I had the honor of speaking at our last Motown Writer’s Network Meetup on the subject of Blogging. I love talking about Blogging! Blogging is the perfect combination of entertainment, literature, and journalism. That loud groan you hear off in the distance, is the disdain of professional journalists with my mention of Blogging and journalism in the same sentence.
Many journalists resent bloggers. Journalists spend years in college studying Journalism and Media Arts. They feel Bloggers haven’t earned the knowledge necessary to write a proper article. One journalist went as far as to say that “Bloggers do no more than sit at a computer in their underwear spewing incoherent opinions”. If I were in my underwear, I thank God I am in decent enough shape that I won’t look so bad. I understand however, Print journalism is dying. Newspapers are shedding jobs and the years spent honing their craft seem to be in vain. A gifted writer with access to the internet can command a nice initial following. Good Blogging however, gives one a sustained following. I will give you 3 sure-fire tips to Good Blogging.
1) Do the Research! It is important that you research your topics. Even if you are doing book reviews, you want to look up the author’s bio and or other works by that author. Not only does research give you excellent material for your Blog, It shows your readers that you are knowledgeable about your subject. Keeping a file on your computer with your research in it is extremely helpful and time-saving!
2) Keep slang to a minimum and avoid swear words! This is the biggest issue people have with Bloggers. Your blog has to look professional and easy to comprehend. I have a book that I refer to and has helped me a lot! That book is called “My Grammar and I… Or Should That Be Me? : How to Speak and Write It Right” by Caroline Taggart and J.A. Wines. However, if your target audience likes swear words, then fire away. Just take note that you audience will be severely limited.
3) Be open minded and reflect that in your writing. Readers love blogs that can pose both sides of an argument. Even if you are doing a book review and you hate the book, try to find at least one thing you like about it. This helps you avoid what one of my friends refer to as being “Preachy”. Flexibility will help you get more readers faster than being inflexible or polarizing.
These are the three main points that have helped me in building Hollaifyouhearme.com into a well respected and often read blog. In fact, I am a current member of the Detroit Chapter of National Association of Black Journalists and have opened their eyes to the power of a good blog! I haven’t won over everybody but I hope that with great blogs from great bloggers, it can be done. On behalf of the Motown Writers Network, I wish you all… Good Blogging!