It is a full 12 months since I first started to write my blog about social media, modern life and all things linked to communication. Sitting down to write the first blog was quite a challenge and although I love putting words down there was a big question about whether it would be of interest to anyone other than me. It is easy for people to challenge blogs and bloggers and question whether they have a relevance to life.
What I have found through the passing weeks and months, is that there are a lot of fantastic blogs and bloggers out there. There is something for everyone, whatever your areas of interest. And although some blogs may not be quite what you are looking for, you can be sure a quick search will find some words that hit home. Promoting those blogs is simple when maximising the opportunities provided by social media and networks including Twitter and Facebook.
So, during the past year what have I found to write about? If you checkout the blogs you will see it is everything from how to use Twitter for local activity through to phone hacking. The very first thing that I discussed was the media response to crime statistics and how they are manipulated by governments. Too much emphasis is placed on statistics rather than what matters – the service to the public and how people view their interaction with the police.
The following months included a weekly blog on a whole range of issues from the latest media reporting on issues, through to local events and activities. Some attracted significant interest and comments others were of more limited interest.
In considering this blog I had to review what I have achieved during the year and any advice that I would give to others. In bare statistics I have had more than 7,200 views on all the 52 blogs, with more than 450 on the busiest day Most importantly I have had almost 100 comments on the blogs, a real sign that it is encouraging discussion with me and other people.
What advice would I give to other would-be bloggers?
1. Know what you want to write about – having a clear area of interest that you write about will ensure people who are interested in that are not disappointed when they follow you.
2. Ensure you blog regularly – if blogs only happen every month or so then you will not attract followers. Try to blog at least each week to build up your profile and interest in your blogs.
3. Try to use images to support your words – this is something I am not very good at. I do use photographs and images when I can but it is not as often as I would like. But a well positioned image can break up and support the words.
4. Promote it as widely as possible – ensure you have good tags on your blog. Make sure you hit on key words and phrases so that people who search will be able to find it. Then ensure you promote it through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And with Twitter make sure you Tweet a link more than once, as often people can miss the link to your blog.
5. Finally, be true to yourself, never try to blog as someone else, or in a different voice. Be you and keep your principles clear. It is easy for people to sense someone being phony or fake. You need to blog as you.
In short, if you have views or an area of interest that you want to share then it is easy to set up a blog. In may involve some thinking to take place and an investment of time but there are great rewards. Your detailed views are available to everyone, and are accessible to all. It is the modern and liberated way to share your thoughts through the most flexible medium.