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Recently, I’ve seen some writers post this question, “What do I blog about?” One writer didn’t understand the difference between a blog and a website and how the two work together—I’m sure she’s not alone.
I’m going to talk about these in reverse order.
Blog versus website
First, you can have a blog that stands alone. Blogs let you talk about things that interest you. Like social media, blogs can let you interact with others. For blogs that’s usually done via comments. I like what Andrew Sullivan has to say, “Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”
Or you can have a blog that is a feature of your website. Blogs can give active content (changing content) on a website. If you want to only share links or funny videos, social media might be the best choice. However, a website can let you blog, and share links, etc.
Here’s a good resource for more info: Blogging - What is it and Why is it Popular?. I will offer a caveat—don’t blog with the intention of making money. To use a cliché “that ship has sailed.” “If you love writing or making music or blogging or any sort of performing art, then do it. Do it with everything you’ve got. Just don’t plan on using it as a shortcut to making a living.” – Seth Godin
What to blog
You can blog about anything you are interested in, but the most successful way to keep up with a blog is to blog about what you know, or are learning, and are passionate about. That’s why many writers blog about writing—myself included.
Penelope Trunk says, “A blog is a great way to figure out what you want to do with yourself because writing regularly is a path to self-discovery.” That’s one purpose of blogging. But here’s an interesting thought to keep in mind if you want followers, “People like to learn things, but they especially like to learn what they can do to improve their lives.” – Donna Merrill
When to blog
It’s up to you. But if you don’t continue to have content, your blog dies.
I like having a schedule. My goal on this blog is to blog once a week. Sometimes I miss my goal. But because I’m planning for it, I hit my goal more often. Neil Patel says, “If you want to continually grow your blog, you need to learn to blog on a consistent basis.” Amy Harrison says, “(Superheroes) can disappear for months or years and then burst back onto the scene with a climactic display of their impressive powers. Okay for superheroes, not okay for your content. It might feel boring and constraining, but publishing consistently brings results.”
How to publicize or promote your blog
You can share your blog on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook. I find specific groups who are interested in a topic are good places to share.
Some bloggers have a newsletter email list. They send new content and old content to their subscribers.
Include a link to your blog in your email signature.
Answer questions with links to your blogs posts in forums and groups. (Of course, your post must really apply to the question.)
Thank those who reshare or tweet your posts. And if you quote others in your blog post, let them know.
Got more questions?
I know this hasn’t answered everything, so if you have further questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.