Journalism is such a tough and competitive field – Not that blogging isn’t tough and competitive, but it doesn’t exactly take a master’s degree to become a blogger.
Content marketing and blogging is so much different than reporting on the facts. Yes, things have to be accurate, but you don’t have to be the next New York Times featured writer.
WordPress might call you an “author.” Though, you don’t by any means need to live up to the term. The writers and authors that are seen on any top websites like The Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, and even Mashable are experienced editors and journalists that have the resume to prove they’ve been at this for quite a while.
Blogging is different.
Blogging is much more personal
When you blog, you are establishing a relationship with your readers. Most often the typical blogger is writing to an audience they may personally know. Whether the audience is made up of friends and family or the blogger has simply connected with his audience on Twitter or Facebook, the connection is purely based on discussion.
Some websites will be directed towards a more journalistic style, and that is certainly a way of “blogging.” But the majority of successful blogs are simply created from an individual wanting to voice what they have to say to a larger audience.
The Internet allows them to easily do so which so many different websites and businesses have also taken up as a form of reaching their target audience.
People ask a lot of questions. That is exactly how many of these early blogs became so popular. Answering questions that hundreds of people are asking adds to the dialogue that you create between you and your readers.
Picture the New York Times answering a question like “How can I bake a cake in the microwave?” on the front page of their Sunday paper. Can’t picture it? Good. The NYT is a medium that was based on one way communication, the newspaper. Readers couldn’t comment on the individual articles. They couldn’t share the articles easily and get the opinions of their friends (they could, just not as quickly as you can now online).
Blogging is a two way communication between you and your readers. Your content has to be unique and valuable to the reader, but it isn’t a NYT article.
Talk like you would in a normal conversation
Your blog is just another method of being personal. It’s another venue to reach other people and talk to them. Talk like you would in real life. Don’t use complicated sentences and big words. Answer questions and ask for responses.
Your readers may not comment individually on each blog post, however, they have access to so much more. Social media is their go to. If they want to talk, that is where they will say something. So give them something to talk about.
Sometimes the cold hard facts aren’t as interesting as a simple story that makes someone think or reminisce. Focus on the personal aspects of what your trying to get across. What would you tell them in person if you saw them?
Would you bother looking up all this information during your conversation to give accurate background information? Or would you simply show them with pictures and give them a narrative of what happened?
To give you some perspective, danshaf.com is mostly written totally off the top of my head. I generally don’t look anything up and I’m usually answering questions that have come across in conversation with others throughout the day.
Focus on being personable and being yourself. Other people will enjoy listening to you and engaging in the conversation after getting to know you.
Being a journalist doesn’t leave room for conversation. Blogging creates engagement.