June 28, 2013

Keep 'em Coming Back

Whether you write for children or for adults, you most likely have a blog—which leads to a question:  do you blog about yourself or do you blog to inspire others?  After reading several writers’ blogs, I found a good majority of writers focus on themselves.  “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” to quote comedian Jerry Seinfeld, yet it’s surprising to think that an audience would continue to read posts that center on a writer’s life.  

If however, you enjoy blogging about yourself, don’t despair.  There are ways to keep and even grow an audience.  The recipe for writing a slice of life blog includes three important ingredients that are easy to incorporate.

1.  The blog must be unique.  Specifically, the blogger needs to find a way to make the mundane exciting.  This can be done by writing a post in an unusually creative or entertaining manner.   For example, check out: www.sharonkaycreech.blogspot.com.  Author Sharon Creech includes photos and writes short posts that read like poetry.

2.  The post should conclude with an up-beat or encouraging message.  Readers want to feel uplifted, not powerless or depressed.   Put a positive spin on tough situations.  Give the audience hope.

3.  The blog needs to be relatable.  In other words, bloggers must connect with their audience and appeal to the widest human interests.  This can be achieved by providing “take-away” value—something readers may appreciate or learn from and apply to their lives.

Humor is not a requirement in writing slice of life; however, if the blog is hilarious, then chances are it’ll have a huge following.  But then here’s the rub:  How do bloggers know they are funny?  Unfortunately, there’s no meter to gauge that.  I do know that when someone is funny, they don’t just write funny.  They live and breathe funny.  It’s an organic part of who they are.  Funny people can take the most ordinary thing and make it hilarious.  For them, entertaining others is effortless and natural.   

Bloggers that focus on themselves must make their posts worth reading if they want to retain an audience and grow followers.  It’s like the kid in the AT & T commercial with Beck Bennett who answers the “What’s better, more or less” question with:  “We want more.” Likewise, readers want more and it’s a blogger’s job to deliver.  Bloggers who write about their lives need to be aware of their audience.  Successful bloggers know that means making their posts unique, positive, and relatable. That’s why successful bloggers have their audience always coming back for more.

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