So You Think You Can Blog? 6 Tips for Aspiring Bloggers

As a content marketer, I work with a lot of bloggers and have the utmost respect for writers. I worship good content and my heart flutters at the sight of a great content strategy. Okay, I’m admittedly a Content Geek – and I have no qualms about it. Content is cool and I love that it is finally being given its due. If there ever was a time to be a writer, it is now – and aren’t we thankful for that! If you love content as much as I do, you might find these tips useful. These are basic, but extremely effective:

  1. Own itBloggers are content entrepreneurs. With the presence of social media, we no longer rely on anyone to create, market, sell our content. So it is important to own your success from start to finish. There are no excuses left anymore – they won’t publish me (self-publish); I have a writer’s block (there are so many online tools to get you to unblock); it’s too expensive (it’s free). Well, that’s the good part. The toughie is that you can’t really blame anyone now for not doing their job. You have to do it all – the success and failure of all content is on you. How liberating!
  2. Choose your niche: You’ve got to be smart. Sure you’ve got an opinion about everything, but if you really want to be taken seriously (and make blogging a commercially viable option), pick a niche and stick to it. Research it enough so that you have something interesting to say about it. You could go for something that you are passionate about – or you can write about a popular topic at the time, like a trending hashtag – however, that’s not going to be easy to sustain. So find a themeand a voice right away.
  3. Don’t spread yourself too thin: Don’t let any marketer or social media junkie tell you to have an account on all possible platforms. Basis your niche and personality, pick one or two platformsthat work for you. If you are a photographer, choose an Instagram and drop a Twitter, maybe. Pick a couple of platforms and use them well.
  4. Be yourself: With so many blogs out there about your chosen niche, how are you going to stand out? You’ve got to say something unique and be innovative. What’s the angle you can give to a common story? Is your style humorous or research oriented? Make the time to define that tone and voice of your blog. This is integral to building a brand for yourself.A reader should instantly be able to tell you’ve written something even without having read your name in the byline. Trust me, if you’re trying to copy someone else’s style or are just faking it, it shows. And it is the most uninspiring piece of writing, even if you’ve ticked all the boxes.
  5. Quality over quantity: You want to be taken seriously as a blogger? Maintain a high standard of quality in your posts. Don’t post shoddy photographs just because you have to. Don’t skip proofreading your posts. If you feel you’re not good at it, ask someone else to help, but please maintain a consistently high standard in your writing.
  6. Plan ahead to sustain: It takes less than ten minutes to start a blog. And it can shut down in ten days if you have no content to sustain it. Don’t start a blog till you have a plan in mind. Create a repository of twenty blogs before you go live. Curate contentfrom the internet or forge alliances with other bloggers to ensure your blog stays alive. If you want to engage your readers, you have to keep putting stuff out there so plan way ahead.