June 25, 2011

5 Tips: If You Don't Take Your Own Blog Seriously, No One Else Will

1) Writers write.

Write about something, anything. If you call yourself a "writer" and you don't write every single day then you are probably not really a writer. Getting paid to write also helps, obviously. Write every day. No exceptions, period. Most of it won't be good, but it will teach you discipline and speed. Writer's block cannot happen if you force yourself to write.

2) Be consistent.

Blogging is about consistency. Any good and/or popular blog has consistent content. People know what to expect and when, to a certain degree. Consistency means frequency in blog posts, familiarity in subject matter or content, and maintaining a certain look, structure, and template to your work.

Don't be all over the place. Pick specific topics or niches and work out from there. If you post frequently and consistently enough, you can generally write about whatever you want, but make sure it fits with what you want your blog to be.

3) Whatever you do, do it fast.

Write fast. Edit and upload photos fast. Produce fast. The best blog posts are topical and relevant to whatever is going on today or in the moment. Speed rules. Capture the zeitgeist. If you are the first to write, photograph, comment, or whatever on something, you can potentially own that story and be the face of it.

4) Be accurate.

It goes without saying, do your research and get your story right. We live in the internet generation so research should be easy. Make sure you get your facts right. Verify sources, websites, names, titles, etc. Make sure whatever sources you cite (and make sure to always cite your references) are reputable and reliable.

That said, everyone makes mistakes once in a while, particularly if you follow tips #2 and 3. Own your mistakes and fix them. People will understand if it's an honest error.
"Acknowledge when you make a mistake. I don't think news organizations acknowledge their mistakes enough. It shows their humanity."
Erin Loxam

5) Reflect your identity.

Obviously, my blog is just my name so I can generally write whatever I want as long as it somehow reflects on my own experiences. Along with my "Vancouver Daze" brand, I generally stick to Vancouver area related topics for the most part.

If you call yourself an "online magazine", you better have editors, an editorial direction, photographers, and an overall mission statement. Otherwise, you are just a blog (which is fine).

If you call yourself something, make sure it actually reflects the content you produce, what you do, or hope to achieve. If you call your blog something relating to specific direction, subject, genre, or definition, make sure it actually fits that description. Define yourself.

Photo | Jeremy Lim

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