Another week, another set of inconsequential stats for the blog. I think I know what I have to do (I have been blogging on the Travel Weekly blog) - it's just I have found this harder to do than I thought. This is probably because:
I am looking to change career at some point so do not want to advertise that fact to my colleagues.
For the above reason, I have so far used the blog as a kind of CV of things training related I have been up to
I have yet to find my voice and have not joined in converastions with other bloggers
I do not like the design of the blog
When I am not working I spend a lot of time with my delightful family. I don't seem to have the time to post as regularly as I would like to
I would like to write about other things but am not sure where to put them.
I can fix these issues I think. I liked this post by Chuck Westbrook on getting lots of people to visit blogs, especially the following top 10 thoughts on what all great blogs have in common.
- Long or Short Form: Either can be good, but there is a specific style to each. Does the author understand and embrace one or the other as appropriate?
- Wit: There’s almost never a circumstance where an infusion of wit can’t help the writing. And wit isn’t just about being funny. Sometimes it’s about humor, but more often than not, wit is about peppering in interest through the unexpected and the clever. Grammar, science, parenting, writing, religion–there’s always room for added interest.
- Value: To be good, a blog must consistently provide value to the reader. Whether it’s entertainment or educational, professional or personal, people are trading their time to read your site, and they expect to get something in return.
- Variety: If you are going to write about something non-stop and expect people to read it every day, you must find a way to keep your subject fresh.
- Presentation: Not everyone can get their website looking how they want it without spending money, but there are some basics that can really ruin a blog if they are screwed up or really help if done well. Use lists, bold, big fonts, quotes, graphics, photos, and other tools for making your message come across more clearly. Don’t spend a ton of time on this, but the rule of thumb is that clean and easy to read is better.
- Consistency: If you update once a month, you are not a great candidate at this point. However, a huge part of why people infrequently update is lack of visitors. I understand that, so there is leniency here. I have to believe you’ll write regularly if we visit you, though.
- Personality: Does your blog foster a sense that you are human? A huge part of blogging is the conversation between the readers and the blogger. When done well, bloggers on any topic can convey a sense of who they are, and this is part of what readers crave.
- Brevity: Say what you need to say. No more. (Of course, this doesn’t mean use few words. Some ideas, some stories, and some tones require the use of many words. Just don’t meander around. And don’t wander aimlessly. And don’t repeat yourself.)
- Subject matter: Write about three things constantly: your topic, your thoughts, and yourself. Almost everything you write should have at least a little of all there of those blended together. You can also alternate between which is the focus on a given post.
- Skill: Being a talented writer goes a long way. So does taking great photos or being really funny or being a great designer. If you have a special sauce, the kind of thing that your friends might say about you (as a compliment), it will probably be interesting for readers to see as well.