16 Sep Wisdom from the Most Successful Bloggers
Is Your Writing Getting Left in the Dust? Then vs. Now: 5 Questions To Ask Before You Get Your Word Out
Notice I didn’t begin with the use of the dialog-esqe, interactive word: blog. I will reveal how the blog has evolved and what you can do to stay current and relevant in an ever-changing market.
First, we’re all writing in an increasingly saturated space. So what’s different and what’s the same?
Let’s just say it. Blogging has shifted. It’s not what it was when it began although a lot of the basic elements remain.
There are more ways to spread the word. There are interactive surveys, links to links where advertising swoops in like a seagull diving for a fish out of water and hijacks your attention span before you arrive at your intended page destination.
So here are the 5 questions, Then vs. Now: You’ll want to understand both to ensure that your content has purpose.
Then: Your Biggest Question, Why Are You Blogging?
Do you want your blog to have a long-term impact on your business? Are you blogging as a hobby or do you have specific business returns you want to measure? What is your main purpose as a blogger? Is it to communicate and spread information, inform readers, gather your audience, share a passion, or chronicle segments of your life?
Now: Then + Why Are You Blogging Now?
Are there other ways that you reach your audience better or in addition to publishing digitally? For example, is a weblog, Vlog, or podcast a better time investment? Regardless of vehicle, what are you trying to say?
Then: To Whom Do You Write?
Before every post, I put myself in a place of knowing that I’m having a conversation with one person. A friend or a colleague that I know is interested in what I have to say. If I’m having writer’s block, it’s even more important to write exactly to one person rather than an ambiguous imaginary audience.
It’s important to ask specific questions. What are the interests of this person? Is this person a part of my regular audience or tribe? Where does this person play, hang out, and eat? When you write with this type of knowing, your readership will identify with you more and ultimately trust you in a greater capacity.
Now: Who is your audience today?
Have they changed in the recent past? How much time do they have to read your work and how do you get them engaged once they are reading what you have to say?
Then: What is Your Message?
Even if you write on several topics, a consistent voice should always shine through your work. People want to follow and recognize you, not your neighbor. The best way to do this is continually go back to asking why you are writing and what your deeper message is beyond your topic.
For example, if you are writing about how Movement has been your mind and body’s lifesaver for the last 10 years, your core message may be around your total health. Not every blog you post needs to have the same core message, but it’s extremely helpful to you as writer as well as your readership when your message is clear.
Now: What is your message + Do you have the attention of your audience?
What kinds of things can you do to hold that attention? Visuals and excellent content are still the winners here.
Then: What Is Your Timing?
If you plan your editorial calendar in advance, you’ll save yourself task of under and overestimating your timeline. First, your readership wants consistent content from you. If you are publishing consistently and with joy, people will want to read. So know ahead of time if you are publishing every day, twice a week, or once a week.
The key is consistency and planning. Know how much time you want to spend blogging each week, and add that to your calendar. When you are starting out, it’s helpful to add more time than you think you need, and allow for the editing process.
Now: Do you follow analytics?
Do you know when your readers are most likely to read your content? Stay current with this data by staying on top of your social media metrics.
Then: How Do You Position Yourself – What’s Your Platform?
The elements of blogging are simple, but you have some choices to make upfront when starting your blog. There are lots of options for writing on a free blog format. Among them are WordPress and other platforms.
Now: What is the best way to maximize the attention span of your audience, and is it worth your time and that of your followers to publish on multiple platforms?
For example, if you intend to publish on a more professional level and you want to switch from a free hosting to a self-hosting option, it can involve some work. Although switching is easier than it once was, it’s best to commit to the option that you think will let you grow from the very start.
However you choose to get your message out, remember to stay flexible and research the current market.