Lately I have been receiving numerous questions pertaining to the “how to” of the blogging world. So I figured why not address this topic in a blog post?
Keep in mind, this is just what has worked for me and my style of blogging. There are many other ways to deem a blogging style as “successful.”
1. Read, read, read. Read sites such as Thought Catalog and Huffington post to get a sense of what others write about and how they tackle it. Read newspapers to keep up on current events and generate ideas. Read books simply to learn new words and keep your mind spinning.
2. Mimic what works for others. No, I am not telling you to plagiarize. Just observe the style and voice of other bloggers and adapt that to your own topic. There is a reason certain people are successful, so why not learn from them?
3. Appeal to a collective audience. I work really hard to eliminate using “I” in my blog posts unless it is a story about a personal experience. And even then, I try to draw the audience into it by making it widely relatable. The truth is that people just don’t want to read about you. You’re not that interesting unless you can give them something to take away from your writing.
4. Write about what you know. For example, I write about sobriety, dating, college life. I do not write about politics, science, or medical conditions because to be honest, I would sound like an idiot and lose credibility.
5. Be persistent. This is huge when trying to get your work published somewhere other than your own blog. I submitted to Thought Catalog multiple times before being published. And even after that, I had to keep submitting before I finally connected with an editor who I’ve been working with consistently. As for HuffPost, I literally Googled and stalked the editors of each section and emailed them individually about contributing. The sports editor finally responded to me, and that opened the door to being able to submit blogs on any topic.
6. Reread and pay attention to grammar. Never, ever submit something without taking multiple reads through it. You will catch so many things you missed the first time around.
7. Engage with your audience. Even though sometimes I wish I didn’t, I read the comments section of my posts when HuffPost shares them on Facebook (that seems to be where the most engagement happens). I respond to people and their questions. I answer all the reader emails and Tweets that I receive. People are more likely to keep reading your posts if they feel like you care. Remember, readers make or break your success. Take time to thank them. Also – TAG YOUR POSTS. This is how other people come across them.
8. Don’t hold back. Being a blogger takes a certain kind of person. You have to be willing to put your own experiences out there, to approach awkward situations with humor and serious situations with a level tone. There will always be readers who feel the need to comment and express their disagreement, or flat out hatred of how you approached something. You have to brush them off and think of all the readers who appreciate what you do and say.
9. Experiment. Find out what styles work for you and what styles don’t. If something you post gets zero interaction or acknowledgment, there is probably a reason. Learn from it.
I’m sure many other bloggers have various advice as to how to get a foot in the door, but this is what I have learned since my entrance into the blogosphere. As always, email or Tweet me with questions/comments!