What kind of blogs do you write?
Are they informational and formatted like a news bulletin? Are they free flowing and opinionated like a diary? The most successful blogs you will find, the ones with the highest reputations and readerships, are somewhere in the middle.
What makes blogs attractive to readers is their personal point of view, the ability of the reader to see that there is an actual human being behind the keyboard. Many people feel that the news has become cold and impersonal, always trying to maintain the narrative of the site or station on which it falls. Blogging provides readers with a warmer alternative – a flesh and blood person who has opinions and interests that vary.
However, this very nature and appeal of blogging also takes away from the credibility of bloggers. If every piece of information comes through the eyes of one particular person, it will be portrayed differently than if it came from that person’s neighbor, sibling, spouse, or child. It makes it difficult to ascribe any sort of credulity to such opinionated writing. Part of this difficulty comes from the term “blog post” being used to describe this writing.
If you want to increase your readership, and your reputation, train yourself to think and write more like a journalist and less like a columnist. Write articles instead of writing posts, and convey this difference in your wording and your structure. To do this, think back to school and writing an essay. There are specific steps you follow to write an essay and they can be used to structure your rambling opinions into a personalized article.
First, write out a title or a main idea. The idea is to answer one specific question with your article, and this step will help keep you on track.
Next, write an outline. Separate your points into bullets and flesh them out with relevant details, explanations, and research. This will help you keep “fluff” to a minimum and thoroughly answer the question.
Lastly, connect with your reader. Use the introduction or conclusion to maintain the personal connection that brings your readers to your blog over a news site. This aspect is still important, it just shouldn’t take precedence over the information.
It might feel like you are blurring the lines of traditional journalism and blogging, but that’s okay. Who says they have to be separate, after all? It may also feel uncomfortable to step out of your zone and into another when you’ve gotten comfortable writing a certain way. That’s okay, too. Teddy Roosevelt said, “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” So believe.
Then do it.