Since I started blogging, I’ve repeatedly been questioned about how it all comes together to form a blog post. One of the most regular emails that lands in the Fitness On Toast inbox is from people who are setting off on their own exciting blog journeys, and are seeking ‘tips & tricks’. I can’t answer all of those, so this post is supposed to tackle exactly that; It’s 2.5 years worth of blogging experience distilled into a behind-the-scenes slither of insight, packaged as a ‘top-7’ post!
Blogging isn’t all creamy lattes and pastel macaroons (yum!); far from it! You’re basically a mini media empire, condensed into one small body. Running a blog will practically expose you to some awesome skills; photography, videography, graphic design, copywriting, creative thinking, brand development, corporate communication, trend analysis, administration, accountancy etc. It can be overwhelming, but here are my top 7 observations about how to approach the discipline!
1. EXPRESS THE PASSION!
I only ever write on topics I’m truly passionate about; something on which I have a genuine and differentiated view. I think it’s important to be yourself, use your own voice when writing, because occasionally we encounter a blog where everything feels a bit ‘forced’, and there’s a distinct impression that what’s being written isn’t genuine. At that point, the fight is lost, and readers very quickly lose interest. Yes, much has been said before in the history of existence, but your own unique view, couched in your own authentic style of expression, can meaningfully advance the debate!
2. PICTURES – A THOUSAND WORDS!
In 99.9% of my blog posts, I use my own imagery, and indeed across Instagram / Twitter too. My photographer and I each use a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera, usually equipped with a 50mm f 1.2 lens, which gives a fantastically versatile user experience, and a super high-quality result, every time. The reason I go to some lengths over the photographic component (often doubling the amount of time it takes to put a post together) is because I think that original imagery can really transform and lift the written content I’ve taken time to craft; it gives the opportunity to develop and create a unique ‘look and feel’ that represents your own blog, and complements your message. That aesthetic is hopefully identifiable for the reader, and it’s part of who I am!
3. WORKSPACE IS EVERYTHING!
My blogging space is super important to me – it’s the one you see in the images throughout this post! I think that your ‘office’ has a huge, unconscious impact on the content you produce; if you’re surrounded by disorderly clutter, your posts may inadvertently feel the same! I use a dedicated room that’s got whitewashed walls, high ceilings, is bathed in plenty of natural light, has a huge whiteboard to help me manage workflow and ideas, has the right photographic and computer equipment to enable me to create the necessary content when I need it (which is really important, as you’re never waiting on someone else to deliver something that way!) – plus it has a good sound system which is crucial to while away long stints of writing! I discuss my blogging workspace in more detail HERE.
4. LASER FOCUS!
Having a clear direction with your blog is super important, in my view. Even if it’s a ‘lifestyle blog’, which encompasses pretty much everything in the world, your reader should feel as though it’s your voice and indenting it as your style. Is it aspirational/inspirational/bohemian/vintage, and so forth. Not everyone will like it, but those who do will keep checking back in, as they might somehow relate to your content!
5. WRITE LIKE A PRO
Whilst I’m not the grammar police and admittedly make mistakes left write & scenter (lol? no) – repeated, sloppy spelling mistakes are a turn-off. Even though it’s just me working on my content, I like to go over it time and again to ensure it can stand up to a robust challenge! It means that people should be happy to take your work seriously, to consider it professional, and it stops anything coming between your message and the reader’s unbiased consideration! THIS is a great free service which should act as a watchful eye over everything you scribble!
6. ENGAGE & NETWORK!
Whether you’re left with 1 or 50 comments, try to reply and engage, because someone has taken the time not only to read the post, but was also moved enough by it to make a comment (unless it’s a bot, but you can spot them pretty quickly!). Similarly, it’s great to know those who are doing the same thing as you! I don’t think of my fellow bloggers as competition – the internet’s big enough for everyone, and all opinions can add value! I’m happy to share content, encourage and support other bloggers. Everyone has his/her unique style, and sharing opportunities means sharing readers and a chance to grow and engage the readership more!
7. HONE YOUR SOCIAL SKILLS
There are so many social media platforms these days – to stay on top of them all is a full time job in itself. Having said that, I think it’s totally worth dedicating some regular time towards a few specific channels to start (as many as you can manage to do well), as it will help to broaden the reach of your message so that more people feel inclined to get involved! I joined Instagram fairly late but now find I love it – it’s intimidating at the start, but you soon lose that once you get into it! Your blog is all about sharing a message; to go so far as to write the blog, but then not to share it properly is like wrapping up presents and then never giving them to anyone…
Good luck with your own blog journey!! x