The Little We Know About Blogging
This blog post has been made possible because our last blogger was not in position to write due to unavoidable circumstances. So, we were thinking of saying our special thanks to the previous bloggers but that wouldn’t allow us to reach a good number of words. Hence, how best could we conclude of participation on #UgBlogWeek other than share the little we know about blogging or content creation?
1. Passion, Passion, and Passion: Anyone can open up a blog and for whatever reason they want. What you need to do is, make sure as the owner/team leader, the blog articles cover an area that you are really passionate about. Ug Gospel Life for example was started because of a genuine passion to see the industry grow. It did not matter whether we had readers or not. The few followers we initially had did not discourage us and neither did our months of inexperience (though I must add, as the creator, I had already been blogging).
I say be passionate because passion for something attracts a community that identifies with that passion. Even if someone tries to copy or steal an idea, it has been said that they cannot steal the passion that the creator of an idea has.
Another reason why passion comes first is, for those of you who know about content marketing or online marketing, because even when you seem not to be breaking barriers, your blog won’t lack content due to a lack of motivation. If you find an area you are passionate in to blog about, success is guaranteed.
In Uganda right now we see a number of personal blogs, entertainment blogs, opinion blogs or newsy blogs. We wish there’s more photography blogs or even fashion or food blogs.
2. Understand Your Target Audience: After finding an area in which you are passionate, open up a blog or website but understand your target audience. There is no blogger who should not be worried if their content is not being read. One of the things we have learned is, however great your content is, if you don’t share it correctly, it can receive few viewers and readers. But, use the statistics you get from your blog readers to understand what kind of content gets their attention or what kind of content is important for them. This might help you with those numbers. We hope as a professional blogger you know the relevance of the numbers.
3. Disruptive Thinking: It is not good to call yourself a blogger, or content creator if you are going to be following norms. You must be ready to challenge the ordinary mind ,even in the way you ask your questions or put out an opinion piece. Make it in-depth. Don’t just disagree for the sake doing so. Have valid and clearly spelt-out arguments and points to support what you are saying.
4: Titles: Most of what you have written will be read because of one reason, the title. When you share on Social Media, often it is the title that will help your followers or those who like your page to determine whether they should read you post or not. Some of the most interesting pieces or articles have the worst titles and this affects readership. What we try to do is, we endeavour to make it easy for you to know what the entire blog post is all about or leave you wondering what exactly we have said in the blog post. Also, sometimes the title used on the blog is different from the one shared on social media. On the blog, you have to make sure the title is search-engine optimized. That is, it should be easy for those searching for related topics/terms to find your post because of the title only and or content. Sometimes, such a title may not be attractive for the reader on social media, hence it is okay to play with titles. Feel free to study how others title their blog posts.
5. Consistency & Patience: As we may have suggested in the first point, if your blog is to succeed, have a plan to churn out content on a regular basis. Even if you decide that it will be once a week, let it be so. Plan ahead know that there are times when you will have a writer’s block. If you don’t know what that is, please Google it. Or, have a few guest bloggers for those days. When you are consistent, it is easy to build a following. Then, patience is important for a reason we have already given in the first point. At times, before your blog starts causing a stir in people’s hearts, you will have done it consistently for a really long time. Hence be patient. Enjoy the ride.
6. Learn, Learn, and keep on learning: We cannot add much to this point except to say, accept that some people went ahead of you. Learn from them. Don’t copy and paste. Be unique.
7. Ethics: If you borrow a few words from another blogger through content curating, please attach a link to clearly show the source of that content. This is especially applicable for cases when what some said somewhere inspires a new direction to a topic. Understand or internalize what they have said, improve it or make additions but don’t be selfish. Add a link to show where you got the idea.
Also, if you use an image that wasn’t purposely created for your blog post by a graphics designer, it is good ethics to show the source of the image. If it is from a photographer, mention their name. If however, the photographer has watermarks, it may not be necessary to give accreditation to them because the watermark serves the same purpose. Be professional about this. You can be sued for using pictures without showing their source.
The other thing, which may not apply in Uganda but is very crucial outside countries is, showing pictures of minors without the consent of the parents. If you do something in a school setting, be careful not to show pictures of pupils and students without consent from their parents.
8. Blogging Vs Journalism: Many bloggers do not need training in a school setting to be called a blogger. Being a blogger has fast become a big thing in countries where bloggers have become very influential and affected politics, the arts, and entertainment, as well as telling of stories that would have otherwise been ignored by traditional media. Blogs and websites can become a great place for hyperlocal content to address issues within a community. Ours handles the Christian community. Now, for one to be elevated to a professional blogger, they need to incorporate journalistic skills which include ethics, accuracy of information being shared, timely delivery, investigation of facts etc. Therefore, if you don’t have a background of journalism, ot may not be such a bad thing to, as we have already shared, learn, learn and learn. It is highly unethical to lift content from another source without permission or giving credit to the sourve.
9. The Brand & Tone: Hopefully we won’t get into this whole thing of brands: logos if necessary, corporate branding especially if your blog has shown signs of becoming a household name. Have something that introduces you to people without you saying a single word is important. Secondly, this is something we learned from a class on content creation, your blog needs to have a consistent tone especially if more than one person is handling it. This prevents your blogging platform from having a disconnected flow of information. For example, Ug Gospel Life is keen on being a very interactive blog. We will respond to everyone because we like to do so. Also, we try to be as friendly as possible. That’s just us.
10. Be of help: There are still so many more points to make but, we must avoid the mistake of having a blog post that is too long. Hence we ask that you be of help. Be of importance to people. When creating Ug Gospel Life, I tried to make something that you needed. Something that will help you find what you need. Sometimes it is to bring a smile to your face, encourage you, or simply interact with you or bring someone who can help you solve a heartache. We have tried to find things that bless us and shared with our readers. Doing this means we are here for you and you will be here for us. We will help each other. We get to impact a life. Isn’t that blessing big enough?
With that, those are the few things we know about blogging.
If you missed our Previous Posts on#UgBlogWeek, here they are. Click on each of them to read what the writers had to say.
- 10 Most Annoying Habits of Artistes – By Benjaah Edwards
- The Noisey Poet Writes About Finding Her Calling – By Noisey
- The God Of Sinners – By Ojara Andrew Charles of theweirdgod.wordpress.com blog
- Conversations – A Poem By Josh. O. Agaba
- Unwrapped: The Journey To Rukungiri – By Abaasa
- How It All Started: The Ug Gospel Life Blog Story – By Ug Gospel Life Creator and team Leader.