Blogging 101: Content
I wrote a post for Fancy Little Things this week about blogging.
I’ve only been blogging for two and a half years. If you’re just starting a blog, that may sound like a lifetime of content, but compared to a lot of you, I’m a blogging baby.
In those 2.5 short years I’ve had no less than 5 posts go viral, I’ve been contacted by bloggers, publications, agents, and editors, and I’ve grown my readership to a respectable little number for a one-writer, one-woman, part-time operation.
I’ve learned a lot along the way – about branding, presentation, promotion, community and more – but today I’m sharing 4 tips I’ve learned about content, which as a writer, is sort of my thing. I need LOADS of help with images, technology, and business, but content I got.
Here is an excerpt:
3. Don’t be afraid. This is huger than huge. This is what sets great bloggers apart from the sea of millions and millions of so-so mommy bloggers. SAY THINGS THAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO SAY.
You will have a natural inclination to clarify, quantify, mitigate, or weaken your statements because you don’t want to be misunderstood. Fight that. Make your statements as strong as you possibly can. I recently wrote a post about how it feels to be 36 weeks pregnant. I could have said:
“I want my husband to really understand what it’s like.” (BLAH.)
“I want my husband to feel my pain.” (Still weak.)
“I would enjoy watching my husband suffer.” (A bit stronger, but wordy.)
I chose to call my post “The Pregnant Sadist.”
Sadist is a strong, scary word. A word that might get misunderstood. A word that the little voices inside my head told me to weaken, or at least include a disclaimer insisting that my husband is in no immediate danger.
But I ignored that voice and called my post “The Pregnant Sadist” anyway. There are A MILLION posts out there about what it’s like to be 36 weeks pregnant, but there are not a million posts about how, at 36 weeks, even the kindest, most nurturing women turn into sadists. People laughed and shared because it was ridiculous and true. The edge that was scary to write is what made it successful.
If you want your blog to be different, you’re going to have to do something different.
I’ve written about accidentally locking my kids inside the church, I’ve joked about drinking vodka early in the morning (even though I’m a tee-totaler), and about my cat being gay. My most-likely-to-be-misunderstood post is the one that has 245,000 Facebook shares. I still have standards, and you’ll have to decide where your “line” is, but toning it down should be the exception, not the rule.
Nobody responds emotionally to weak content.
You can read the other 3 tips and the rest of the post here!