I am a writer. Ever since I was old enough to hold a pen, I’ve used it to put my thoughts on paper. From telling stories to selling widgets — you name it, I’ve written it.
As a writer who has honed her skills on just about every form of the art, I didn’t expect to learn much about the craft of writing from blogging. I was wrong. Since starting a personal blog in January 2013, my writing has improved immensely. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Blogging is a form of writing that requires a specific focus and edge. It is not enough to have something to say: sharing useful information with your audience is necessary but far from sufficient. You also need to share your personal point of view. Even if you are an expert in a particular field or niche, you need to get your point across in a voice that is uniquely yours.
When I started my personal blog, FranceSays, I was a babe in the blogging woods. Back then I believed that if I just wrote good posts, people would read them. (“Build it and they will come.”) My first posts got almost no traffic. Then I began to interact with other bloggers, to leave comments and likes. I noticed that the really good bloggers always replied to comments; they posted regularly and asked people what they thought. After about a year of following this strategy, I had built up my following to about 100. Then, I got ‘Freshly Pressed’ by the WordPress platform, instantly quadrupling my following. Since then the number of people who follow my blog has grown steadily, and is now around 1,500 followers. It’s nowhere near where I want to go with it in terms of statistics and engagement, but it’s well on its way.
As for Cognition, it’s still a work in progress. This blog is not intended as the main driver of my business but to offer an added value for clients and industry colleagues. I don’t post as often as I’d like but I do try to share information and ideas that you will find relevant. I would very much like to hear your thoughts – and any ideas for future posts!
What about you? Should you have a blog? If you are asking the question, the answer is probably yes. Whether as a small business or independent professional, blogging is a way to share expertise and gain authority in your field. It’s also an excellent tool for self-promotion.
If you’d like the help of a professional writer with your blog or other online communication, connect with me here.