You Are Your Content
Love to blog but struggling with what to write? Whatever topic your blog is about, remember the most important content you have is YOU. As you write stuff, realise the no.1 thing the reader is interested in is you – the person writing it. If they wanted a straight up objective article on [insert topic here], they’d go to an industry giant. That’s the beauty of blogging. You have a sea of digital strangers who become friends as they read your stuff. They want to know your take on it; your views. When they read your material, your personality must shine through.
It took me a long time to realise that blogging should be fun, personal and informative. On top of that, posts don’t need to be long. There’s a great article I read in the Guardian online. It was a post titled “Say it quick, say it well.”
A 2011 AOP website usage study showed that a UK internet user visited 2,518 web pages across 81 domains and 53 sessions in November 2011. That’s a lot of content!
So how does this fast digital age affect YOU and YOUR BLOG?
1. Keep your content short + sweet
Choose a topic, do your research, use bullet points. Stick to one idea with any post. Don’t give people too much information, too quickly. For ideas on how to make your posts interesting, link in from other places and use quotes from credible sources.
2. Keep it personal
Remember you are the personality behind the blog. Here’s the beauty of this new digital age: there’s a blurred line between where your blog’s content ends and where YOU begin. This is great because people like people. They like your content, but they also want to get to know YOU. Your readers are a cyber community of friends with shared interests you haven’t met yet. This gives you the freedom of writing stuff in your own voice. It gives you the freedom to share personal stories and go off topic in an appealing way if you like. You can capture your target audience in a personal way and still be effective. Make sure you’re authentic across the board. Get comfortable with who you are and your audience will be relaxed and encouraged.
3. Create resources other people find good
If you want to make money off your blog, you need to have the kind of traffic advertisers recognize as significant. Only then can you make meaningful earnings. To get the numbers, you need maximum exposure. To get that, you need informative articles which people feel is worth sharing. Check out my 20 Ways To Get Serious About Blogging.
4. Figure out your ideal reader + your content will present itself
Do some in-depth research about your target audience and marketing angle.
The better you understand your customer, the faster your business will grow. But new ventures often struggle to define their target market and set their sights too broadly.
5. Align your business brand
Your blog is a business (if it’s not, it has the potential to become one). You write your blog. You became a public “personality” the minute you began your blog. Write from your own point of view and be open to audience interaction 24/7 on all your platforms. In the blogging world, your personal truth becomes your blog’s brand. People who enjoy your blog will come back. They become your “customers”. The angle of your brand should be the same all over (your “angle” is YOU). Become familiar with your truth. Once you’ve decided on a logo/name/colour scheme/writing style you like, make sure it’s the same all across all social platforms. This doesn’t have to be forever, just for a while. You need to innovate at some point, but keep the same colour scheme/logo for at least a couple months. Consistency makes your brand familiar and more trustworthy, which increases the likelihood of converting.
6. Think about how you help your audience
What is your intention behind the blog? Is it: to help, to entertain, to provide a service? Once you’ve decided, remember it when making a post. Ensure you have a clear intention when you create an article and that you put time and effort into doing it.
7. Look to other platforms for content ideas
What inspires your posts? Run different series each month in line with your industry topic. If you don’t have a specific topic, think about your categories. Make a schedule for posting articles within each category. For ideas on your articles, look to platforms like Pinterest, Google, Industry websites, News Websites and Google Search Trends to see what people are searching for the most.
8. Leave your audience changed
The biggest part of any blogger’s job is to leave your audience changed in some way after they read your post. If you can inspire them, help them achieve or help them grow, then you have succeeded. Whatever your content is, if you can leave your audience positively changed, they will come back.
Say it quick, say it well – the attention span of a modern internet consumer
Media organisations must adapt to cater for a generation of internet consumers who expect ‘instant gratification and quick fixes’
Rob Weatherhead is head of digital operations at MediaCom. He blogs at robweatherhead.co.uk and tweets at @robweatherhead.
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