Shelley Widhalm

Posts Tagged ‘Blogging Goals’

Comparing Blogging to Diary Writing

In Blogging, Blogging Advice, Writing, Writing Advice on July 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm


Blogging is like keeping a personal diary but with the involved.

Blogs at the most basic level are digital diaries.

The word diary implies, “This is personal,” but with 150 million blogs out there, the recent communication phenomena has become quite the opposite.

Unlike the red-bound diary with a little golden key to keep everyone out, blogs are designed to create a following, build an audience and invite the public to read, link to and share text, photos and videos. The content goes beyond the ripped-out diary page with the use of SEO, headlines and bullet points.

Blogs Defined

Blogs are a megaphone about a product, project, event, company, service or topic of interest and a way to spread thoughts, ideas, opinions, knowledge and expertise. They are a sales, advertising, marketing and promotional tool to find clients, customers and prospects. They are a tool to build brand awareness. And they are a way get a writer’s voice out there, instead of keeping it under lock and key.

In other words, they are an oxymoron. Digital diary, maybe not so much. Digital and powerful communication tool, yes and yes!

The power comes in the building of the blog, i.e. the appeal of the sibling wanting to read the little red diary.

To get that appeal, bloggers need to create original content targeted to a specific audience. They need to maintain their blog, providing new, updated and engaging content on a regular basis—preferably weekly, but monthly is okay, too, as long as it’s consistent. And they need to promote their blog to social media and other outlets to keep building that audience.

First, Ask a Few Questions About Your Blog:

  • Who’s the audience for this topic? Other writers? Your customers? Or hobbyists who also love to do what you do?
  • How will you reach the audience to let them know about your blog?
  • Is your topic something that can be written about in different angles? Will it be relevant in six months or a year?
  • What is your competition, including other blogs, newsletters, podcasts and media and social media outlets?

Here are a Few Ideas for Blog Topics:

  • Product and service comparisons and testimonials.
  • How-to instruction.
  • Book reviews.
  • Commentaries and other reviews.
  • Trends locally or in the news.
  • Hobbies and special interests.
  • Business and financial news.
  • Interviews with clients or key resources.
  • Stories about what happens behind the scenes.
  • Personal experiences.

Blogs Also Can …

Cover a wide variety of topics from a certain vantage point, such as humor, insecurity or trying to understand the world. They can serve as a portfolio, as in the case of artists who want to post their artwork and writing to promote what they do and generate sales, but also to get those followers.

And they can be a way to track your life, your interests and what you want to share with the world. Open up your diary and begin the story …

Blogging: 2013 in Review, 2014 Plans

In 52: A Writer's Life, Blogging, Shelley Widhalm, Writing on December 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

I love and don’t love the end of a calendar year.

I love the fresh start, the new planner with blank pages and the resolutions that still hold promise.

What I don’t love is those resolutions that remain in my head as things I should do but that never get done.

This year, I had resolved to read more blogs and to promote my own blog, but what I ended up doing is a blog binge. That is, I filed away blogs to read and read them all at once every couple of months, never reading as many as I wanted or intended to.

Nor did I get into SEO, content optimization and building my reader numbers.

Instead, I wrote and threw my writing out into the blogosphere hoping that my blog would get attention all on its own.

I wrote about the writing process, the different elements of writing and the writer’s life, posting 50 blogs over 52 weeks in 2013. I had planned on 52, but had a couple of nice, pat excuses, like being sick or overwhelmingly busy.

As for 2014, I don’t know what my blogging goals are: maybe doing the same, or taking the advice of a writer friend, who suggested I come up with an area of expertise.

Hmm … I do want to rewrite my memoir about growing up with learning disabilities, but I’m not planning on doing that this year.

It will take a lot of internal digging (I blocked out a lot of things), typing up and then analyzing my diaries and journals (I’ve kept a daily journal since second grade), and interviewing family members and experts in the field.

This process will cultivate a lot of emotion, which I’ll have to process and sort through. I’ll have to translate what I feel, experience and remember into the story arc.

In my first attempt, I tiptoed around my emotions and told the wrong story (which bored my initial readers, including one who kept my manuscript for an entire year and read 20 pages).

At this point, my goal is to start that digging in baby steps, while also continue to write about writing.