Spice Up Your Blog
If you have been on the internet for any sizeable amount of time, you have definitely stumbled across a blog or ten. A lot of us have friends or colleagues who have blogs. But getting a free blogging account alone doesn’t make someone a writer.
A lot of bloggers tend to forget that giving excruciating details about each and every detail in their lives simply doesn’t make for good reading. Your blog must provide value to your readers even if you are talking about your life. You need to engage your readers by appealing to their emotions, or most people simply won’t stay interested long enough to read your thoughts.
That being said, let us look at some interesting ways that you can make your blog stand out from the millions of tedious, dreary and uninteresting ones in the blogosphere.
1. The art of the open letter:
You can write an open letter to your readers or to an entity like your favorite football team. Speak to them about the issues concerning you in a way that is engaging and interesting. For example:
“Dear Arsenal FC,
What does a fan need to do to have you play better? When will you finally manage to win a game this season?”
2. Let the kids play a little:
The internet has lots of wonderful community driven projects that are great fun to participate in. If you come across one of these, pitch it to your readers as a way to participate in a group activity with you.
For example, you may direct your users to something like Post Secret which requires the users to send in their secrets anonymously on handmade postcards, and then posts them on the site.
3. Bare it all:
If you are the kind of blogger who doesn’t mind sharing an embarrassing incident or a secret on your blog, you can dial this up even further. You can enhance your connection with your readers by offering them small details about your persona, such as a sample of your handwriting. If you are a bit of a singer, you can even upload audios of yourself humming a tune or two.
4. How do you get things done?
All of us have developed little tricks or ways of doing things that work for us. For example, if you have a great productivity routine or a great workout idea, feel free to share it with your readers.
5. Use some creative advertising:
Often, most people don’t know how much they could get if only they asked. Use your blog as a platform to ask your readers about services that they can offer, or even ideas to help you out in a sticky situation.
You can even use some unusual classified ads to generate some interesting feedback. For example:
“Was it you with the Erich Segal book at Starbucks this morning? For a moment, our eyes met and it felt like destiny.”
6. Be an expert:
Do you have a fantastic diet tip that helped you lose those pesky 10 lbs.? Or perhaps a great solution for the common cold that works for you every time? Tell your readers.
7. Who’re your friends?
If you have a dedicated community of readers, they might be interested in the kind of people you spend time with. Use your blog to write up little profiles of your friends, or share interesting anecdotes about them. You can even interview willing friends for the blog, and let your readers in on the details.
8. What would you do if you were Scrooge McDuck?
If you had an unlimited bank account and no reason to work another day in your life, what would you spend the money doing? Perhaps you would like to sail a hot air balloon around the world. Or you might want to hire your own crew of chefs that specialize in all your favorite foods. Share your rockstar-lifestyle wish list with your readers. Make it large.
9. Where’ve you been lately?
There are literally hundreds of web apps available for free that use your location to tell people where you have been. Use them to tell your readers where you have travelled to recently, or even compile a list of your favorite places to visit in town.
10. What do you really like?
Needless to say, nobody wants to hear another list of the things you like to do if it reads like this:
“I like to play the guitar, watch movies and play football with my friends.”
Instead, make it something interesting like:
“I like how red wine just makes everything taste better. Every time I cook something, I add red wine, and the results are usually awesome.”
11. What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
A lot of bloggers like to list their favorite foods. While this may be interesting if you have a diverse culinary taste, we want to do something different.
Describe in glorious detail the most fantastic meal that you ever had in your life. Leave nothing out – the aromas, the wine, the ambience and the company. If you can’t place a particular meal as your numero uno, just describe the greatest one you had most recently.
12. It’s a deal breaker!
If you have seen the sitcom 30 Rock, then you’ll remember Tina Fey writing a book on the things she considers to be relationship deal breakers – with hilarious results. Tweak this idea to write about the things that you consider to be deal breakers when it comes to romantic relationships.
13. What do you read?
If you have read an article, a post or even a great book that changed your life for the better, share it with your readers. Include snippets of the passages and quotes that kept you thinking about them for days after.
14. Be a travel guide:
If you have been to a great place recently or just want readers to know the best places to visit if they ever happen to visit your city, create a tour guide for them. Make a list of things to do and places to be when they are there. Include details about how to travel to a particular area or how to save some money on the trip wherever possible.
15. Show me those war wounds!
If you have some great stories about a scar or an injury that you suffered, share them with your readers. Your scars often tell a tale about the kind of life you’ve lived. Let them be a reminder to both you and your readers.
16. Look how much you’ve grown!
Do you have a geeky photo of you from your yearbook? Did you decide to become an athlete after being picked last for the gym team?
Share your oldest and most endearing memories with your readers.
17. Damn, the world is ending!
If the apocalypse hit, what is the first thing that you would do? Hide your magazine collection? Organize a cult of zombies to rule the world in the days to come?
Write about your emergency procedures on your blog. Tell them whom you would call first, and what you would save if you could only save one of your possessions.
18. You’re already a writer- act like one:
Maybe you’ve always harbored dreams of writing a million-dollar screenplay and living the Hollywood life but somehow never gotten around to starting it. Start now.
Use your blog as a platform to write drafts, or parts of stories as they come to you. The feedback you receive from your readers will be invaluable when you are penning your next bestseller.
19. Write a short story:
If you can’t think of a Sin-Cityesque tale filled with twists and turns every time you sit at your desk, start small. Challenge yourself to write a story in six sentences or less. This will lower your risks, and the experience and the feedback you’ll gain from your readers will be invaluable.
20. What are you afraid of?
Even though you are a 7th degree jujitsu master and all around bad-ass, does taking a cold shower with your eyes closed frighten the living daylights out of you? Or maybe you are just afraid of clowns?
Tell your readers what your greatest fears are. You might just gain some valuable insights into where they came from.
So we’ve already established that being different is almost always better in the blogosphere. Use these ideas to revitalize your blog and make it a place that readers want to revisit over and over. Make your content interesting and engaging so that your writing becomes a part of your reader’s lives. Don’t let your page be another one of the millions of “me too” blogs. Take charge, and most importantly, have fun with your writing.