader base, as the readers do not get the same standards or style every day. After all, a reader who just wants to know the score will not want to hear about your personal triumphs or opinions, while a person who wants to relate or empathize with a fellow sports fan will not be satisfied with just the bare details of the game.
- Language – Language, for a blogger, does not only mean Spanish or English or French, but also which dialect, which style, which intended audience background. A blog may be about one topic and type, but the language, or style of writing the blog makes a huge difference in the type of people who read your blog. For example, if you’re writing a blog in high flown, reference laden style, it may not appeal to the man on the street, while if you’re writing in coarse or overly simple abbreviation laden language, people who want depth of matter and a certain class will not like it. However, it is commonly acknowledged that the best style or language in which to write a blog is in simple, and yet grammatically correct English, as in colloquial speech. That way, it attracts the maximum number of readers of all reading preferences.
- Talking point – Every blog must have a unique selling point, a niche or a distinct charm which causes the reader to choose it over other blogs of a similar nature. While the opinions on the ‘spark’ in your blog may vary, depending on who you ask, it is important to keep in mind the wishes of the reader and your own comfort level while writing a blog.
- Usefulness – Blogs must be useful. Though not every blog has to be laden with jargon and references, a basic blog should contain a how to’s, tips, or helpful facts and advice about the topic dealt with.
- Software format – Personal blogs are usually plain text and or gif, jpeg or other such images on html pages, but a professional blogger may consider experimenting with other formats to make the blog more attractive or useful. Even the technologically disabled can jazz up their blogs with the help of easy to use blog hosting servers.
- Length– A blog, in general, should not be too long- it must finish within 250- 500 words, so a reader does not find it monotonous and boring, and, in this fast paced world, get the most information in the shortest span of time. However, the quality of content should not be compromised upon.
- Feedback – A successful blogger must always take the opinions of his or her readers, whether by reviews, surveys, or just via reading comments on posts. They should examine reader feedback, and then, to be commercially viable, give the consumer what he or she wants.
- Marketing – A blog, today, is not just a journal, it is a way for several multinational corporations and celebrities to keep in touch with fans and advertise their services and products. There is a lot of money to be made via blogs, whether by directly advertising your own stuff, or allowing other who deal with similar subjects as you to put up their own ads on your blog site for a fee.
- Makeover – A blogger must keep reinventing him or herself, in accordance to changing times, to attract a global reader base. However, the USP or core must remain constant to retain loyalty.