For those of you trying to decide what this blog stuff is all about, maybe it’s time you read some good advice from the pros about the potential of blogging.
Nowadays, everybody and their mother has a blog. But, why, what’s the purpose? Dr.Anthony Curtis at the University of North Carolina has put together a fine guideline on “Why and How to Start a Blog.” According to him, “Blogs are a sign that control of the exclusive power of publishing and freedom of the press have been taken out of the hands of Big Media and now everyone has a voice. The megacorps are still there, but now everybody can chime in…the little guy with a blog can shine a bright spotlight in those dark corners (of public life).”
In order to be successful in the art of blogging you need to think hard about your goal and approach to the topic. Why are you doing this? What are you bringing to the table? What is your pitch/ your angle that will make me as a potential reader come back for more? As journalism majors, I expect you to do more than just to make your blog your personal journal. I expect you to blog with a goal, driven by the highest motives and ideals. I expect you to report with professionalism about issues and problems that might be under the radar on the mainstream media. I expect you to stimulate your readers, to explain them the issues and events, and to advocate for your ideals.
Darren Wowse argues that in the business of blogging, “usefulness is king.” According to him, you need to understand people’s needs and create content that caters to those needs and helps solve their problems.
We are all under time constrain with busy schedules. Amy Gahran, provides some good advice for potential bloggers on how to make time for this task. According to her “blogging can be an easy way to get more mileage out of things you’re already doing.”
- Choose an attractive topic: It needs to support a big readership.
- Hit on a hot blog title and create a punchy tagline.
- Create a brand
- Choose a flexible design
- Write great content which is: extremely useful for your target readers, – well considered and well structured, – well written in a conversational style, – scannable through using lists and headings, – informative and entertaining
- Grow your readership
- Use a blogging platform that will grow with you
Good luck to all with this new adventure!!