The “4-F” designation in American military lingo indicates a recruit who is not eligible for service, due to physical or mental health problems (most famously, “flat feet”). Don’t let that happen to your blog! This post is intended to serve as a boot camp to get your online presence into fighting shape so you won’t get caught flat-footed:
Your blog can never be about everything. Many of us have issues with commitment: we don’t want to have to wed ourselves to one particular specialty. While there’s certainly room for you to explore a variety of interests on your blog, it’s highly recommended that you give some thought to carving out a certain niche or range of topics to make your own.
It’s a well-known axiom in the creative community that constraints are good for creativity. Creativity is basically another word for problem-solving skills, and the pattern-recognition abilities of your brain will kick in with greater force if you have firm parameters to work within.
Give your blog an identity, a “brand” that readers will recognize and remember. Think about ways you can make what you do distinctive. This comes down to much more than designing a snappy logo. Unify the look and feel of your product (for your blog is, in the end, a product that people will either choose to consume or not).
Plan to have certain recurring features or themes, like an infographic every Wednesday or a monthly giveaway. These are just examples — the alternatives you choose should be unique to your blog and arise organically from what you’re trying to do.
Show off your best skills. Don’t be bashful. As Will Rogers said, “it ain’t bragging if you’ve done it.” You don’t want your blog to be self-absorbed, but you also don’t want to miss any opportunities to project your identity and invite the world to enjoy and learn from the projects you’ve been spending your time on.
Yes, that’s right. No one likes a skinny, undernourished blog. Make sure you keep stuffing yours with filling but nutritious content, day after day. Web surfers can smell the decay of a blog that goes untended. Allow more than a week or two to go by without posting anything, and you risk falling out of the habit, and all your initial hard work will be for naught.
Now that you’ve learned how to succeed in the blogging world, go “F” yourself and “F” up your blog, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
This is a guest post by Katheryn.
Katheryn Rivas is a higher education writer and blogger. When she’s not digging and reporting about the latest online universities news, she can be found playing with her two Saint Bernards Chica and Chico. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.