I’ll be the first to admit that there are a million topics I’d like to blog about. However, when you commit to a blog, you must commit to structure as well.
If you write a blog focusing on cooking, you can’t talk about current events – unless, of course, the current event is about cooking (Paula Deen, anyone?).
Running a professional, readable blog involves some planning. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started on the right track:
1. Come up with a short summary about your blog. While this might seem a little childish or perhaps give you deja vu of college outlining, it’s really important. Writing down the focus of your blog will make decisions easier in the future. Decisions like the next suggestion…
2. Write a list of topics. Come up with 50-75 topics you’d like to blog about. Although this number might seem excessive, you’ll be grateful you compiled such a large list to flip through when you’re really hung up on blog ideas. This will also help you determine whether you really WANT to start a blog that fits your summary. If you’re passionate about the subject you’ve chosen, coming up with many ideas should not be too difficult.
3. Determine a schedule. How often will you blog? The best way to blog is to do so regularly. It’s recommended that you blog once every 5 days. This keeps your blog current, thus allowing interested readers to continue frequenting your blog without moving on to someone else’s material. The blogosphere is PACKED with competition. If you wait too long between blogs, your work might be forgotten.
4. Write your first blog. Great blogs are over 400 words, include an original photo, and stay on topic. Blogs that are longer are always preferred to shorter blogs. The reason for this is simple: search engines have an easier time cataloging and defining your blog when you provide more information. Using SEO specific keywords is a good idea and can help searchers find your blog with ease.
5. Categorize and tag appropriately. If you want your blog to be read, make sure you’re giving proper instructions to those searching for your subject. Suppose your blog is about food; it would be appropriate to categorize your blog under “cooking”, but it wouldn’t make sense to categorize it as “driving” – even if you write in your post about going to the store.
6. Share your blog with everyone. Social media is a great tool for getting the word out there when it comes to your blog. Login to Twitter and hashtag a couple main points, write a tiny summary, and include a link to your latest entry. Share with friends and family on Facebook. Add your blog to Pinterest. Catalog entries on StumbleUpon. Post your work to Tumblr. The social media options are endless. Becoming an active part of a blogging or message board community can also help with exposure.
Last but not least, blogging should be fun. If you don’t enjoy the subject or feel upset over having to write a blog, step away. Make sure the blog you create is something that makes you commit; that something should be your passion.