[Kealie Mardell | Print Editor]
There are well over 160 million blogs out there and countless people are taking on the role of a ‘blogger’ either for personal interests or to help further their careers. I was recently joined by Shelby Loasby and Madeleine Odelia to host a blogging workshop, with advice and information for new bloggers. Here are some of our highlights;
Before you blog
Before starting a blog, think about why you are blogging. Every blog should have a purpose, whether that’s a niche topic to cover or a specific goal to achieve. With this in mind, you need to have a clear idea of who the audience of your blog will be. No matter how much you love writing it’s not worth it if nobody is going to read it! The content of your blog and each post should be centred around this purpose and targeted towards your key audience.
If you are starting your own blog (as opposed to writing for someone else) then two of the most popular platforms to use are Blogger and WordPress. Both are free and easy to use, so why not try both and see which you feel more comfortable with?
When you start your blog you should make sure it has a catchy and relevant name so that people know what it’s all about!
With your ideas in place, there are a couple of things to do before you start writing: Research and interviews. You need to have a solid understanding of the subject area, whether that’s researching a topic, trying a product, or attending an event. Interviews also play a key part, as having original quotes from people can help bring your blog post to life.
How to write a post
This structure varies across different styles of news and features, but it provides a good foundation to make sure you’ve covered everything.
· Introduction (who, what, where, why, when) – Make sure your readers know what your post is about and have all the key information
· Main points – Tell the story! Flesh out the key information and fill in the main body of your blog post.
· Quotes and extra information – Start adding more in depth and personal details, this is where your research and interviews will come in!
· Conclusion – One of the best ways to end your post is with a call to action. Encourage your readers to comment or share your post, or signpost where to go for more information.
After you blog
Don’t just click publish! Everyone makes mistakes and it’s pretty embarrassing to put your mistakes on the internet for all to see. Now is the time to proofread your own work and ask others to do the same. Once it’s ready and live online, make sure you share it!
Writing for the web
When you start blogging you will probably come across a lot of information about search engine optimisation (SEO). This essentially means making sure that people find your post when they’re searching for information. Here are some of the things you can include to make your writing more engaging and web friendly:
Social media is perhaps one of the most crucial parts of writing for the web. You should be sharing your posts across different platforms and engaging with others who have similar interests to your blog. Nobody is going to read your work if you don’t help them find it!
Interested in volunteer blogging?
Hertfordshire Students’ Union are looking for volunteers to blog about all the great things our student volunteers are doing. This could involve going to an event and writing a summary or interviewing students about volunteering. Volunteer blogs are found on hertfordshire.su under “Look what we did” and could also be published by Trident Media.
If you are interested in writing for the volunteer blog or would like more information about blogging workshops, email firstname.lastname@example.org.