By Kevin Muthami
You now want to start your blogging journey. Before you start a blog, there are considerations to be made: the blog’s title, the design, whether or not you’ll be self-hosting with the big boys, et cetera. One aspect of your blog you should never ignore is the content.
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how much I’ve seen bloggers’ content play second fiddle to obtrusive features.
(I’m looking at people with blogs that automatically play Flash media when visited in 2019)
What you write is, surprisingly, what you engage your readers with. It’s what lingers the longest. You should make it count. Fear not; we’re here to hold your hand and help you figure out what’s best for you. When choosing your blog’s topic, keep in mind:
- Your passion
What do you love? What can’t you get enough of? Is there a shortage of good online content about whatever it is that keeps you going? Then pick up your keyboard and be the change you want to see in the world.
Whether it’s music, beauty, lifestyle or travel, find what you love and put it down. It’s advisable to focus on one topic in a blog, as it avoids spreading you thin and allows you to hone your skill on the same with finesse.
You don’t want to be all over the place like the 1997 Disney movie Hercules. Trust me.
- Your knowledge
After you’ve found out the apple of your eye, ask yourself if you have enough knowledge of it to sustain a whole blog. I mean really think about it, in the long term. Do you have the sufficient amount of mental noodles to feed your blog and audience on a regular basis? It’s very easy to underestimate this. Blog posts require an engaging length of typically 600-1000 words. Daily posts could cause burnout unless you have access to many writers. A post a week, however, will give you the time to research and well articulate your words.
The best thing to do if you feel this would be a challenge for you is to choose a fluid and dynamic topic that doesn’t stagnate. For example, if you’re doing music, consider reviewing the new stuff, since there’s always a regular supply of that. Also, do more Lil Wayne than J. Cole, otherwise you’ll be out of content for 2 to 3 years at a time. Thank me later.
- Your audience
Inasmuch as writing may be a personal and therapeutic thing, ultimately, you’re writing for an audience, especially on a public blog. If you’re looking for success in this field, you have to write content that keeps people coming back for more. This means avoiding the most esoteric and niche topics that won’t find a home in most people’s bookmarks folder. It also means making your content more palatable, but it doesn’t mean you have to compromise or water down your message.
Avoid stirring the pot through things like making jokes at marginalised people’s expense. You’ll alienate your audience faster than you can say ‘devil’s advocate”.
Basic human decency is great for mass appeal.
Look, at the end of the day, you have to write content you’re comfortable with. You don’t need to burden yourself with a blog that weighs on your conscience and won’t let you sleep at night, because eye-bags are not what’s hot right now. Do not aim to be an overnight sensation by writing things you know you shouldn’t, and, even worse, things you don’t believe and wouldn’t stand by if you didn’t have a blog to run.
Furthermore, you should be patient. All the best things take time. Look at the pretty mountains with the snow at the top. That didn’t just happen like that. Brush up on your geography and learn that good things come to those who wait.