By Chanda Temple
Birmingham, Ala. blogging expert and See Jane Write Birmingham founder Javacia Harris Bowser recently held a blogging workshop to get bloggers and would-be bloggers blogging. She had a lot to say. Here are her are top 10 tips.
1) Write a mission statement for your blog
What message are you trying to convey with your blog? Have you identified your target audience? Include that in your mission statement. Write it. Live it. Love it.
2) Create a strong “About” page
Besides the look of your website and the content, your “About Me” page sets the tone of your blog. Be sure it clearly explains the topics you cover in your blog and offers background on you. Make the writing interesting and fun. Include images and links to of your favorite posts, too.
3) Write for your ideal reader
Identify your ideal reader and get to know her. What are her passions, problems, hobbies and dreams? How old is she? What keeps her up at night? Give her a name. After you do all of this, only blog for her. I know this sounds scary but it’s very liberating. Don’t think you will alienate your other loyal readers. You won’t. Why? Because if you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one. Your ideal reader believes in you and supports what you do. She shares your posts with others. Writing for her will attract others like her.
4) Be sure your blog is answering questions and solving problems
Discover what questions or problems your ideal reader has and write posts that address those concerns.
5) Tell a story in your blog posts
People love stories, no matter if you write a business blog or fashion blog. Use a narrative to deliver your information. Include images, too. Need help on how to do it? Check out fashion blogger’s Katie Frost‘s http://www.hemsforher.com. She has a way of telling stories about each of her outfits. Also, read “The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human” by Jonathan Gottschall and Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.”
6) Develop a blogging schedule and stick to it
You don’t have to blog every day, but decide how often you can do it and be consistent. One blogger may post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Another may just do it on Mondays. Do what works for you.
7) Create three features on your blog
These are fun things that you will like to write about on your blog. One thing could be: 30 Things I Love Right Now and it could just be a list. When developing features don’t simply follow trends. Choose features that are right for your blog and that you can maintain.
8) Start an email newsletter
This a great way to remind people to read your blog. When putting people on your email list, make sure you have their permission. A newsletter is also a good way to build a tribe of supporters. Your tribe will not only buy your products but they will tell others to buy them, too.
Promote your blog on social media. Interact on Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Participate in Twitter chats. Join blogging groups. Comment on other blogs.
10) Guest blog for sites your ideal reader frequents
Guest blogging is the best way to build readership and partnerships with other bloggers. Appear on blogs that feature content that your ideal reader would want to read. But before you ask to guest blog, be sure your own blog is ready for company. Do you have your profile shot, your About page, photos, good contents, links that work, etc? If your blog is busted, that may leave a bad taste in the mouths of potential followers.
Want more? Check out Bowser’s 2014 blog post on 30 blogging ideas for Blog Like Crazy in November, a writing challenge to blog for 30 days in November. Also, be sure to sign up for Bowser’s emails and join her See Jane Write group.
Chanda Temple is a former reporter now working in public relations. She blogs about being better in business and more at http://www.chandatemplewrites.com. Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.