I’m a copywriter. I do words.
I work at a creative agency (Gate6). We do site design, digital marketing, SEO, social, content strategy and everything in between. So when it comes to my passion project, I’m able to implement a lot of killer strategy into my personal blog. I absorb best practices and expert insights at work which help me spread adventure off the clock.
But this stuff is dizzying.
There’s a ton of moving parts; Unwritten rules, competing philosophies, emerging trends and what my social media friend, Shaydon Armstrong has affectionately explained to me as “disruptors” (aka platforms, technology and approaches that shake things up) which can really intimidate new bloggers.
Arguably, to be a good blogger you can’t just be a good writer. Yeah, there are exceptions to the rule, but nowadays you’ve also got to be a great influencer, photographer, thought leader, social guru and networker if you’re blog stands a chance at stardom and adoration outside of mom’s eternal pride.
Take a breath. Just like any good adventure, it’s not about the destination. I’m here to walk you through the journey. And I promise, I’m about to guide you through some very practical considerations and techniques that will put you on the right path.
Think Value. Not Viral.
Add value to the ecosystem of your choosing. Add value to the conversation at hand. Don’t set out with the hope to break the internet right out the gate.
This is a marathon, but when you start to grasp some of the ideology, some of the moving parts begin running for you. Some of my most popular posts surprise me to this day. Some of the posts I spent the most time on actually flopped.
If you’re writing to go viral, step in line then step out of that line.
Viral is (usually) a world of clickbait muck and recycled reaction. I’d argue if you’re gonna write something, say something. Say something new. Start something fresh. Add your spin.
Add value. And if it goes viral, you’ll spread something beneficial instead of all the formulaic disappointment. You’ll stand out for all the right reasons.
Know Your Audience
We could go real deep into the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) spectrum or I could just distill it down this: Write in the language your audience is speaking.
You’ll add SEO value without even realizing it. The value of search is knowing how your readers find and relate to your content. If I write like a scientist and hope to connect with skaters we all miss out.
Google kinda works the same way (again, this is in really basic terms). If your title, headlines, captions, shares, imagery, meta and beyond all have a thematic consistency true to your intended audience, it makes it that much easier for Google to point people your way. I
It’s comparable to Google rounding up new visitors and saying, “Hey, I know a place you’re gonna love.”
And good writing starts with a strong understanding of who and why, Niche jargon and industry buzz is a great way to show you know your stuff. It adds clout to your approach. It communicates experience and authenticity to your community. It proves your reliability.But keep in mind, there’s always a rabbit hole. Don’t go so far as to alienate your audience through overzealous terminology and pedantic dialogue.
Give Legs to Your Words
The Internet is awesome because it’s interactive. Anyone has the ability to craft an online experience. If your readers only wanted to scour flat words they’d pick up a newspaper (no hate, I used to love writing for The Wildcat and Tucson Weekly).
Links, videos and imagery add new dimensions to your blog. They layer the reader journey and provide room to explore.
I don’t care what apps or platforms you prefer, just try something. I’m really partial to VSCO and Afterlight when it comes to photos. (see what I did there, if you click on those you learn more). I’m adding depth. I’m improving user experience at a very basic level with very little effort.
And take it a step further by sharing your blog beyond your blog. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr are all awesome channels to spread hype about your content. Tag people and places relevant to the post at hand. Holler at someone featured in the post. Don’t be afraid to share but be careful not to boast too much. You don’t want to clog feeds and lose followers by going too hard.
Harness opportunities to own your site. Optimize your personas and bios by including your site on your profile so people who come across you on any avenue know that your site is your homefront. You’re essentially posting fliers on the street corners of the digital landscape.
Let’s stop there for the day and set up camp. Any questions? Holler at me in the comments and share this with a friend in need. I’m on a mission to inspire adventure from the creative frontier to the great outdoors.
Need more adventure? Explore the blog.