Today I was a guest speaker at an event hosted by The Secluded Tea Party, in a secret location near Cambridge - #blogfest
There were four speakers; me, Liz Fraser, Mel Hollidge and Sian Townsend. You can see some details about them here.
What worked well (in my opinion) was that we all came at it from different angles. Mel covered it from a more corparate standpoint, Liz is a professional writer, Sian reviews and I do something different to all of the above.
Here is my quick attempt at some of my key points from my talk:
- My blog started years ago as merely an outlet/hobby. I was a teacher, but my blog helped create a new career opportunity for me.
- The power of niche - finding a niche that you can fill, and creating a voice within that niche. It is very hard to create a strong readership if you just blog about anything and everything. Discover some core topics/themes and give your blog a focus. These can be varied, but should be consistent.
- Find your voice - this may be with consistent vocabulary or viewpoints. People like to know what to expect.
- Decide what you want from your blog. This will completely set the expectations and 'rules' you will set youself.
- Having a journey/running story means your blog has a narrative that people can connect with.
- Promoting your blog - twitter, facebook, bloglovin etc. They all have different audiences and should be spoken to in slightly different ways.
- Make your blog look well put together.
- Creating one consistent voice over all social networks
- SEO basics - what matters and what doesn't. Again, very dependent on what you want your blog to be.
- Thinking about your ideal blog reader, what content are they looking for?
- Deciding what kind of blogger you will be - accept freebies? Give negative reviews? Honest at all costs? Aiming for advertising? Looking for sponsorship?
Obviously each of these points was explained, questioned and expanded upon! But if you want to hear my points of view you need to book me to talk about them! ;-)
I got an awesome cup to take away which is my new favourite mug!
I think what bloggers (and I include myself in this) need to remember is that there is no magic answer. No one size fits all solution to how you should blog. If you aspire to be a super blogger your blog habits will vary completely from someone who blogs for a sense of community or fun. If you want to attract PR freebies, your blog may well look very different from someone who dreams of publishing a book. It is up to you to figure out what will work best for your own blogging activities!