Blogging is not my forte! I’m not a big fan of writing, and I enjoy my privacy. I tend to be more picture-heavy on my personal social media and let them speak for themselves. So, when I enrolled in a blogging class hosted by the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Economic Development, I was hoping for some direction and inspiration.
Accompanied by a couple of my leading ladies at work, Cassandra and Kellyn, I arrived to the workshop with coffee in one hand and remnants of my trip to Duck Donuts in the other. A local professional blogger, Corinne Schmitt of the blog Wondermom Wannabe, lead the class through a presentation on “Learn how to use a blog to reach more people and earn more money.”
I thought I would share my Top 5 takeaways from the blogging workshop:
- Solve a Problem
Although I could go on and on about Stevenson Ridge weddings and the different things we offer and the cool history of our property, that probably isn’t going to get lots of people reading and sharing our posts, especially if you don’t know who we are to begin with.
Instead, help your reader out by solving a problem or teaching them something. To that end, keep a look out for our DIY wedding projects, easy seasonal recipes, traveling tips, and more!
- Make Your Post Easy-to-Read
If I want to read a ton of text, I will stick to my book. Blogs should be easy to skim with headings and bolded words to get your point across easily. AND you don’t have to be a great writer to do it! Be yourself and write how you would speak. This is not a formal college paper (and who wants to read those anyway!).
- Craft a Catchy Title!
The title attracts readers to your post, so make sure your blog has a fun, memorable title that quickly explains what they’ll be reading. Words like “Best” and “Ultimate” might sound cheesy, but people want to read it! And stick to odd numbers. For some reason, people like those better.
- Pay Attention to Your Back-End
This is the not-so-fun stuff—but necessary. Words like “bread crumbs,” “meta description,” “alt text,” “mobile-friendly,” and “search engine optimization” make my head hurt a little, but without that stuff, people won’t find you (well, your blog). I’m not going to elaborate on these things because I am still learning myself, but be sure to find someone who can teach you!
- Don’t Steal Pictures!
It is so tempting to just Google something and download the picture. But DON’T! Don’t don’t don’t! Not only is it illegal, there are copyright trolling companies that spend their time looking for such content. Trust me, we have learned the hard way.
If you didn’t take the picture, if it’s not in the public domain, or if you don’t have written permission from the photographer to post the picture, then don’t use it. If you need stock photography, be sure to purchase the pictures from a trustworthy source like depositphotos.com, gettyimages.com, or stockunlimited.com.
I’m excited to use all of the information I learned to improve our blog and reader experience. If you enjoy blogging yourself, I hope this helps you a little, too!