This time last year I wrote an article for ProBlogger entitled “8 Reasons Why Students Should Blog”. The post is still well received to this day with over 600 re-tweets! The post set out why students should blog but could actually apply to anyone considering taking up the reigns of blogging. Now that we are the start of another year I have taken the effort to revise a few of the reasons here.
If you are thinking about getting into the swing of blogging this year, here are a few things you should remember.
1) Your blog shapes the professional internet
Your personal internet is shrinking. Once signed into Google all your results will be personalised based from previous searches and what your network of contacts have recommended. The purpose of this functionality is to make search results more relevant for everyone but at the same time, much content is being censored, being pushed back through the search results.
Think of your chosen industry as a spider’s web, each strand connected to a professional who could have that dream job for you. Blogging enables you to become one of those stands on the web and stand among your industry’s thought leaders.
2) Mobile is BIG
With the number of smartphone users in the UK to double between 2012 and 2016, from 19.2 million to 41.9 million, it’s essential to be creating compatible content. Blogging is one of the few channels which can easily adapt its content across a whole range of platforms. I know that this blog can be read on my PC, smartphone, tablet, even my Xbox. All it takes is a few free WordPress plugins and you have compatibility which many companies still pay thousands for. The challenge for blogging is to create diverse content which can still hit a number of platforms.
This year I am probably going to write an estimated 25,000 words on this blog of which 12,500 are probably going to be read on mobile devices (judging from this site’s stats).
3) Blogging takes a lot of stamina
This point remains relatively unchanged from last year because blogging is still tough. The whole public relations industry produces but still struggles with content. The blogging sphere is so crowded that getting your voice heard above others can be really difficult. To tackle this effective blogging requires the support of social networks and, for public relations students, it’s worth adding yourself to the CIPR Conversation.
If you believe that rather tongue-in-cheek point from CEO of Econsultancy, Ashley Friedlein, then 2013 will be the year of the long blog post.
4) Consider other forms of advertising
There is nothing wrong with trying to make some money blogging. However, using banners ads can be a painfully long process to pay off. Instead consider other forms of advertising such as sponsored posts, anchored links (although this is gradually being killed off due to search changes) or selling premium content. With the growth of eBook readers consider self-publishing short books – the online space is full of money making options.
5) Your fellow bloggers
It’s all very well learning the latest bit of public relations theory, how to build effective campaigns and having conversations with the experts but go back to the basics. Remember to follow, recommend and comment on other blogs. Blogging is a community activity and in all likelihood your traffic levels will be partly reliant on the recommendations of others.
And remember, blogging is a marathon and not a sprint.
Now, what have I missed?