I’ve always wanted to work with people who are making a difference.
When the Borgen Project hired me to be a contributing blogger, I was excited about the potential, but also a little terrified, because I’d never written a blog post before.
After reading the posts already on the site, though, I got an idea of what they were looking for, and so I did what everyone should do when they begin to blog: I just jumped right in.
Starting to write a blog, either as an individual venture or for a company, definitely can bring about some anxiety. It’s a unique kind of writing, and it’s newer, so there’s less out there to emulate and analyze. But there are a few things you can keep in mind when you start blogging that will make getting started a little less ominous.
Fake it till you make it.
You don’t have to know everything about a topic to write authoritatively about it — you just have to be good at researching. Superior researching skills involve finding out whether your sources are credible, and giving credit where it’s due. Taking on a topic about which you know nothing doesn’t need to be scary, nor does it need to mean you turn down a guest blogging assignment or back away from your own blog.
More often than not, the topic you’re writing about has been written about time and time again, and so your task is not to unearth groundbreaking information to share with the world; rather, you’re there to present the information in a new way that will keep people coming back to your posts.
Write it like you’d say it.
People don’t read blogs to obtain information they can get from any news or travel site; they’re there to get the information from someone who understands what they’re looking for and is more accessible. While you do want to write with authority, you also want to avoid coming off as condescending and distant. So write it just like you would say it, in an easily digestible and conversational way.
Forget everything you know about writing.
Okay, not everything. But with blogging, you’ll come to find that the hard-and-fast rules of journalism or creative writing don’t always apply. Bias and opinion often have a place in blogging and are valid tools for establishing your voice. Going hand in hand with bias, your posts should serve a purpose distinct from that of simply sharing information — your well-informed opinions and analysis are what make your blog stand out. The structure of blog posts is less rigid — people aren’t looking for formal writing construction. If you stop thinking of it as an article and more as a chat you’re having with readers, you’ll be able to take more liberties with the format and tap into your creativity.
While the topics may change, the nature of blogging remains the same. Explore different options and get creative, and you’ll find that blogging isn’t as scary as it may seem.
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