elephant walking away

Does your blog feel like it’s this huge thing that you don’t really know what to do with?

Are you scratching your head wondering what on earth you’re going to write about every day?

Fear not, you just need to feed your blog, and give it some love and kindness.

The big empty blog

No longer are people worried about their bums looking big their latest outfit – it’s all about the blog and social networking. At least Twitter is just a quick line here and there about what you happen to be doing at the time, no matter how banal. And at least in Facebook, you’re likely to have friends and family to cheer you on, even if you just post a photo of your cat sleeping.

Not so in the blog. In a blog you are rattling around in a big empty space, with all kinds of categories to fill up. It’s not enough to write about your cat vomiting under your bed that morning and the fact that your car insurance is due. No one cares. (Unless you’re writing a personal blog – in that case, tell it all. Even if no one else is interested, at least your friends will read it.)

People want to find value in your blog

The thing is, people want to be able to take something of value away from your blog. It could be something to help improve their lives, something that gives them information, something that make them laugh, something that shows them a new perspective.

Find your authentic voice

Here’s where the fine line comes in. You can’t be always writing what you think your readers want. You can’t please everyone. Repeat, you can’t please everyone. Write on a subject you are passionate about. Write about what you know, and about what you want to know. Write what you want to write, and let your personality come through. It’s the only way to sustain a long-term blog.

You don’t want to get bored before breakfast!

How to write volume posts

Think of a subject you want to write about – then sit down and brainstorm 5 or so points that you would make if you were going to explain the subject. Take each of these 5 points and make each one of them an article.

It’s not spreading the butter too thinly on your toast to do that – done right it’s actually better. You can talk on each point in some depth, making the information more valuable.

As thoughts come to you during the day, think, ‘Is this bloggable?’

Make notes of your bloggable thoughts – you’ll build a stock of topics you can write about.

How to set up your categories

Are you the type of person who ends up cramming every drawer and cupboard in the house full of stuff, no matter how much storage space you have? If you are, then you might be comfortable with a good range of categories from the start – because you know you’re bound to fill them.

Are you the type of person who fills their drawers and shelves with exactly what you need, and no more? You might be better off starting with just two or three blog categories, and add more later on.

Whichever option you choose, remember that you don’t want to be moving posts around in the future. If other blogs and websites have linked to the posts that you move, those links will be broken. Plus it’s better for search engine optimization not to change your page URLs. (you can do 301 redirects if needed – but far easier to put your posts in the correct categories from the start.)

Don’t hide your (blog) love away…

Have you ever accidentally stumbled upon a great blog that is not linked to from the home page of a site or any of its pages. It’s hidden away on a subdomain or folder, rarely seeing the light of day.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t place your blog in a subdomain or folder – it can actually be good for search engine optimization purposes. Because if someone links to your blog, it creates a ‘deep link’ and shows search engines that sections of your site are useful in their own right.

(A disadvantage to putting a blog on a subdomain or folder is that you have another site to maintain.)

And we’ve all seen blogs tucked away on someone’s website, with a few straggly posts decorating its empty bloggie rooms. These blogs look very much like an afterthought – “Oh, I guess I should have a blog. Everyone else does.”

Don’t have a blog just because ‘everyone has one’. Blogs like this look tacked-on and useless – and they detract from your site.  If you’re going to have a blog – give it life. If you can’t think up topics of your own, you could just comment on trending topics and put your own spin on a topic, with your own views included.