Introduction to Blog Writing

In these pages, we give a brief introduction to the most popular blogs in terms of their subject matter, as well as the different types of blogs from the point of view of structure or intent, helping you plan your approach and make the most of your writing.

INTRODUCTION

There are many kinds of blogs (or web logs), from personal lifestyle and opinion pieces to guides and advice on everything from improving your professional life to buying technology. A personal blog is usually - but not always - an informal and opinion-based piece of writing, and often features on a website overseen by its author. Professional and technical blogs may feature on the website of a magazine or a retailer, or even a major corporation.

Writing styles can vary, and should be targeted to your audience. A professional or technical blog would likely feature more sophisticated language, but the way you deliver it should still be engaging, concise, and conversational. A blog is not an article or op-ed or an academic piece of work, and so you can ‘dumb down’ the language to a certain degree. Don’t be afraid to address the reader as if you were scripting your side of a conversation. This ensures audience retention for those who connect with your unique ‘voice’.

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the process behind ensuring that people can find your blog on search engines such as Google, Bing, Safari, and others. You will need to do some research as to how to optimize your blog or website for discovery and ranking on search engines, by focusing on your metadata and ensuring strong and relevant keywords on your pages and in your titles. There are some tools you can find online to help with this, such as Keywords Everywhere.

BLOG TOPICS

Some people will choose topics (subject matter) based on their popularity, with a view to making money through webpage visits. In fact, some blog writers purposely identify which blogs internet users are searching for, following which they will produce a blog with the aim of attracting those users. Here are some examples of the most popular blog topics (in no particular order):

·       Health

·       Food

·       Fashion

·       Technology

·       Travel

·       Music

·       Lifestyle (Arts, Culture, Entertainment)

·       Fitness (maybe a subset of a Health blog)

·       DIY

·       Sports

·       Politics/News

·       Parenting

·       Business/Finance

·       Movie

·       Personal

·       Auto (Industry)

·       Pets

·       Gaming

BLOG TYPES

Your approach to your chosen topic will be different depending on the type of blog you’re writing. The type of blog will determine the structure and layout. Here are some popular blog types:

·       How-To…

·       Lists (e.g., Top 10)

·       What Is…?

·       Newsjacking

·       Ultimate Guide To…

·       Infographic

HOW-TO

One of the most popular question forms entered into search engines is ‘How do I…?’ People have all sorts of questions for all sorts of topics, tasks, and aspects of their lives. If you identify popular or trending questions, it could be a good bet to write blog posts about them. They could be anything from DIY questions like, ‘How do I put up a shelf?’ to health questions like, ‘How do I get rid of a spot on my nose?’ The possibilities are endless, but make sure you know what you’re talking about. We don’t want shelves falling on people’s heads!

LISTS

A lot of internet users like lists, telling them about the Top 10 of this, or the Best 5 of that. Compiling these lists for your blog is a great way to attract readers who like short, concise, and contextual sets of information. Do your research and make your posts snappy and engaging, with ratings, maybe purchase information and links to reviews. Check out these list blogs online and see what others are including in theirs.

WHAT IS…?

A straightforward one here – a blog answering a direct question about anything you like. Again, identify the sort of ‘what is’ questions people are asking, preferably using an online tool. If you don’t want to use an online tool – or a downloadable plug-in, for example – you could simply type the words ‘what is’ into a search engine and examine the results.

NEWSJACKING

Newsjacking is what happens when a company draws connections between current affairs or a recent (major/important) event and their brand. This sort of post is usually composed very soon after the event, with a view to attracting readers to your blog who were searching for news on that event. It’s a clever marketing tool but it has to be done in a clever way. If the connections you draw are too weak or appear too cynical, you risk damaging the integrity of your brand. Make sure there really is a relationship between your brand or product before taking this approach.

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO…

You will regularly see blog posts claiming to be the ‘ultimate guide’ to something, and they are usually (we hope) written by experts on the topic in question. Readers looking for advice or information will like these posts, and they could be anything from the ultimate guide to headscarves or beachwear (fashion or lifestyle blogs), to the ultimate guide to headphones or private jets. Of course, if you’re not an expert on a topic you would like to write about, you could compile your information from your own research, gathering it from relevant websites or your own independent reading.

INFOGRAPHIC

An infographic blog post features a concise visual representation of important information, in may different forms - from charts to mindmaps, tables and timelines. Infographics are a great way to get information across to people in a convenient way, especially when the aim is for people to learn that information. Learning should be quick and easy. Look at these examples, which feature on other pages on this website:

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