It has been almost two years since I have started blogging religiously. A rigorous blogging regime has reengineered my inner life. I can see the person I have transformed to in these last two years with the help of a disciplined and consistent writing habit. This blog post is an attempt to urge you to start your own creative writing space on the web. Writing is a cost-effective keystone habit and its results can spill over to the rest of your life.
Bryan Allain in his book, 31 days to finding your blogging mojo lays down some useful ideas and tips to help people who wanted to start their own blogs. The book is an enjoyable read and the author uses some real-world humor at the end of every chapter to keep the audience entertained. Here is an example:
Why do grocery store cashiers ask me if I want my gallon of milk in a bag? I couldn't care less. Stick it in the cart, stick it in the bag, stick it in a huge treasure chest with fake gold coins and a hermit crab. Seriously, with all the decisions that must be made in a day, do I really need to make this one? Same goes for my receipt. Just stick it in the bag. If I want it in my pocket, I am perfectly capable of locating and retrieving it from the bag. None of us have time for these irrelevant questions. I'm going to start asking the cashiers if they'd like me to hand them my credit card with my left hand or my right hand. Join with me in this revolution and maybe then they'll get the point.
Coming back to the point, in this post, I will be sharing a few useful ideas from the book that I feel are relevant to artists, and musicians.
The three core elements of any blog are:
1. Audience - Who are you writing this blog for?
Write for an audience of one, who could be a real person you know or a fictional person you create. This can help push away the not-so-ideal-audience of your blog over time, leaving you with a quality readership.
When you start writing for your ideal reader, it does amazing things for your voice.
2. Perspective - What perspective are you writing from?
This is an important element when it comes to defining your personal brand. Too many blogs on the internet paralyzes people and causes decision fatigue when it comes to reading stuff that adds value to their life. Therefore, it is important to define the scope of your blog to attract the right people who share similar values as yours.
3. Content - What are you writing about?
Here are some tips to choose different types of content for your blog.
a. Life experiences - For example, did you learn something about music/art from your recent trip to the Himalayas?
b. Keep the blog posts as short as you can - No reader has ever complained that the blog posts are short.
c. Aggregation posts - Combining links of similar content that may or may not be yours.
d. Anchor content/posts - Find/write at least three blog posts that closely represents the core of your blog identity.
e. Cheater posts - Recycling or modifying existing writings on your blog. Helps save time and serve as good reminders when you are stumped for creativity or energy.
Combining all the above elements, I can say that at Sou's Voice, I write about my own becoming (content) as an Indian classical singer and a writer (perspective) for other artists and musicians (audience).
When it comes to marketing your blog, it's important to ask the following questions:
1. How can I pitch my blog to this person so that it makes him/her compelled to check my blog later today? - Answering this question will take time and a lot of reflection. A good starting point would be defining the core elements.
2. Am I confident about the look, feel, and content of my blog so that I can converse about it at ease with another person? If the answer is no, then go back to the core elements and fix it.
When it comes to defining success for your blog, the author provides a brilliant insight.
Here's how I define success as a blogger: 1. When you're writing things that you love to write about. 2. When your number of readers slowly builds each month because you're finding new readers and you're keeping your old ones. 3. When you're building relationships and community with readers because they enjoy what you do on your blog.
Success isn't writing a popular blog about a topic you have absolutely no passion for. Success isn't becoming a well-known blogger for the way you stir up the pot with opinions you're not even sure if you believe. And success definitely isn't losing who you are in your blog because you're chasing traffic numbers.
All that said, remember a few things:
There's nothing wrong with writing a journal-type blog that covers everything under the sun. But if you DO want to grow your platform, you might need to get more focused."
Even though many of us are not great writers and many of us cannot write a blog that resonates with the masses, we must still blog because our voice matters. Over time, our stories and life experiences WILL resonate with some people and that's all that matters in the end.
Before you leave, do check out this gem posted by Seth Godin when it comes to adding value to the world through your blog/work.
Give the people what they want
...isn't nearly as powerful as teaching people what they need.
There's always a shortcut available, a way to be a little more ironic, cheaper, more instantly understandable. There's the chance to play into our desire to be entertained and distracted, regardless of the cost. Most of all, there's the temptation to encourage people to be selfish, afraid and angry.
Or you can dig in, take your time and invest in a process that helps people see what they truly need. When we change our culture in this direction, we're doing work worth sharing.
But it's slow going. If it were easy, it would have happened already.
It's easy to start a riot. Difficult to create a story that keeps people from rioting.
Don't say, "I wish people wanted this." Sure, it's great if the market already wants what you make... Instead, imagine what would happen if you could teach them why they should.
Give people what they want and they will like you for now. Give people what the need and they will value you forever. - Simon Sinek
Alain de Botton also, writes in his blog regarding how to provide value.
Developing one's writer's voice is similar to the way a musician develops their personal sound as mentioned in this article.
And, here is why you must blog daily.
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