By Elsa Wood
Starting your own blog may be a lifesaver for a passionate student. When you still have plenty of free time and a zeal to express yourself, a blog can become a creative hobby that will lead to something great.
Let’s say you want to share your ideas with the public. Where do you go? Most often, young people choose social networks to bring their thoughts to the public. But this is clearly not the best option if you take your writing seriously. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about posting on social media. It’s just the limits such services put on your creativity.
For me, a real writing experience has started with the creation of my blog. This is a place where I rule; this is a small private part of the colorful world I have in my mind. And you know what? Being a writer is easy. Well, it is easier than most of us think. I’m sure, you, as many people around, are afraid to take those first steps and show our work to someone else, not to mention publishing it online where any stranger can read it. Besides, we all know that the Internet is full of negativity and criticism.
However, once you open up, you’ll be surprised how wonderful it is to get feedback from people and to discuss your thoughts with them. So, if you are really passionate about your future blog and have a goal set in your mind, I’ll share with you the content writing tips for beginners. You can also find out the tricks I use and some unexpected places where I get my ideas from, my favorite being a student answer service. This is an awesome place to get new ideas and topics for discussion, more about that later.
I’ve decided to organize writing ideas for you in a form of 10 easy tips that influence your content and a blog, in general.
Let’s start with the basic ones!
- Keep your eyes and ears open
As a blogger, you’ll be expected to update often and that requires many topics to talk about. Initially, we all have a vague plan of the things we know and want to write about. But when we ran out of ideas, it is essential not to give up and abandon our blog. I’ve had some experience with neglected blogs and can say that the main reason for giving it up is not believing.
Instead, even during those times when you have a few topics planned, pay close attention to what interests people. You may hear an interesting conversation or get a new topic from a post your friend has just retweeted. Pay attention to the outside world.
There are many places to get inspiration. One of the most surprising for me was an education Q&A website where I looked for help. You cannot even imagine how many interesting topics can be found there.
- Talk to your readers
Yes, we all have our own style and we are free to choose how to manage our blogs. But I’ve noticed that those bloggers who speak to their readers are more popular. Academic writing may look professional and sophisticated but writing blogs is something completely different. It is hard to change the way you write and see a reader as your friend. But once you try it, you will see the results. In my experience, getting closer to the audience is always rewarded with more comments.
Ask them a question if you want to hear an answer.
- The first blog post matters
It’s not a secret that making a good first impression is essential for any sphere. Don’t you think that the first blog your readers see should present an accurate image of your content? I do. That is why I recommend you to think carefully about the first thing that will be posted. Will it be an explanatory article about yourself and your purpose? Will it be something entertaining to attract more readers? Or will it be something short and intriguing to make them follow you? This is all up to you. Just be sure to reward your readers with what you’ve promised.
You already know what to write about and are ready to post your work? Wait! There is one more little trick.
What is the first thing that attracts the attention of the public? Headlines! The right title can work wonders for your blog traffic. Have you noticed that the most successful blogs have creative headlines? Actually, this is a part of their success. I’ve seen it myself. You can write a good article on an interesting topic featuring some groundbreaking thoughts but don’t think about a good title. And what happens? Nothing. No reviews, no comments, no feedback. You may think that the problem is the topic but it turns out that nobody even reads it. This is why you should think well and find a catching title to make your text interesting.
- Cite your sources
I bet you’ve already heard this advice from multiple writers. First of all, it is simply polite to give credit to others when you mention their thoughts and ideas. You would like to get mentioned somewhere else as well. This is all hard work and stealing is the last thing to resort to.
Besides, your article looks more credible if you present the sources where people can check the information.
Among all other tools and services that allow you to create your own blog, I find WordPress the most effective. It has everything a young blogger needs. Besides, you can easily use it for free and don’t feel the need to purchase any additional plugins and so on. You can find a blog post template that is really useful for beginners.
To use it like a pro, watch or read a few step-by-step tutorials on creating a WordPress blog. Write steps down and try them all to create your own blog.
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- Be funny
A few jokes here and there will make your content more lively. A boring and dull text is interesting to nobody. To my mind, a good blogger is a funny blogger. You may still write about serious and important stuff, but making it all light and “easy-going” will only increase your popularity. After all, there are enough boring bloggers out there. Don’t become one of them.
- Make it short
Very often, a short post you write during breakfast just before work is better than an elaborate explanation of all sides of an issue you can deliver on holiday. Why? A short article is more to the point and tells the whole story in a few sentences. Then, people may ask more if the idea intrigues them. However, it is good to write something long and descriptive (as I’m doing here), keep it diverse. High-quality content shouldn’t always be lengthy.
- Be ready for criticism
Sometimes, people are mean and we can do nothing about it. If you’re going to posting your works online, be ready to get a fair share of negativity. It doesn’t mean that what you are doing is bad and you have to give up. Some people are just spiteful for the sake of it.
Take criticism as a push to improve. Think about it as a mean that keeps you moving forward and progressing.
- Just be yourself!
The last tip is the most important for me. Copying somebody, no matter how great they are, isn’t a way to success. Inspiration is good, but you always have to add your own vision, style, and a part of who you are to those posts.
These tips are especially important for writers who want to earn a real income from their blogs.
Of course, there are so many other things to think about while updating your blog. But most of them will come to you in time once you start writing your blog. Each blogger finds their own path and the tips that work for them. For me, these are the most important lessons I’ve learned since creating a blog of mine. I hope that these few tips will make a good base for your work and you will find how inspiring it is to share something with people. This is something to start from.
One more bonus tip to think about is to do what you are passionate about. Find the time and work on your blog daily, you have to like doing it. Don’t write about something just because it’s trendy. Find the common interests with your audience and research those things that you like. Then, your blog will never be neglected and working on it will bring you joy. Readers see when an author likes what he or she is doing. And they tend to stay with such bloggers for a long time.
Bio: Elsa Wood is a student in the Department of Journalism at Illinois.