Blog It: The Essentials of Blogging

Co-written by Ethan Gissendaner and Rebecca Egeland.

Blogging provides an outlet for all types of content and its consumption. Blogs can host writing, images, and video--all with the goal of telling a story. There is no predefined structure as to what a blog has to be.

The first step to writing a blog:

Choose your platform

Think of what purpose you want your blog to serve and the level of professionalism you want to maintain throughout your posting. There are many blogging platforms online--some free and some not--that will make writing online a breeze.

Our favorites are:

  • Blogger/Blogspot: free, powered by Google (linked with your existing Gmail or Chrome account)
  • Tumblr: free. angsty.
  • Wordpress: free and for fee possibilities, allows for HTML manipulation if that’s your thing.
  • Squarespace: not free, flexible design for any content #superfly #fancy

Next, you’ve got to figure out what you want to blog about:

Blogs are still social media even though they engage readers and followers differently. If you have never written a blog before, but have a twitter account, start posting your ideas there first. Twitter is a microblog whose format allows for the same content as blogs but with a limited character allotment.

A blog should reflect YOU and your voice. Think of who will be reading your posts and what message you want to deliver (your distinct voice will follow). Stories about your kids, your dog or your dinner are all possibilities. Maintain your voice in your stories.

There is so much noise online--especially where blogs are concerned--and you do not want your brand to be lost in all of that. Delivering recognizable and authentic content is the way to keep your blog relevant and meaningful.

Focus on your message and the story you are telling of yourself or your business. Although content will dictate when and how often you post to your blog, it is a good rule to post timely and consistently so your followers can anticipate new posts and will be more likely to regularly traffic your site if posts appear in some sort of schedule.

When designing blog posts, we have a few tips for success:

  • Write simple yet catchy headlines.
  • Write concise sentences.
  • Don’t fluff up posts (say only what you need to say).
  • Create a call to action. If your post has a moral or lesson to teach, explain that here.
  • Invest in what you write. Blogging takes time; don’t neglect that fact.
  • Engage with readers--your blog reflects you.

So now's your chance...get started writing a blog today!