A very common misconception that many people have about blogs in general is that all blog posts have to be written. What I mean by this is that they think every blog post is going to be just a giant body of text. Some blog posts are shorter, maybe only a couple hundred words, while other blog posts can be a lot longer, like several thousand words, spanning multiple pages. The actual length of the post isn’t what defines it as a blog post.
It’s not really about the subject matter either, because you can have a blog about just about anything. There are blogs that feature all sorts of celebrity gossip. There are plenty of technology and gadget blogs that talk about the latest smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras. There are blogs by cat lovers, car enthusiasts, football fans and more. It can be about whatever you want it to be about.
But each blog post does not need to be a giant, intimidating block of words that reads like a novel.
A Rich Media Experience
In fact, some of the best blog posts today are increasingly taking advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the Internet. If you’re doing a product review for a blog post, for example, it is a fantastic idea to include a number of photographs of the product you’re reviewing. This adds tremendous value to the post and gives readers a much better sense of what you’re talking about. They can literally see all the little details and nuances that you are discussing.
And that’s one of the first and biggest tips I can give to anyone who is first starting out with blogging. After you’ve gotten a grasp of your basic site design and know the kinds of dimensions (in number of pixels) your blog theme can accommodate in an attractive manner, you’ll want to start including images in your blog posts. Ideally, you want to have at least one picture per post and more if the need warrants it.
Being a good writer is certainly going to come in useful if you want to be successful as a blogger and you’ll become a better writer the more practice and experience that you get. Even so, you don’t have to be a great writer when you’re first starting out. You’ll find your stride.
Feeding the Goldfish
And even then, the misconception that blog posts have to be these big bodies of text is entirely wrong, especially in this digital age of increasingly short attention spans. There will always be a place for expansive essays, but a growing number of Internet users just want a quick fix. And that’s why words aren’t the only tool in your arsenal.
Take a look at a hugely popular site like Buzzfeed, which has since been spun off and copied by so many other bloggers. These so-called “listicles” don’t really contain all that many words at all. What Buzzfeed and other sites like it have done is simply come up with a good idea, created a list of funny, amusing or insightful items to include, and accompanied each list item with a relevant image, sometimes with a meme-worthy caption or as an animated GIF.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s the case, then the typical Buzzfeed listicle might only have a few dozen words, but those 17 images could be worth 17,000 words. That’s quite the extensive college thesis, even if the article really doesn’t offer the same kind of research or insight.
And that’s the thing. There are many paths to becoming a successful blogger who is able to earn a sizable income on the Internet. Some bloggers establish themselves as legitimate experts in their respective niche or industry. They’re well respected and incredibly knowledgeable, writing articles and guides that have tons of useful information.
But being “useful” and “knowledgeable” is just one way of doing things. You can be equally successful if you’re funny or if you have a unique point of view. If you write about a common subject but in a different kind of way, you really can stand out from the crowd and make a name for yourself.
Eye-Catching Weapons in Your Arsenal
The kinds of pictures that you use in your blog post can be incredibly varied too. It really depends on the context. Photographs that you take personally can work in many circumstances. Other times, you might want to screenshots of websites so you can illustrate your point. Or it could be something as simple as inserting a relevant stock image to give the reader an instant sense of the kind of mood or message you’re trying to convey.
Taking it to another level, you might decide to dabble in “vlogging” which is short for “video blogging.” Some people are just more comfortable sitting in front of a camera and talking than they are with sitting in front of the keyboard and writing out the same words. Some people are just more successful with videos, because they have a more animated or personable personality that is captured in videos far better than with written words.
Other blogs could communicate the information through infographics instead. And realistically, when you decide on any of these formats, you shouldn’t feel restricted to just that one format. Try them all and use them as you see fit. This helps to keep your blog dynamic and your audience engaged. Or stick with one to provide stability and reliability.
As with so many other things to do with blogging, it’s totally up to you how you want to do this and what works best for you.