So you are considering starting a blog?
Let’s talk about how to write a blog (about yourself) that a LOT of people will actually read. I’m currently writing a blog about myself that thousands of people read every day, so I know it’s possible.
You have words inside of you. You have experiences you want to share with the world (or maybe family and friends).
And dang it all if truth isn’t stranger than fiction. This stuff needs to be shared.
Maybe you’ve written some in the past, and if you do say so yourself (not that you would admit it out loud, because that would be bragging, but…), it was actually pretty good.
Plus you’ve seen other blogs out there that are popular, and you know you could do way better. Theirs are full of typos! What would your eighth grade English teacher say? Not to mention the writing isn’t even all that great.
So you’ve thought about it.
And, you are still thinking about it.
Maybe you started a blog and it’s sitting, lonely and forlornly neglected.
You started out with great gusto, posting and sharing, but then lost your mojo.
The truth is it’s not the hecklers that scare us writers and potential writers. It’s the crickets.
What if I bare my soul and no one reads it? Or worse, they read it and don’t care? It feels worse than a prom-date rejection. Our words are pieces of ourselves, floating out there for anyone to take and cherish or cast aside like nothing. This is risk in true form.
So how can you write a blog about yourself that people will actually read?
I can tell you how to write a blog that people will read. Write about travel or recipes or crafts. Take fabulous photos and pin it on Pinterest. Trust me, if this is your thing, there are online courses you can take to teach you how to make a blog like this work.
But what about writing a blog about yourself that people will actually read?
Yes, you really can write a blog about you and your life, and people will read it, but there are a few important specifications to consider.
How to Write a Blog (About Yourself) That a LOT of People Will Actually Read
1. Write for the reader.
Wait. I thought this blog was going to be about you? It is. Sort of. This is a tricky balance, but believe it or not you can write about yourself while you are writing for the reader.
When I start a blog post, I choose 1 thing I’m going to say to my readers. It might be a lesson, a biblical or parenting message, a take-away, a shared experience, a rant or even for pure entertainment. But it’s gotta DO something for them, or my readers are not going to bother reading it.
Ask yourself what each and every post you share is giving to your reader.
2. Use emotion.
The most shared/liked/tweeted/commented on posts on social media include some type of deep emotion. Even an informational blog post needs to have or inspire some type of emotional response. Otherwise, your readers will just go type the topic they want into Google and get their info from Wikipedia. They are coming to your blog in order to have a shared experience, so give them a connection point.
3. Give your readers one specific moment in time.
This is the classic “show, don’t tell” of writing. Here’s a helpful way to go about it.
Let’s say you want to share a big experience or heightened feeling on your blog. You don’t have to share the whole thing in order to draw the reader in.
First, picture a moment from that time, like a screen shot. Then, zoom in on the tiniest detail. Your tiny detail will share your story for you.
It looks like this.
Lame: Last Easter, when my son wasn’t with us because he was in the hospital, my heart was breaking.
Impact: The adults sit with wine glasses propped on weary knees. Colorful plastic eggs lay discarded. Abundant candy and trinkets spill out of baskets as kids barter their treasures. On the mantel sits one Easter basket, pristine and alone. My son is in the hospital and will not join us today. His basket is perfect, and I am broken.
4. Get the title and format correct.
Titles are super important for blogs. If you don’t write an interesting and catchy title, it doesn’t matter how good the blog post is, no one will get far enough to read it. (Check out How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul for tips on titles, writing effective blog posts, and more.)
Format matters, too. People skim blogs, and most blogs (about 80%) are read with smart phones. Think about this for a second. Where are you when you use your phone — in the grocery store line? at the kids’ soccer practice? In the bathroom? (Not getting a picture.)
The take away here is to keep your posts simple and highly user-friendly. Use short paragraphs (2-3 sentences) and several headings per post. Bold important sentences. Use high-quality photos with captions. People read captions even if they don’t read the post.
5. Be you.
What makes your blog special is that you are you. No one else will write like you or share your unique life experiences. You are interesting!
Pick one or two quirky things about yourself and just go for it. Maybe you write super-short blogs. Maybe you write expressive narratives. Maybe you hate pizza and love lizards. (If so, blog isn’t for me, but it’s for someone out there.)
If you are saying, “I don’t have anything special about me,” you either need to get a life, or get some self-esteem help. Everyone has special and interesting characteristics.
Have these topics been done before? Of course. The world is big. So what! They haven’t been done the way you will do it.
Are you considering starting a blog or website? Have you started a website and want to take it to the next level?
When it comes to starting a website, I recommend Blue Host. It’s what I’ve used exclusively for my website since the beginning. See How You Can Set Up a WordPress Blog in 15 Minutes
If you’ve been blogging for awhile, be sure to check out my post, The Top 10 Best Resources to Grow a Blog
I’m also a huge fan of ConvertKit. When it comes to growing an email list for a blog, Convertkit is truly top-notch and has grown my email list like nothing else.
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