Writing a blog is a more public way of journaling or writing in a diary.
By Shelley Widhalm
Blogs at the most basic level are digital diaries.
The word diary implies, “This is personal,” but with 150 million blogs out there, the recent communication phenomena has become quite the opposite.
Unlike the red-bound diary with a little golden key to keep everyone out, blogs are designed to create a following, build an audience and invite the public to read, link to and share text, photos and videos. The content goes beyond the ripped-out diary page with the use of SEO, headlines and bullet points.
Blogs are a megaphone about a product, project, event, company, service or topic of interest and a way to spread thoughts, ideas, opinions, knowledge and expertise. They are a sales, advertising, marketing and promotional tool to find clients, customers and prospects. They are a tool to build brand awareness. And they are a way get a writer’s voice out there, instead of keeping it under lock and key.
In other words, they are an oxymoron. Digital diary, maybe not so much. Digital and powerful communication tool, yes and yes!
The power comes in the building of the blog, i.e. the appeal of the sibling wanting to read the little red diary.
To get that appeal, bloggers need to create original content targeted to a specific audience. They need to maintain their blog, providing new, updated and engaging content on a regular basis—preferably weekly, but monthly is okay, too, as long as it’s consistent. And they need to promote their blog to social media and other outlets to keep building that audience.
First, Ask a Few Questions About Your Blog:
- Who’s the audience for this topic? Other writers? Your customers? Or hobbyists who also love to do what you do?
- How will you reach the audience to let them know about your blog?
- Is your topic something that can be written about in different angles? Will it be relevant in six months or a year?
- What is your competition, including other blogs, newsletters, podcasts and media and social media outlets?
Here are a Few Ideas for Blog Topics:
- Product and service comparisons and testimonials.
- How-to instruction.
- Book reviews.
- Commentaries and other reviews.
- Trends locally or in the news.
- Hobbies and special interests.
- Business and financial news.
- Interviews with clients or key resources.
- Stories about what happens behind the scenes.
- Personal experiences.
Blogs Also Can …
Cover a wide variety of topics from a certain vantage point, such as humor, insecurity or trying to understand the world. They can serve as a portfolio, as in the case of artists who want to post their artwork and writing to promote what they do and generate sales, but also to get those followers.
And they can be a way to track your life, your interests and what you want to share with the world. Open up your diary and begin the story …