Blogs are amazing things. They have a life of their own, with online friends and followers. They can even translate into real life income (or so I read). What makes certain blogs successful?
The research I’ve done all talks about focus, being an expert or doing reviews on products you really like.
What if you don’t want to build your blog around products? What if you’re not an expert in a specific field?
Even within the product review realm, a person needs to have an authentic voice and communicate their personality in their writing. That can vary with an expert blog, but even those tend to let the writer express his or her personality in the midst of dispensing tutorials or advice. Almost all the blogs which have become successful have a specific voice.
I have two blogs. The first I started as a creative outlet. I thought it would be mostly a bunch of book reviews. But it didn’t pan out that way. It morphed into a blog that was primarily about gardening, family and motherhood. (If you’re curious you can check it out here: http://fromthebooknerd.wordpress.com/). I didn’t work at connecting with other bloggers or blogs, and didn’t think much about growing a following. That’s okay; I was just starting out and it took me a while to figure out that it is a great venue.
This fall I started a new blog, one with a different focus. The blog you’re reading now is all about the journey of becoming a published writer. But it is bigger than that. Because by extension, this blog is about my life.
Usually I tend to be a little private. I’m not crazy about the idea of having my identity out there for anyone to scrutinize. In my previous blog I was careful not to use my real name or the names of my family. I don’t need the world to be able to identify my children on sight. But I realize now that being too guarded makes it difficult for people to distinguish me from anybody else.
- Yes, people have short attention spans. But that doesn’t mean that all blog posts must be limited to less than 400 words.
- Yes, people like to hear about products that work. But not every successful blog is based on product reviews.
- Yes, sometimes people have voyeuristic tendencies but that doesn’t mean we need to keep all details of our lives to close to the vest.
We should always be mindful of what we share online, but it is when we share that people feel connected to us, and can even have validated their own shortcomings and struggles.
I’m an aspiring writer; I’m working to publish two novels and various essays. I am a wife and mom. I am a follower of Christ. These are things that define me and set me apart from my next door neighbor. These are things that inform everything I do. Beyond that, I am a klutz, a cornball, and a bit of a goof (maybe more than just a bit). These things set me apart from other people (somewhat unfortunately). By allowing my unique voice to come through in my writing, I can distinguish myself from the other blogs out there, and people might (cross everything) come back to see what new things are happening on the blog.
What techniques do you use when blogging? How do you decide what specifics of your life to share or keep private? What sets your blog apart from others? I’d love to hear what goes into your decisions concerning your blog. Feel free to comment below. Happy writing!