To blog or not to blog: that is the question… that Shakespeare’s Hamlet never asked. But imagine if Shakespeare himself had been a blogger. We might have been treated to his musings on playwrighting or current events in iambic pentameter, perhaps with an occasional sonnet, or 154. He might have live-blogged real time accounts of his encounters with kings, queens, charlatans, and men performing as women.
“O for a blog of fire that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.”
Fortunately, you don’t have to be Shakespeare to create effective blogs. In fact, a simple, less dramatic, approach to blogging will stand you in good stead.
1. “All the world’s a stage.”
Know your audience, and assume that anyone reading your blog has an interest in, and knowledge of, your subject. Aim your writing at them.
2. “The most unkindest cut of all.”
Keep your blog short, simple, and scintillating – ’nuff said.
3. “Lend me your ears.”
Don’t be afraid to give away some of your “secrets.” Unless you’re working on a cure for reality TV, chances are others are aware of your techniques. So, share some select ones with your readers and credibility will ensue.
4. “Nothing can come of nothing.”
Use key words that will help Internet search engines find, and rank, your blog. But don’t just include a laundry list of search-engine-optimization-rich words and phrases (like “swimsuit models,” “Navy SEALS,” “free stuff,” “Snooki,” “a cure for reality TV,” blogging tips,” “I love Google,” and “Bieber”) because that would be pandering.
5. “A feast of languages.”
Read your blog out loud to give you a sense of the rhythm of your writing, to detect clunky (or embarrassing) phrasing, and to avoid spelling and grammatical errors (after all, one slip of the letter “L” and “Public Relations” becomes something else entirely).
6. “Method in the madness.”
Be current. Not every blog needs to reference pop culture or current events, but the more you can tie in your subject matter with the world today (as opposed to, you know, multiple Shakespeare references), the more interesting your blog.
7. “Let every eye negotiate for itself.”
Use images to illustrate your blog. Compelling photos, particularly if they include people, draw the attention of readers and of Internet search engines. Look at that adorable kitten!
8. “Be not afraid of greatness.”
Link to other blogs, online resources, and established journalism to add credibility and to increase the potential reach of your blog.
9. “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.”
Be prolific – the more you blog, the easier it is for readers, opinion leaders, and like-minded global citizens to discover your wisdom.
10. “What’s in a name?”
Create a grabber headline to reel in the casual reader. For example, were we to change this blog’s headline, we might go with: Bloggin’: Ten Smokin’ Tips for Becoming a Rich and Famous Blogger.
Oh, and have fun. A blog shouldn’t be a slog.
My prediction: if you follow these pearls of wisdom consistently your blog will be “a hit, a very palpable hit.”
Felicia Knight is President of Knight Vision International, LLC: www.KnightVisionInternational.com
Shakespeare Image: Izharshkedi
Kitten Image: Jenny Petunia