Last week, I shared some of my thoughts and advice on becoming a blogger. A lot of you followed up with me with questions and comments – so I’m happy to continue talking about blogging resources, if that’s something that is of interest to a number of my readers.
I also got to hear from a lot of readers who are also bloggers in their own right. One of my favorite bloggers – and dear friends – is Sheva from My Shtub. Her blog is a personal lifestyle blog, in which she shares stories and (amazing) photos of her family.
Since her writing niche is so different from KOAB’s, she suggested a follow-up post with tips for writing a personal blog. Great idea! Without further adieu, here’s my friend Sheva.
Hi! I’m Sheva and I write the blog myshtub.blogspot.com. Like Mara, I would not say I have a famous blog (even though I think she does) in the perspective of the blogosphere, but after a few years of experience, I have a growing readership and also like Mara, I wanted to offer some tips and tricks I learned along the way.
1. Find your niche
I think Mara touched on this, but I wanted to expand a bit. I often get asked to give my opinion on peoples blogs and the first thing I usually say is: What sets your blog apart from the 4 million other blogs out there? Find what will separate you from the masses. Maybe you cook all your gourmet kosher recipes on a single burner or you only use 5 ingredients for all your meals. Whatever it may be, take that niche and go with it.
2. Make your blog look pretty
I k now that may sound funny, but If I click on a blog with a plain BlogSpot template and simple type heading I usually won’t go further. As humans we are naturally drawn to things that are pleasing to the eye. We decorate our homes and dress in a way that represents us, and so does your blog. Are you going to take fashion advice from your plain jane friend, as sweet as she may be. Simply fixing up your header is a great way to start and can vary in costs if you can’t do it yourself. Etsy is a great place to look to have mini blog makeovers done for under a $100 bucks, this is what I did for mine. Like Mara said, wait till your readership is large enough that the cost of a full blog makeover is worth it.
3. Keep your writing short and sweet
Are you interested in reading a novel on the computer screen? I’m not. I know you have a lot to say and that is why you are starting a blog, but the best way to drive your readers away is with long, long, long posts without much eye candy such as images and graphics. When I have had my posts turned into actual articles without pics, it is a joke how little I actually write. This brings me to my next point.
4. Pictures are really worth a thousand words
I know this will be somewhat controversial and some may not agree, but if you are going to write a personal family blog, a food blog, or a craft blog, you have to have pictures. If you are going to write a 20-minute long post about all the funny things your son says, then I want to see that son. It’s a natural human instinct. Putting your children’s pictures on the web is a hard decision to make and trust me it has not been a bowl of cherries for me, but the pics often tell more than the words. You don’t need to be a photographer, you just need some bright, in-focus pics. If you write a food blog there should be tons of food pics, and not stock photos, your pics. This is what will keep your readers eye to keep reading.
5. Stop looking at your competition and blog from your heart
Mara also spoke about this. Stop looking to see what the others are doing, and especially stop copying them. This won’t work for you. What makes your blog you is you. That is why it is called a personal blog. If you try to replicate everyone else then what is he point? I have had my blog for about 5 years but it didn’t really start taking off until the last 2 years. I couldn’t find my footing, and what I wanted to share. Was it going to be all about crafts, or my family? One day I decided to be real and open, I decided to be myself, and the readership grew. Who would of thunk?
I hope this helped and you can always catch me over at MyShtub where I would be happy to answer more questions.