If someone asked you, “Why should I read your blog? What purpose does your blog serve? What differentiates your blog from the others?” have you thought about what you would say?
If you only blog as a hobby, there’s no need to think any further, but if you’re using your blog as a platform to promote a brand (company or personal), how much effort do you put into ensuring that the content you provide fits your vision while simultaneously standing out from the rest?
One of the biggest things I’ve learned about blogging is that original content is king. If you follow any of the top blogs, you notice that while there may be a few reoccurring themes, each one provides their own unique perspective. In my opinion, this is WHY they’re considered the cream of the crop. When I decided to start a blog, I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to cover .The blogosphere is filled with blogs about fashion, so let’s be honest: who wants to get lost in the crowd? Obviously, you want people to keep coming back but it shouldn’t be at the expense of you being the carbon copy of someone else.
The top things I learned from their work?
Figure out your voice. If your blog was created to assist with the promotion of a brand/service that you provide or you ARE the brand, think about what it is you’re trying to convey to your audience before you hit publish. Savvy readers know when you aren’t being authentic, so take time to figure out what your voice is.
Take time with your posts. Read what you’ve written before it goes up. Some posts can go up in 15 minutes; others may take a little more planning. Either way, the MINIMUM you can do is double check the spelling & grammar, and make sure that what you’ve written is cohesive. We all make mistakes but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read someone’s blog but closed it before finishing because I couldn’t understand what they were trying to say (or the formatting was so jumbled it was too hard to maneuver through the pages). You don’t have to be a literary scholar or graphic designer but taking your time with your work won’t hurt.
Be consistent with your content. There’s nothing wrong with having interests but if you’ve credited yourself as being an expert of XYZ on your blog, actually writing about XYZ would be a good idea. Jumping from topic to topic just so you can get hits on your page isn’t the smartest thing to do. That’s not to say you can’t cover multiple things, but if you have a goal in mind, whatever you post on your blog should somehow tie in to that.
Know what it is you’re promoting. If you’re blogging with a purpose, developing a 30-second elevator pitch to use when networking is great. Being able to give people a short, concise answer about what it is you do (and why they should read your blog to learn more about it) assures them that you’re actually invested in your brand and know what you’re doing. If you’re working on obtaining sponsors or advertisers, they need more detail than just “I blog about fashion.”
When I decided that I was ready to leave the comfortable, “safe” career that I had and pursue an entrepreneurial career in fashion, I decided to start this blog so that I’d have my own creative outlet. I realized there were opportunities that could come from blogging so while I looked at others for inspiration, I didn’t want to copy anyone else’s style. Before I wrote my first post, I had to determine what subjects I wanted to cover (contrary to popular belief, fashion consists of a broad spectrum of topics). My career goals are to own a boutique and/or be a style editor for a magazine, so I decided to use this as a springboard to connect with people and share style ideas. I also try to highlight independent designers and interesting places to shop as opposed to always covering those that are already well known. This allows me to blog with a purpose, which helps me reach a few personal goals while also providing content that my readers might like as well.
So what say you: how are you utilizing your blog? Are you blogging with a purpose? Have you learned any tips?