So you want people to read your blog?
The thing is most of us don’t do it right. We sit down, face the computer, gently put our fingers on the keyboard and stare at the screen for hours. Blank. We have something to say but we don’t have anything to write. We will spend hours dwelling on topics that will make everyone click, read and share. In the end, we don’t produce great content.
What are we doing wrong? We are seeking approval. At the back of our heads, we ask “is this something that people would want to read?” We want to please people instead of pleasing ourselves. We focus on the future — how much likes or traffic will this receive? If we are writing without energy, excitement, love, fun, we will never create good content. We are so busy thinking about what others might think that the piece becomes stale. Blant. Like a plate of fries without salt or ketchup.
I am no viral content guru as I only wrote one piece that I considered went viral. What do we mean by ‘viral’ anyway?
Viral content is a piece that becomes an online sensation overnight. When I wrote 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Date A Mexican Man, I didn’t have any idea my inbox would be flooded by hate, love, collaboration, asking for permission to reposts mails from all over the world. I was even asked to translate it in two languages (Spanish and Italian) for reposting. Within 24 hours, the post was retweeted, reposted and any ‘res’ you could think. I was astounded.
The secret to creating viral content
Honesty. In order for people to read your blog, you should present your true, authentic self. Tell them what makes you happy, what makes you scared. Every one of us have our individual truths and that is the beauty of writing — there is freedom. You are in total control of publishing as you don’t need to seek approval before it goes live. Why not take this to your advantage?
Ask yourself when was the last time you wrote something honest, something brutal, something that just came out of you? What are the worst and best things in your life? Whether it’s about lost love, grieving from a loss of a family member, winning the lottery, shout it out to the world and let them know how you feel.
You see, honesty actually saves you time. The faster you write what’s in your mind, the lesser you think, the more you get results of a great content. Most of the time, people ask “where do you get your article ideas from?” I can’t help but chuckle. I don’t think about it. It just comes. Why do I need to think of a certain topic when I can write about anything under the sun?
How does one get lost? Through incorrect aims, as I have said. Through wanting literary fame too quickly. From wanting money too soon. If only we could remember, fame and money are gifts given us only after we have gifted the world with our best, our lonely, our individual truths.
– RAY BRADBURY
Another mistake that most of us do is copying other people’s content. Not literally copying but basing your thoughts on someone else’s work is a total wreck. I’ve read a lot of blog posts from other people where hesitation is so visible. People can see if you are stiff, if you are going through something, if you don’t really like what you are writing, if you have no idea what you are writing because you just saw it from someone else’s blog — but then you need to maintain a certain number of posts to keep your blog out and about. I know that feeling and when I arrive to this situation, I don’t get desperate.
Additional writing tips
In my article, How To Be A Confident Travel Writer, I’ve listed some few writing tips for beginner bloggers but I want to add the following:
- Repeat after me: “I am a writer.” Claim it. Own it.
- Read everyday. Reading can actually exercise your brain. It can trigger thoughts that have been in hiding for ages.
- Write everyday. The moment you wake up, get a pen and a paper and write the first thing that comes into your mind. Believe me when I say this is a fcking effective exercise.
- Select books, articles, materials from people whom you think you have the same writing style. You don’t have to copy them. You just have to feel. Open your senses and let these writers inspire you. We all need to be mentored at one point.
- Do not be self conscious. Remember, you are a writer. You need not seek approval from others before publishing your work.
- Learn how to walk away. You don’t have to be sitting down, facing your computer all day. Go out. Experience and participate in the world. Remember, writing is the broth of our experiences and without a tangible experience, there is no possibility to write something moving.
- Be armed for criticism. The problem is, the online world likes (subtle) lies and superficiality. When you speak about the truth, people become uncomfortable. They get affected and this can lead to violent reactions. As the saying goes, truth hurts. But that is good! The more people react, the more of an effective writer you become. Someone actually gave a damn about what you think so don’t fret. Sit down. Watch. Let them throw mud at you and throw it back by writing more. Like what I did when the “dating a Mexican” article got shtloads of trash talk, I wrote: 8 Things I Learned From Mean Comments On My Article About Dating A Mexican.
If you are worried that nobody is actually reading your blog, take a step back. Analyse your writing style. 10 years from now, what kind of writer do you want to be? What valuable message do you want to send to the world?
Write, write and write. And may it end up really really beautiful.
What’s your writing style?
What are the writing practices that helped you create amazing content? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave your tips in the comment box below and help other writers and bloggers succeed in their writing endeavours.
Trisha is on Instagram!