Blogging is no longer just an outlet for frustrated teens. On the contrary, it’s an effective marketing tool, a way to spread creative ideas, and a resource for those interested in getting fresh information about a specific skillset or topic. Blogs cover everything from pregnancy, to scrapbooking, to tech reviews, to vintage car restoration. Now, when many people do the majority of their internet browsing on their smartphones, the requirements have changed. Bloggers need to grab their readers’ interest and keep it, not to mention keeping the look of the blog sharp and readable. Below are four tips for keeping your blog up with current trends, or move ahead of the curve:
1. Incorporate media. With graphics optimization at a peak mobile devices are equipped to display high resolution pictures or play detailed movies without even leaving the blog. Though the writing should always come first, and you never want to slack on content, it’s important to mix it up every once in a while. A good picture can illustrate a point, and captions allow for tongue-in-cheek humor that may be a little out of the norm for your blog. A video makes for nice variety, but make sure to set it up so that it doesn’t auto-play — those reading on a crowded bus or worse, in a business meeting, may resent you for an embarrassing burst of noise and never read again.
2. Embrace linking partnerships. Small businesses have been harnessing this power for years. Linking to popular articles can increase your search engine optimization. For a more personal touch, identify a related blog, one with a subject that will complement your own. Offer to have a link to their site, via a private message or email, either permanently on a sidebar or as part of an article. They may offer to reciprocate. It’s not required, but it is good online etiquette. This will expand your reader base and maybe introduce you to some new topics.
3. Go off theme. If you have a photography blog, do one post on some of your favorite special effects sequences in film, or even vacation destinations. The topics are unrelated on the surface, but stunning visual contrast and excellent photo opportunities are certainly relevant. Blogging about something a little different can keep your blog from getting dry and repetitive. You may also encourage comments with suggestions for other ideas. If nothing else, it’s a great way to break out of writer’s block.
4. Get creative. For the truly innovative blogger, try this risky move. Most blogs are mini-biographies or possibly reference books. Embrace the left brain and add a little fiction. You’ll want to introduce it clearly as not to alienate or confuse regular readers, but a poem or short story opens you up personally to your audience. Professional blogs may not want to use this strategy, but adapt it by writing up a case study in a colorful way. It’s a wonderful opportunity to illustrate a point, to show instead of tell.
The blogosphere is filled to the brim with aspiring writers. Though the teeming masses make for a great amount of content and diverse reading material while we wait for the train, it also means that it’s hard to stick out. Instead of following traditional formats, break away from the four paragraph entry or the numbered list and put something fresh on your blog. Make it a personal goal to incorporate one new thing with each post and see how your blog evolves. Many people do a “picture a day” theme in which a snapshot adorns the top of each entry. An interesting photo can get readers curious about the rest of the blog. Above all, have fun with it, and don’t force it. Sincerity and strong writing will never go out of style.