Blogging is more than just blurting out your emotions on the Internet. It’s a style of writing that requires honesty, accuracy and a little flamboyance. Be careful, though. Your online audience could either make you a viral sensation or a complete bust almost overnight.
Like any form of writing, there are standards and styles to abide when blogging. If you want your blog to get noticed, you also have to optimize your content to be recognized by Google and other search engines.
Adding photos and videos also helps you stand out. No one wants to click on a blog that leads to pages of grey prose. Online readers especially have a short attention span, so it’s important to capture them with well-organized words and a pleasing arrangement of artful imagery.
Ultimately, however, blogging is about balance and creating a resource for your reader. Too much or too little of any of these elements will lead to lopsided content.
Accuracy, ethics and precision are key
Spelling errors and shoddy writing will alienate your readers. It’s important to triple-check your work and cite any major statements of fact. Plus, you must follow copyright laws. Experts recommend you understand fair use practices to protect other writers’ work and to avoid being sued.
The tone of most blogs is meant to be conversational and concise. But it’s also paramount you precisely cite your sources. If you link to something, give that source credit either directly or indirectly. Copying and pasting another source’s content is not an option. It’s plagiarism. Plus, your own words are more unique.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is crucial to being found online. Use specific and long-tail keywords that you think people are searching for to drive attention to your content and issues you’re writing about.
Finding your ‘art’
Online content is a visual experience, much more so than traditional print. But unless you’re generating original photography or video, you could find yourself scrambling to fill the artistic void with stock images. That’s OK. There are online solutions to help. For example, Shutterstock provides royalty-free stock videos for a reasonable fee. This visual content can keep your blog feeling fresh and unique.
It’s important to stand out. No matter what your topic is, there’s competition in cyberspace. But the beautiful thing about the Internet is that it’s searchable and open to all. So check out your competitors. See what their blogs feel like and figure out a way to differentiate yours.
Remember that you cannot simply copy a photo or video from another site without the owner’s permission. Stock footage can help solve that problem so you can work on the creativity of your content.
As you build your blog and set a standard for your content, creativity will come. Write from the heart. Explore your issue in unique ways. Find new angles and share them with the world.