Blogging for Beginners: Some Top Tips
Claire Dee writes blogs for herself and others across an array of websites and runs her own communications consultancy near Guildford – www.clairedeecommunications.com
In these unprecedented times, being locked down at home all day can become challenging.
But it needn’t be.
In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill and take up a new hobby.
So why not try blogging?
For those of you who have attended my Guildford Institute blogging courses, you’ll know that writing well for the web is very different to traditional creative writing. What works for a feature article or short story doesn’t fit the blog platform.
What is a blog?
The word blog is short for web log and is a regularly updated web page written in an informal or conversational style. Blogs are effectively online journals sharing ideas, tips and general day-to-day activities that others seek out, read and follow.
They can be written for fun such as your own travel diary or restaurant reviews. They can be written as ‘how to’ guides from baking and knitting to running and yoga. They also make great marketing tools for small and large businesses to share their services and expertise.
Whatever the reason and theme, as long as they are well written and informative (but not salesy) they will be read and enjoyed with people coming back for more.
However, writing for an online audience is fiercely competitive. There is so much content out there that your blog can get lost in all the noise. So reaching out to your readership and engaging them is key.
This means in just a few simple steps your blog has to be found (via search engines like Google), your summary has to be succinct so people click through, and your online content has to be clear and concise so people actually stay and read on.
Where do I start?
WordPress.com is a great blog hosting platform.
And once you’re up and running, here are some top tips to get you started:
- Engaging headline – your headline should be clear and not overly clever; it really should do what it says on the tin (see mine for this blog!).
- Uncluttered opening – make your initial few paragraphs short and create ‘white space’ so the reader doesn’t see a mass of dense overwhelming text.
- Informative content – if the reader does choose to stay (for which well done!), make sure you go on to inform them in an easily digestible writing style. It’s about adding value while remaining readable.
- Call to action – end with a call to action (e.g. email us to learn more, please share your views/what do you think?) to encourage reader engagement.
- Edit and proof – and do ensure your blog post has been edited and proofread as typos and errors are unprofessional and easily avoided.