VOF Week 3: (Catching the eye of the reader)
Show me your blog, I show you mine
If I want to make my voice heard, it's not enough to just write well, I also need to attract readership to my blog. The strategies to attract readers to a blog is quite a science in itself, like search engine optimisation, using effective tags and bookmarks, etc, and can be even more time-consuming as writing the blog itself. A good strategy is to combine blogging with social networking, like using a platform like World Pulse. Here it's easy to find like-minded people who share my interests, and I can get people to be interested in my blog by actively engaging in the community, and get feedback for my writing on the bases of reciprocity and mutual support: “I comment on your blog- you comment on mine.”
Sorry for the long letter, I didn't have time to write a short one...
The style of writing and the language used in a blog can be quite a challenging, and takes some practice. Not only is the audience broad and diverse, but Internet readers tend to have a shorter attention span than readers of a paper or a book, since a whole sea of information and entertainment is just one mouse-click away. So to grab the readers' attention at first sight, it's best to keep it short and accessible, yet at the same time informative, witty or provocative. Sometimes it takes me long to make it short, and it's not always easy to keep it simple.
Personal voice vs. private parts
A blog is my personal voice, my perspective on things, not a list of factual information- and that's another thing that can be challenging: to keep it personal, but not too private. I always try to keep in mind that anyone can access my blog- my future employer as well as my future husband... In many countries it took us years to fight for the right to privacy- protected from interference from the state, companies or other people- so personal information shouldn't be given away carelessly in a blog either. Yet sometimes it is hard to draw the line between personal and too personal.
My biggest challenge to blogging is finding the time for it. Blogging can be quite time-consuming, and, while it's both fun and rewarding, it doesn't usually pay your rent. A good blog needs consistency and maintenance, or the content looses its freshness and the readers loose their interest. I remember having the same problem with my teenage diary- when lots of exciting things happened in my life, I didn't find the time to write it down, and when I finally did have time, well, I didn't have much to write about.. Every day has the same number of hours of course, so to be more precise it's more a matter of time management, planning and setting priorities. To avoid long silences or stress, it's important to think ahead, set some time apart for blogging and stay focused.