5 Tips for Successful Blogging
And Why K12 thru College Need to Be Teaching Blogging to All Students
Let's start with a Platonic view of blogging. This means defining our concepts. Blogging is a form of communication in which the writer crafts a focused essay presented and marketed through the internet with a predominantly virtual audience. The earlier generation of blogs was shared wholly through websites and marketed through email and blog subscriptions. The current generation of blogs is much more widely available via social media sharing and marketing.
The shift via social media has had several effects on blogging. Blogs tend to be shorter, more tightly focused, more visually attractive, reliant primarily through social media marketing, and increasingly multimedia robust with graphic visuals, short audio, video presentations and links.
Perhaps most important for us all is in understanding the increasingly central role that blogs play in the current climate of information sharing. I think that we need to expect their role to increase over time. Blogs are showing a remarkable staying ability and an adaptability as technology changes and becomes ever more robust and creative.
The best (and most widely read) blogs are those that help solve problems, that provide information, and that are thematically focused. Let me explain this in the following:
5 Key Tips for Successful Blogging
- Blogs are communication between you and others, so remember to present them with a "you attitude" outwards to your readers. Do not craft your blog wholly about yourself. Such a blog might be of interest to your family and close friends, but most blogs are broadly available through social media, so you want your blog to be of interest to and attract readers that you may never meet in person. This means writing your blog with attention to your potential audience and their interests and needs.
- You want your blog to be of value to others. When others see the value in your blogs, they will continue to look for and read your posts. This means that your blog needs to be less about you and more about your readers, more about your readers' lives and needs. The best blogs are crafted with a humility and offering outward to others. Remember that you want your blog to be less about yourself, less about your own interests, and more about your knowledge and experience as they are of value to others.
- Every person has lived with experiences in life and has gained valuable knowledge from those experiences and personal reflection upon those experiences. This means that everyone has experiential knowledge of value to share with others. Each person also had learned about specific topics. For the most successful blogging that will reach many others and be of value to them, you want to draw upon those areas of your life, work, and study in which you have knowledge to share with others. So take some time to think about what you have learned in life, what you already know, and what you can offer to others for their learning.
- Focus your blog thematically around a topic that you are very interested in, that you already have knowledge about, and that you are interested in learning more about. For a successful blogging experience, you want your blogs to build upon each other, develop over time with new learning, additional information, and heightened value for your readers. To this end, you need to focus your blogs thematically in a way that will permit you to continue learning while sharing your valuable knowledge and insights to others.
- Social media and blogging are of great benefit to our lives and work. Twitter provides quick and interactive sharing/connecting. Facebook provides space for more familial connections with family and friends. LinkedIn provides valuable information and professional connections for your work and volunteerism. Instagram provides quick visuals that connect with the power of pictures [Think of the popular saying that "A picture is worth a thousand words.] Vine provides short videos for greater engagement even beyond visuals. But it is the longer and more developed capabilities of blogs that provide greater informational sharing, deeper connections, and more specific links for further exploration.
You want your blog to have a general theme that is in an area that you know a lot about. Note that your blog does not need to be related to your field of work, but it is always best when filled with passion, knowledge, experience, and your own interest in learning more and being current in the field.
Blogging is much more than the personal journals or diaries of the past. While blogs are invariably part of the writer's life and world, their outward focus makes them much more than the greater self-focus of diaries. The most successful blogs are always less about you and more about what you can offer to others. Life these days in the world is challenging. It seems that everyone is struggling in different ways. Blogs that reach out through the internet with valuable words, visuals, audio, and video can speak to others, sometimes in big ways that help to solve problems in people's lives, at work, and in their communities.
Each person has something to share. I encourage employers, higher education, and K12 to discover ways by which the new information sharing of blogging can enrich the workplace and students' education. Feel free to contact me via studentsuccessincollege.com for support in this area.