Blogging is the part of Social Media that has had time to mature, to prune off the rough edges, to carve out its niche. Blogging began in the 1990’s and has gained in popularity throughout the years. According to Wikipedia, as of February 2011 there were 156 million public blogs in existence.
They were originally weblogs or website journals where an individual could post their daily musings including links to the coffee shop they were in, to their boyfriend’s blog, upload pictures of the danish they were eating, and anything else that was going through their mind and into their fingers tapping on the laptop.
Naturally, a market evolved around them. Bloggers now pick topics such as makeup or kitchen appliances and write furiously hoping for good SEO placement and frequent views of their reviews so that ads on the blog will get impressions and clicks. Ultimately the successful career blogger makes good money and has as good a job hitting the keys of a computer as anyone doing data entry or anything else in an office.
Other bloggers use the blog to augment and build community around something else. A writer can use a blog to create a relationship with her fanbase as well as other writers. A sports figure can use a blog to educate young sports enthusiasts, expand endorsement exposure and show community activism. A politician can inform the public and garner support for initiatives.
Big editorial blogs are an industry unto themselves and may have millions of fans eager to read the pundits musings about trending topics.
Would a blog enhance your career or goals? Would it allow you a fuller range of expression for an artistic endeavor? Here are some blogging basics to help you make it a success:
1. Have an idea of what you want to cover at least in a general way. That keeps the blog consistent and prevents the readership from wondering what is going on. You’ve seen the opposite – the blog that has 500 words about conflict in the middle east followed by a short rant about being ripped off by a contractor, followed by a picture of a sleeping kitten.
2. Decide on frequency – are you going to blog every day, every week, every hour? You can change later but having a regular frequency helps readers look forward to your posts and not wonder at lapses in time.
3. Set an appointment with yourself to do the blog; don’t just bang at it randomly. In between, look for fodder for your blog. Use Google alerts to find news about your chosen topic and think of ways to expand what is in the news to give it your own flavor and view.
4. Respond to visitors who comment on your blog and reach out to other bloggers who are involved with a similar topic. Creating dialog and relationships enhances the success of your blog better than an Ivory Tower approach.