Mandy Eve-Barnett is a multi-genre author writing children’s, YA, and adult books.
We can all see the number of blogs available on the internet is mind boggling – every topic you can imagine is covered.
Whether factual, diarized, crafting, a myriad of interests or informational, you can find several blogs covering things you are interested in or want to know more about. Yes, there are a multitude of writing/author blogs out there as well, but remember your story, your experience, your style is unique to you.
There are pros and cons to starting and maintaining a blog, but before you start, ask yourself the first and most important question – why do you want to blog in the first place?
There is a huge range of reasons to blog but maybe the best idea is to ask yourself if any of the following relate to you. This will give you an idea of the type of blog you will write.
To create something you’re proud of
Strengthen your knowledge
Meet others like yourself
To improve your writing ability
To learn new skills
There are also positives to blogging, which include:
1. Gaining confidence.
2. It’s a form of diary.
3. Blogging is great writing experience.
4. There is potential financial gain if that is your goal.
5. The blogging community is great.
6. It allows potential for self-growth.
7. It allows development of technological skills.
8. It gives people a creative outlet.
9. Blogging is a great way to market a business or product.
10. It creates opportunities, whether in the form of friendships, financial gain or self-growth.
Now you have determined you will be creating a blog there are several key elements you need to decide on.
Name Your Blog
This may seem easy – however, you need to search what names are already in existence. Then ensure the name reflects the topic OR theme you will be writing about. Is it a personal blog about your writing life, a business/book purchasing blog, or a specific genre/interest blog? Does the blog name read okay when it’s in a domain URL format? Can readers find it easily through search/SEO?
You may purchase a domain name for your blog at the outset or delay until you a) decide blogging is or is not for you b) your initial idea/topic/theme changes c) you can’t think of a name that encompasses your idea. Play around with names until once sparks your imagination.
Define Your Target Audience
For an author, this will be readers in your genre, for business writing it will be who wants/needs your services. What specific areas aspects of writing/reading do you want to cover? Take your time to really think what content you want to share on your blog. It may change over time (mine certainly did!) and that’s okay. Everything evolves as we become more of an expert.
The Tone of Your Blog
What tone or voice will the writing reflect? Strictly business/informational or more personal/friendly? Write out a few test blog posts to see how your creativity responds to the challenge.
Reason for Your Blog
Will you be building your brand/book/genre around your blog name or the other way around? Is the blog part of a website or standalone? What do you want to achieve with your blog? Is it to publicize your books, connect with readers in your genre or the writing community at large or indeed, gain freelance writing clients?
Choose one area you have the most expertise or interest in. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself straight out of the gate. Your passion about the subject will bring about the following benefits:
You’ll put the time and effort into your blog to make it shine.
You’re less likely to abandon your blog in the future.
You shouldn’t run out of ideas.
Your knowledge and passion will show through in your writing, and your readers/followers will feel that. This, in turn, will lead to a larger following.
Customize your blog’s theme
Customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the content you plan to create. For example, a cookery or photographic blog will have lots of images and block text, a service or product-based blog will have more text with graphics and photos. Think about how you want your blog to look with colour preferences, multiple blocks of text and images or a constant scroll down. How many columns do you want? How many pages? These can be changed and updated at any time so don’t worry if your vision for your blog needs adapting at a later date.