Aubia Communications

5+ ways blogging is like no other writing you’ve done

5+ ways blogging is like no other writing you’ve doneWriting for a blog is different than any other type of writing. In fact, it almost seems that any other writing rules you’ve learned, be it in English class or for journalism assignments, fly right out the window. Blogging is in a class of its own, and you need to learn this new skill to effectively reach your targeted audiences/publics.

 Why should you blog?

I’ve been blogging for about six months now, and I learn something new about it every day.  Blogging has been around for about the last decade and a half  starting out as a personal journal online and evolving into a smart business practice. Blogs from cooking to spiritual renewal have exploded on the Internet, with an estimated 31 million bloggers in the U.S. alone.

The No. 1 benefit I’ve found in blogging is learning. Blogging can help you establish your own expertise and niche, and as you’re doing this, you are constantly teaching yourself, researching, and becoming even more informed about your craft. Blogging helps your (future) clients with valuable information, and it gives them an idea into who you are and how you will work with them. If you can solve their problems before they even ask, your clients are already on the road to trusting you. Blogging helps you build and maintain those all-important relationships with your target audiences.

How is blogging different?  

1) Be personal

In blogging, it’s about making a connection with your reader. In school, we were always taught to use third person, never first person. In blogging, it’s the complete opposite. The more you can reach out and personally click with your readers, the better. Blogging is less formal than other forms of writing, so don’t be afraid to use “I”, “you”, contractions, and your own personal voice.

2) Write in short blocks

Academic writing is long dense paragraphs, and blog readers aren’t looking for that. Don’t put your readers to sleep, or worse, cause them to skip right over your post. Write in concise sentences and paragraphs, and hold your readers attention with action.

3) Use subheadings

Blog readers are not reading your posts word-for-word; they are skimming. Subheadings help them pick out what’s most important to them and get back to their busy lives. Without subheadings, your posts are just one long page, and that is a sure way to get skipped.

4) Lists are key

When I write a blog post, I follow a format that first tells the reader why the post is important, gives information that backs my reasoning up, and explains how they can put the information to use through a list. Remember most blog readers are skimmers, and lists make it that much easier for them to take away the important stuff.

5) End with a question

In other writing, you end with a conclusion, a summary, and you’re done. In blogging, though, you want to make a connection with your readers. Comments are the gold at the end of a rainbow for blogging and just the beginning of that interaction. End your blog posts with a question to get the ball rolling.

5+ ways blogging is like no other writing you’ve done+) Bonus

Distribution. A sure-fire way to scare readers off is to allow your blog to sit without updating. If I visit a blog that hasn’t been updated in months, I’m out of there in a flash. Be consistent with your blog posts. I update the Aubia Communications Blog every Tuesday Thursday. I need to get better at setting a time each Tuesday, but for now I aim to get the post out before noon.
Blog readers like reliable bloggers they know will publish new content daily, weekly, monthly, or however you decide best meets your agenda. Pick a schedule for publishing, let your readers know what it is, and stick to it. Once you’ve established your blog calendar, readers will look forward to your publication date.

Promotion. Writing a blog post, posting it, and waiting for people to come visit is like setting up a yard sale on a street with one house and hoping someone just happens to drive by – it’s very unlikely you’ll get visitors to your blog or your yard sale. You need to promote your endeavors. Each time you publish a new blog post let your social media followers know, post it on your website, share it through email lists, network it with other bloggers who have similar readerships, and much more. The more people who see your blog, the more opportunities you have to make connections with readers.

Format. Just because you’re reading a written blog post, don’t think that blogs have to be all about writing. Foodies can share photos of their dishes, dancers can use videos to show routines, and business bloggers can use podcasts to interview business experts about the latest trends. Find the format that appeals to you most and go for it.

Want more information on blogging? There are lots of great blogs out there specifically about writing and hosting blogs. My top three recommendations, in alphabetical order, are CopyBlogger, ProBlogger and Pushing Social.

Do you host a blog or thinking about starting one? I would love to hear about it. Leave your ideas and links in the comments.

photo credit: Mike Licht, via photopin cc

photo credit: Will Lion via photopin cc

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