Nine weeks ago, I was completely unaware of why people chose to create and consistently update blogs. I thought it was just a past time activity which people used to describe their feelings towards various topics and a place to state their opinions on others’ blogs. I’ve heard that some blogs are very lengthy, opinionated and descriptive; I’ve also heard that bloggers can receive a lot of criticism as well as positive acknowledgement. Since I registered for a Social Media marketing class in the last few months of my Master’s program, I was pleasantly surprised to understand that students were required to create a blog and update it on a weekly basis. We were to discuss specific topics and scenarios but were given the opportunity to do so within our own fields of interest. Being a big sports fan, I thought it was the perfect time to share my feelings and experiences not only with my professor and classmates, but with other bloggers worldwide, as well.
(I love this picture below! I thought it showed a more experienced person teaching the child; similar to my professor and findings in this article teaching me – the new blogger. It also adds a little humor because in reality, the little girl is probably learning very quickly and offering tips from what she has found back to her grandfather!)
It was week 1 of 11 in my Social Media marketing class when I was looking through the syllabus to prepare for the weeks ahead. First sentence: “The final project for this course is writing a concise and professional online blog.” My thoughts? What should my main focus be? What am I interested and experienced in? What am I passionate about? How can I get my points and opinions across in a professional yet personal manner? What will make readers want to come back each week to read my new posts? I chose to do a little research on tips for new bloggers. Below are “10 Best Practices for bloggers:”
- Think of yourself as a curator of ideas.
- Remember that your blog is a community, not a soapbox.
- Use a lot of tags.
- Link early and often.
- Plan ahead.
- Having said that, do blog about items in the news.
- Don’t be afraid to be personal.
- Be brief.
- Make your posts visually interesting.
- Work hard on your title.
The tips that really stood out to me were “don’t be afraid to be personal” and “make your posts visually interesting.” Growing up, I slowly came out of my shy personality and embraced my passion for not only sports, but for photography and visual projects. In classes, when I was told we had to create a poster or some sort of visual for a project, I couldn’t wait to get started! Now, in order to get my points across in my blogs, while keeping the readers entertained and interested, I would have to share personal ideas and experiences while expressing my feelings through words and visuals. “You don’t want the content to be all about you 24/7, but neither do you want it to be so impersonal it could have been written by anyone” (RNS, 2012). Blogs that provide photographs, images and/or videos of the topics can really catch the readers’ attention while expressing the blogger’s feelings in a different format. The article also mentioned, “Vary the text within your post to make blocks for long quotes, use bullet points, and even do different colored text” (RNS, 2012). These are all great tips to maintain the readers’ interest and excitement for future blogs.
Riess, Jana. (2012). 10 Best Practices for Bloggers: Social Media Series #1. Religion News Service. Retrieved February 25, 2013 from http://archives.religionnews.com/blogs/jana- riess/10-best-practices-for-bloggers-social-media-series-1