There’s been a lot of blogging talk – and posts – going down since Blogopolis last weekend. And that’s a good thing.
The day covered lots of topics suited to both beginner and long-term bloggers. Sure, not everyone would have been interested in everything but not everyone in the room blogs on the same topic or has the same goals for their blog.
But the one thing EVERYONE in that room should be interested in is content.
You can forget the whole Blogger vs WordPress debate; whether you understand SEO; or whether you want to take advertising on your blog. None of this -and I mean NONE of this – means squat if you’re not writing and producing content that people actually want to read.
Get back to the reason you started blogging. And if it wasn’t to share good content, perhaps re-think your blogging goals.
The saying “content is king” is not a cliche. Because it really is king (or queen!)
Focus on your content. Trust me, if you do this, in time the other parts of blogging will take care of itself.
Think: build it and they will come (feeling very Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams right now).
I focussed on getting organised with your content and writing in your own voice.
These were the key messages from my talk (The slideshow from my presentation can be found here):
Write as you speak; imagine having a chat with your readers in a café or bar
Give us an insight into your life through your words
Make us laugh
Make us cry
Make us think
Make us want to connect
Preferably all of the above!
And here are some of my key points that were re-Tweeted on the day:
I also re-told my blogging story – not to big note myself – but because I believe it’s important one. I didn’t start writing my blog and suddenly have 34,000 unique visitors a month (and yes that’s my statistic from last month that I’m super proud of!).
I stumbled into blogging three years ago after 20 years as a journalist. I wanted a website to market my fledgling styling business – one that I could update myself.
Thank GOD, the first web designer I talked to said: you need a blog. A four letter word I quickly Googled! (See, no idea)
So, I began blogging, adding content not dis-similar to that which I would have included in the fashion and beauty pages of the magazine I used to edit.
About 1.5 years in, I finally started reading – I mean really reading – other blogs. And that’s when the lightbulb went off (insert whatever appropriate blonde lightbulb joke you so desire here).
People were connecting with other people on their blogs. The blogs I liked had personality. Readers left comments on posts – and sometimes those comments were more entertaining than the original post (who knew?).
I was like the new kid at school watching everyone playing with their old friends in the playground – and I so wanted in on that game.
So I had my blog design changed to make it look and feel more reader friendly and re-focused on my content. I added more of “me” to the blog. And I got organised.
It’s a work in progress – and that’s what I really love about blogging as opposed to traditional media – you and your blog can happily morph along together.
This year – after three years of working on my content and community – I have been rewarded with two blogging awards, my blog now receives more than 113,000 page views a month and yes, brands are interested in talking to me because my community is engaged and loyal.
If you were looking at other bloggers at Blogopolis and wondering how you can get to where you think they’re at (and trust me – there were some amazingly successful bloggers in that room), stop wondering and wasting your time, get back to basics and focus on your content.
As the very wise, Christie (Childhood 101) said, forget about competition and run your own blogging race.
And, I’d like to add to that wisdom, borrowing from a successful shampoo advertising campaign: it won’t happen overnight but it will happen.
So, how’s your blogging race going? Have you set some new goals following Blogopolis?
Earlier this week I blogged about what I wore (important if you are a style blogger in a room with other fashion and beauty bloggers!) and next week, I’ll talk more about the advertising vs editorial panel I sat on.