Resources for Writers
How to Write a Blog
Before writing content for your blog you need to consider what you want to write about, what interests you, why you feel you are qualified to write about it and who you are writing for. A blog gives you tremendous creative freedom, but it certainly helps to be clear in your own mind about your angle or niche.
Think about the style and tone of your blog. For example, if this is a blog to raise your profile as an author, or to promote your book, make sure that the style of your blog posts reflects your personality and the style of your writing. Remember that your blog is a window to yourself and your writing – the subject matter, style and tone of your blog will also influence your followers and readers and keep them coming back for more.
When writing content for your blog, remember that most blog readers want to feel as though they are getting to know you. They will want to see genuine, personal, honest posts. You don’t need to share intimate personal details (unless you want to, which some bloggers do!), but you do need to write content which is engaging.
Keep your writing professional. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your mother, agent or potential publisher to see. A general rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would I say this to a stranger in the street?” If the answer is no, it is probably advisable not to publish the post! Don’t be too cautious though – you have to be interesting and state a point of view.
Don’t over-think your posts or try to be too clever or perfect. Blogs are a great place to write from the heart.
Think about your post title – short, snappy, humorous or controversial titles are sure ways to encourage people to click on the link to read more and a very simple way to bring visitors to your blog
Try and write posts which stimulate discussion in your comments section. Ask questions in your posts or pose a problem which readers may be able to help with. Often, posts like this will be‘re-tweeted’ (linked back to Twitter feed such as Tweetmeme) which, will help with your blog’s exposure and visibility.
When you start blogging, keep a notebook and a pen with you at all times as a great idea for a post will inevitable strike you at the most inopportune moment! If you also plan to include photos in your posts, keep your camera handy. Blogging about an inspirational walk through the woods on a beautiful, crisp autumn morning may be engaging enough, but with an image of that wood and that morning you make it so much more personal and meaningful for your reader.
Blogging lends itself to immediacy and spontaneity so take advantage of current news stories which you want to write about and offer your opinion on. News moves fast, so a story which might make a timely and engaging blog post today may be old news, or have been covered by tonnes of other bloggers tomorrow. Seize the moment!
How often you post is up to you. Try and establish a posting pattern that you can stick to – whether this is every day, once a week or a couple of times a week. It doesn’t really matter how frequently you post; but decide what your target is and try to stick to this. Whatever the established frequency of your blog posting, make sure you have something interesting and worthwhile to write about. Don’t make the mistake of posting something, anything, just because it’s a Tuesday and you usually post something on a Tuesday.
It is also useful to link to previous posts you have written within the body of a new post, where there may be a connection or related point made. This encourages readers to browse your blog and see what else you have written.
If you are going away for a period of time or won’t be updating your blog for a while, just tell your readers this. They honestly won’t abandon you forever and will be looking out for your return, rather than wondering whether you have disappeared off the face of the blogosphere entirely.
If you start to suffer from ‘Bloggers Block’, use tools and features such as polls, guest posts from other bloggers or people who don’t blog but would love the opportunity too, reviews and interviews to keep your blog content varied and interesting.
Finally remember that a post can be edited after you’ve published it and can ultimately be deleted entirely, so don’t get so hung up about posting that you never post anything!
© Hazel Gaynor for writing.ie
Hazel Gaynor is a mum, writer and award winning blogger who has launched her free lance writing career from the success of her blog http://hotcrossmum.blogspot.com
Check it out and follow Hazel on Twitter at twitter.com/hotcrossmum
Hazel has recently bought out an eBook 'Hot Cross Mum - Bitesize Slices of Motherhood' now available on Amazon and other ebook stores.
Praise for Hot Cross Mum – Bitesize Slices of Motherhood
“Hazel is a brilliant writer and captures the essence of being thrust into motherhood headfirst. Her writing is hilarious and often cuts close to the bone. She'll have you chuckling at your computer screen for hours.” - Susanna Scott, Founder of British Mummy Bloggers and co-founder of CyberMummy Conferences
"A funny, relevant and wonderfully honest account of motherhood. I laughed out loud and nodded in recognition all the way through." -Sinead Moriarty, bestselling author of ‘The Baby Trail’ and ‘Pieces of My Heart’
“Hazel Gaynor is a funnier version of your best laugh-out-loud, fabulous, friend - the one who can take a mundane or even miserable mom-moment and spin it into pure comedy gold. Her wickedly wonderful“bitesize slices of motherhood” go down easier than the smoothest top-shelf tequila and satisfy on every level.” - Jenna McCarthy, bestselling author of ‘The Parent Trip’ and ‘Cheers to the new mom!’ / ‘Cheers to the new Dad!’.