Running a blog is a great way to share your thoughts and opinions with millions of people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home mum, a small business owner, the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation or a budding musician or photographer - a blog is your open window to the world. It’s a place to speak freely about the things that matter most to you - your dreams, passions, hopes, ambitions and projects.
Starting a blog is easy and doesn’t have to cost a cent. There are many excellent free blogging sites available, such as WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. Choose a host, select a theme and you can be up and posting in next to no time at all. The hard part about blogging is making your voice heard and your presence felt among the millions of other blogs crowding the internet at any given moment.
Those first few posts to your fledgling blog nearly always come freely. Your brain is bursting with ideas and for a while it seems as if the well of inspiration will never run dry. People are visiting your blog, reading what you have to say and perhaps even sharing their own comments, and this encourages you to keep the momentum going.
But what happens when the flood turns to a trickle? When the ideas slow down and your readers start to look elsewhere? It’s a common problem for bloggers and a crucial reminder that in the blogosphere, there is one golden rule: content is the key.
So how do you keep the blog stone rolling and free of moss? The secret to getting your blog to stand out from the crowd is fresh, original and creative content. Blog readers are attracted by unique points of view - they may not necessarily agree with your opinion, but it’s a lot more interesting to read a post that reveals original thought than one that simply parrots other people’s opinions and ideas.
Frequent posting is another way to keep the readers coming back. You don’t need to post every day, but try to get at least two to three new posts up on your blog each week. In the blog realm, quality is infinitely better than quantity so don’t feel tempted to post lots of half-baked offerings. Take your time, think each post through and make sure you are saying something meaningful.
Try not to cram too many ideas into each post. Make it easy for your readers by restricting each post to just one subject, topic or point of potential discussion. Providing too much scope can dilute the impact of a post and make it hard for people to get to the heart of what you’re trying to say. If a subject seems too complex to express in just one article, break it down into a series of posts - this will allow your readers to digest each idea and give them a much better chance of understanding the message you are putting out there.
Finally, think carefully about your post title. You want it to be short, sharp and punchy, but you also want it to succinctly summarize what each post is about. Think about newspaper headlines and how they work to attract the reader to each story, and then apply these techniques to your own blog posts.