Monday, November 29, 2010

Avoiding a "Blah" Blog

Hopefully you’ve recovered from your turkey coma and ready to get back in the game! December is shaping up to be a very busy month-- I’m back to the day job this week, and have a lot of writing-related projects on my schedule over the next few weeks, not to mention finals for my classes and oh yeah, getting ready for the holidays! 2011 will be here in no time!

Because I’m always so busy these days, other than my monthly writer’s group meeting I don’t get to quite as many writing-related events as I would like to. But this past weekend I made the time and a attended a blogging workshop. Not only was the facilitator super-knowledgeable about blogging and writing, but he was funny. And British. All important elements for keeping the audience’s attention if you ask me.

Jon (funny British writer and workshop facilitator mentioned above) had some great tips for coming up with catchy, attention-getting titles for blog posts and tying ideas to your blog’s main theme that may seem unlikely at first (such as “What Playing Tennis Has Taught Me About Writing”). He uses the same approach to his blog as I try to use for finding speakers for our writers’ group—we’re open to any topic, no matter how far-fetched, as long as you can relate it to writing. Same idea here.

He also stressed the importance of remembering who you’re writing for. He suggested trying something I caught on to a few months ago—making the content more relatable and putting it back on the reader. Initially, when I started this blog I thought people would come here to get advice for their own freelance writing efforts. When it quickly became clear that I’m definitely no expert, I shifted my focus to talking about my own writing challenges (and triumphs!) and then opening the floor to readers. I think that’s been much more effective, and honestly, it’s easier to find things to blog about doing it this way!

I think the best blogs capture the blogger’s personality and voice (Freelancedom is one of my favorites) but creates an atmosphere of collaboration and idea sharing. Those are just some of the top things I look for in a good blog.

And yes, I'm a bit of a sucker for a catchy title, too!

What about you? What keeps you coming back to your favorite blogs?

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