The internet may just be a bunch of people sharing their opinions (or sometimes yelling their opinions in all caps), but where there is a bunch of people, there is the chance that some of them are going to spend money.
A successful online venture can sometimes rely on plenty of luck, but there’s a reason professional poker players win against the rookies. They know how to turn the luck in their favour, and the same can be said about trying to create a blog. It’s not that you have to have the hottest takes or even the most eloquent turns of phrases, but if you can reach the masses and make them stop and think for more than a few seconds (a long time in the internet world) then you can certainly consider yourself a success.
But they have to find you first!
#1. Be One Click Away From a Lawyer
It’s a shame to start off with legal problems, but nothing will stop your blog or website faster than copyright, libel or Terms of Service letter.
In fact, if it does happen, it’s probably when you are finally getting a bit of attention and traction, which is exactly why someone else (or some big corporation) is going to try and take a shot at you. To make sure you can weather this storm and keep your online presence going, it will help to take out lawsuit loans. Being ready to defend yourself – or even go on the offensive if you think you’re being taken advantage of – is important, especially when just starting out.
#2. Long-Form versus Short Form content?
The internet has definitely changed our reading habits. And while YouTube and streaming haven’t destroyed it completely, it’s no surprise that the world seems more comfortable with one or two sentences than thousands upon thousands of words that slowly dissect every way to look at a certain topic.
That’s not to say that there is no place for longer articles and essays, it’s just that you have to understand that you will be getting a lot less traffic if that’s the sort of blog you want to write. That’s why vlogging took off a while back, and why podcasts (vlogging without the video) are popular now.
People want to be able to do something else they just listen to what you want to say, rather than read it. If you think you have a voice, people could stand to hear talk about whatever for thirty minutes or more, then perhaps you should write a good article, and then read it into a microphone and upload the broadcast.
The alternative is sticking solely with the written word, but only in short form. And we mean a very short form. The 280 character limit for a Tweet (in the dark ages of five years ago, it used to only be half that amount) doesn’t give you much of a chance to work your literary magic, so you have to be very concise. Not only do you have to be amusing or thought-provoking, but ideally you will have a link embedded in the post to your fuller opinion on your own blog page.
Or maybe you will just post an image of your blog post on your social media pages to get around the character limit. But even in these cases, the longer your actual article is, the fewer people will read all of it. The challenge for writers today is to make every word count since it feels like you have fewer of them to work with.
#3. Getting Noticed
In the pre-internet days, the line by marketing and promoting people was that ‘sex sells’, but now with the internet offering plenty of that for free, you need other ways to get attention.
The other old-school line was ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’, but that’s not true either, as several ‘cancelled’ bloggers and influencers can attest to. Sure making a joke about the news can maybe get you a few likes, but the chances are high that it can blow up in your face.
Finding something poignant and thought-provoking to say when it comes to current events is better, but because of how quickly people want content, it has to be very current.
You have to hang onto the very latest and be ready to repackage a headline in such a way that someone is going to be impressed by your take, and (hopefully) start to follow your social media accounts or even visit your actual blog page.
#4. Expanding Your Horizons
Blogging is has become just a tip in the larger social media iceberg. If you are only going to share your occasional opinions in written form (whether just a few short sentences or longer articles), you are going to hit a ceiling in terms of your popularity.
Bloggers and influencers have moulded into one, and it’s practically expected that you share a lot more about yourself through your social media accounts.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a reality show level of cameras watching you eat and go about your day, but it does mean that the more of a personal and emotional connection you can make with your dedicated fanbase the longer you can expect your ‘blogging career’ to last.
People may come for your opinions on whatever topic you’re thinking about, but they will stay when you reveal yourself to be more than just a blogger.
Now how much of your life you want to share is up to you, and it makes sense that you would probably want to keep plenty of your life private.
Not only for your mental comfort but also for your physical safety. Not sharing anything (even accidentally) that can be considered personal information is important, and it is another reminder of why having access to some legal aid right away is key if your blogging career begins to take off.