A blog is not like a newspaper. Most blogs are free to read.
It is not like a magazine. Many blogs are run by one person.
When you embark on creating a new blog. You are creating a communication and information portal. In the information age, such an entity is of extreme significance. Information is a vital tool for survival. Think about all the people out there who aren’t educated. Most of them live through each day of their lives wishing they could access some form of useful education to improve their lives. They know quite well that this is the key to their success. Those that do not even know what education is are oblivious to the fruits that spring forth from attaining it. They therefore live their lives in much poorer standards that they have simply adapted to. With education, their lives can be much simpler.
But there is a flipside to it all. Too much information has been known to overwhelm the human mind. It simply goes to waste. That is why the human mind needs a reliable structure that can format it in a way that it meets the most relevant needs of the human soul and body. Fortunately, we have Google to thank for a larger portion of that task. Google however only does about 40 percent of the job. It merely directs our minds to the many possible doorways where the right answer might lie.
It is thus our duty as bloggers to provide internet search engines just like Google with the right assistance in giving answers to this information hungry world. Whatever you blog about, you need to know it is not merely about disseminating it – it is also about organizing it. Organizing your information is what allows you to communicate it to the world. Without organization, communication is dead.
Organizing a blog post
You don’t have to cover every single idea that a blog topic revolves around. You simply need to look at what you’ve written and make sure its well outlined with headings and whatever else will guide your reader to the answers. Keywords, titles, subtitles, links, pictures and other media all do this job. What’s the point of naming a blog post 100 ways to be successful when you are only intending to outline 100 ways to be successful as an online writer. If you stick with the former title, you should talk about 100 ways that circumvent both the online sphere and the offline sphere of success. Again success doesn’t need to be about money along. It can be about relationships, inner satisfaction,charity, sports, health and so on…
Which kind of success are you talking about?
On the internet there are tonnes and tonnes of blogs and websites that are out to promote irrelevant information. There are no laws against that but there surely are negative outcomes. Many people get misled into reading and believing the wrong information. Consequently, they get ripped off their money, get persuaded into participating in immoral or illegal activities and the list goes on. As subtle as it may seem, the internet is quickly becoming a tool for mind control and pursuing purely selfish interests. If you want readers to consistently read your informational resources, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
Am I writing this to communicate to someone?
I haven’t done my research but I have a feeling than more than 50 percent of blogs out there are really not meant (or operated) to communicate to anyone. They are just a self indulgence of some sort if not attention seeking schemes that aim to fortify the writers self esteem.
If so, who?
“Who are your readers?” is an interesting question I see posed on many blogging guides out there. Frankly not many people can answer that question. Why? Because you do not dictate who reads your blog or who doesn’t. You would rather state whom you wish your readers could be. And the answer is not that short and exact. You could be running a humour blog but you want it to go a certain kind of demographic. Maybe people who are into dirty humour, with a strong sober message beneath it. It could even be an emotional description. Like, people who have lost their mothers or people who have just entered a new romantic relationship. Don’t just settle for any description for your intended readers. Don’t just say I am writing this for people in school. There are many sorts of people in school. Which ones?
Writing for everyone is the number one step to not communicating. The reality is you cannot connect to everyone because not everyone will agree with your ideas and set of values. You will wind up a flailing leaf with no self conviction once you jump around from opinion to opinion with no particular stand. And no one likes to read flailing leaf literature.
What exactly do I want them to know?
So now that you know who your readers ought to be, you need to craft a message that you will communicate. That was the initial point of starting the blog anyway. Chances are you have it laid out very clearly in your mind. You just need to believe in it so badly you would host a large scale conference to speak about it. And the blog really is your large scale conference. Its accessible to the entire world.
Just like a sub headline leads your reader to well grouped ideas, categories will package your message in a way that is easy to follow. Pages will perform the same function. The difference between a page and a category is that a page is static in nature. It doesn’t change,. A category will lead you to a web page whose content is refreshed with every relevant post you publish.
The About page is a static page that described the underlying principle of all this bloggery and sometimes also described you as a person. The About page should answer the question, “So what is the bottomline?” Its where any new readers can get a brief run through on what you’re blog is about. From there it is important to guide your reader to square 1,2… etc of the message of yourblog. That is if there is a particular order to your statement.
Why do I need them to know this?
This is even more important than the message itself. Embarking on a journey to nowhere in particular can be adventurous but then it can cost you a lot of time and money. If you are blogging purely for fun, then you might not need to seriously consider your cause. If this is more than just fun for you, the you have to know exactly where all this is leading to. Why the hell are you blogging in the first place? Answering this will help you orient and limit your blog post to cover specific elements for your message. It will help you blog/communicate for results and not merely traffic numbers. Not knowing the end product of your blog is the reason a lot of blogs lose their momentum and wither off into the back end of search engine relevance.
How will this help me, them or the rest of the world for that matter?
So now that you know why you are communicating and what the readers will do after they read your blog you also need to ask what the benefit is. So you got 1000 hits a month. You know where they are from and you know what they mostly read about. You got them to sign up for a newsletter and you got some of them to buy your e-book or cd or other relevant product. Is that where it ends? Is the money all you were after? Surely there are a dozen other ways in which you could have made that money? Why did you choose the blog? Beyond the money there are other values that make the blog a better choice for communication. Did it change their lives? Will it make them laugh and brighten up their day every single day? Will it help you connect to certain people you are seeking to connect with (and if so why?). There are certain intangible values in a blog that keep the spirit of the blogger going. Strive to connect to those values everyday and let them guide your efforts. This way you will actually be running a blog that matters.
While you are contemplating all this you might also want to check out Corbett Barrs blog “How to start a blog that matters”