Ten years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find individuals who knew what the word “blog” meant, let alone find someone who read one. Fast-forward and the “blog” has become as commonplace as North Face jackets on a college campus. As the Internet has become more user-friendly, more and more individuals, groups and companies have taken it upon themselves to share their thoughts with the world. The blog serves as a medium for sharing your insights with a larger population without explicitly contacting each reader. The implicit nature of a blog creates the potential for great success and a widespread readership, but also creates the potential for a blog to be lost in the abyss of available information. So what sets one blog a part from all of the others?
1. Clear vision
As in any successful endeavor, defining and adhering to a specific vision allows you to remain consistent and focused. Defining a clear topic focus, including what NOT to talk about, creates clarity for both the author and the reader. Clarifying the intent of your blog allows you to focus on the audience you wish to reach instead of wasting time on those who will never be interested.
2. Accessible content
Blogs have the potential to reach a large audience, so they need to be understood by a large majority of the audience. Whatever the desired audience may be, the content should have general insights with specific references filtered in so that as many as possible can benefit from the content. Commenting on highly specific content or constantly referring to industry jargon may exclude many potential readers, and thus, potential customers, from your blog experience.
3. Worthwhile insights
If someone is choosing to read a blog, they are doing it for their own benefit, not for the benefit of the author. By reading a blog, the audience hopes to learn something or gain a unique perspective. Sharing empty content is useless to the audience and the author. Instead, you should focus on sharing content that is relatable and provides some type of unique insight.
4. Subject experts
The most credible blogs are curated by respected individuals, company leaders or category experts. Someone is much more likely to read a blog written by Mark Zuckerburg than by one of his department leaders. However, that doesn’t mean that the “Average Joe” should quit blogging. Often, individuals outside of the spotlight will have great insights than can create compelling content. If you don’t have subject credibility on your side, try to take advantage of someone else’s credibility. Hosting your blog on a reputable website, like Forbes, or referencing reputable sources will add credibility to your writing.
5. Know your audience
Keep the reader in mind throughout the writing process. Be personal. Relate to your readers. If you write an article that sounds reminiscent of a chapter from an organic chemistry textbook, your readers are probably going to lose interest. Add bits of yourself into the mix. This doesn’t mean share the story about that one time your cat did that cute thing, but you should allow your personality to shine through your writing. People read blogs to gain a sense of what others are thinking and feeling. It would be worthless to share the information without sharing the person creating the information.
Blogging can seem like a two-edged sword, seeming both relatively simple and exceedingly complex. It can be difficult to navigate the world of blogging, but with a few simple tricks, you can begin to MOVEahead. Happy Blogging!