Shelley Widhalm

Posts Tagged ‘Blogging Ideas’

Comparing Blogging to Diary Writing

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

Journals4

Blogging is like keeping a personal diary but with the http://www.com 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 …

Advertisements

Writing 52: A Year in Review

In 52 Writing Topics, Shelley Widhalm, Writing on December 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

Writing the last sentence of my novel in early December is similar to concluding a year of blogging – there’s a sense of letting go that isn’t easy and simple.

Finishing the rough draft of “The Fire Painter,” which I started in January, is only the first step. And so is picking up a blog. I will have to edit, and I will have to come up with a new idea for 2013’s blog.

I already miss the surprises from my characters and plotting and the fact that I have a huge project in my life. And I will miss researching about different writing topics and ideas for my 2012 blog, “52: A Year of Writing Basics, Beliefs and Beauty.”

Though my blog didn’t leave much of a mark on the blogosphere, I think I’m the one who benefitted the most from my goal to write about 52 different writing elements, types of writing and tools for writers.

I explored what’s involved in structuring plot, developing character, coming up with original themes, developing intriguing settings and using imagery, metaphors and similes.

By writing about each of these and other elements, I expanded my understanding of all that is involved in the writing craft. Explaining something to someone else is the best way to review and see things slightly differently than before; teaching is a form of learning.

I am debating what to write in 2013, something I believe I need to continue doing to maintain my “platform.” Platform is what authors and aspiring authors develop through their websites, blogging, twitter feeds, book tours and other ways they make themselves present to the audiences they already have or want to grow.

A few ideas have come to mind for my 2013 blog, such as:

  • 52 writing prompts that I also will respond to, using them in my own writing.
  • The secrets of a writer’s life and what is involved in writing and editing a novel (but this is kind of like 52 writing topics in 52 weeks).
  • The secrets of a journalist’s life who writes at night (except I’d probably get in trouble by my bosses).
  • Bad girl writer tells all (except I don’t do anything bad, except drink caffeine, and that’s not very exciting).
  • Writing about whatever comes to mind 52 times.
  • Trying 52 things I haven’t done before and writing about them (except this one has been done before).

Hum, what do you think?