Virtually everyone who has ever surfed the Internet has read a number of different blogs, some of which are very opinionated, and others which are just very informative. You may have often come away from reading one of these blogs thinking to yourself “I could’ve written that!” And perhaps you could have. If you have a good education, and you have an opinion on anything that’s happening in the world around you today, you probably could write your own blog, and have it read by at least some people, if not by the masses.
But when you start thinking about writing a blog, the first thing that will probably occur to you is what type of blog you’d like to write. Most blogs fall into one of the following categories: professional, personal, business, or niche, and the type that’s right for you will depend in large part on your background and on your personal feelings about issues of the day. Before you decide on which type of blog is right for you personally, think about what you would try to accomplish in your blog.
Is it just to share your thoughts with others? Is it related to your business, and you’re trying to make sales or increase brand awareness? It doesn’t really matter what your purpose is, as long as you have a purpose and you follow that purpose throughout your blogging efforts. If you try to accomplish several things in your blog, the chances are that you’ll dilute your offerings, and you probably won’t create anything very memorable in the minds of your readers. After you’ve settled on what your purpose for writing a blog is, think about which of the following categories your blog falls into.
More than any of the other categories, a personal blog is all about you, and that’s why a great many personal blogs are actually named for their authors. Material written in personal blogs generally reflects the personality of the writer, and it’s an ideal place to showcase who you are and what you’re all about. In some cases, readers will be very attracted to your personality and will be clamoring for more material from you. In other cases, your personality may not resonate with a large audience, so your readership remains relatively low. Either way, you should fearlessly endeavor to show the world who you are, and what makes you unique among all other individuals in your personal blog.
As you might guess, a professional blog is more about generating profits or increasing brand recognition then showcasing any personal qualities or talents. Quite often professional blogs will include advertisements or services which are offered to readers, so as to generate interest in a particular company. The content of a professional blog will generally be considerably different than a personal blog, and will generally not be as opinionated.
Professional blogs generally attempt to cater to a specific target audience, and by understanding the wants and needs of that audience, pitches can be made in professional blogs that seek to engage readers and encourage them to associate with a specific business. While blogs are not really the appropriate place to pitch products or services, they are often used to announce new product launchings or important events going on at specific companies.
Another major function of professional blogs is to offer information which is relevant and useful to a specific audience, so as to provide readers with something of value. This, in turn, creates a greater willingness on the part of the reader to engage with the company, and perhaps make a purchase at some point. Offering useful information of this kind also positions a company as an authority in its field, which builds credibility for the brand, and also tends to increase customer loyalty to the company which the blogger is writing about.
A niche blog is one which seeks to engage a very specific audience, for instance, West Coast surfers or gardeners in New England. The identifying characteristic of a niche blog is its focus on a particular topic, and generally, it will include offers for other individuals to share their own experiences about the topic in question. For instance, the gardener in New England might have a blog which routinely discusses issues such as the difference between annuals and perennials, or the best type of soil to grow rhubarb in.
Niche blogs generally have a limited readership because of their limited appeal, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be extremely well-written and includes some fascinating material. If you were to decide to create a niche blog, you could write every week about your best quilting experiences or your favorite way to bake an apple pie.
The beauty of producing a niche blog is that it could literally be about any topic under the sun, and there are bound to be at least a few readers who can relate to that topic, and who will be very interested to read the text. Of course, the downside of a niche blog is that you’re pretty much obliged to stay on topic throughout the life of the blog. You can’t start out your blog discussing your favorite recipes and then switch in midstream to talk about ongoing construction in Texas.
A business blog is somewhat different from the other three categories in that it is not created by an individual, but is produced by a business for the purpose of representing its brand. For that reason, a business blog tends to be even more sharply focused than a professional blog on branding, which is extremely important to any business. A business blog is another vehicle for demonstrating leadership in a particular industry or field, and also for announcing any exciting new events about to take place in the company.
The good thing about creating a new blog is that it’s very easy to get going once you’ve decided on the type of blog and your purpose in blogging. All you really need to do is create an account with WordPress and have your site hosted, and you’ll be ready to go, cranking out blogs as frequently as you want. Your blog will look professional because of your host and the WordPress presentation, so if you can match that level of professionalism with your content, your blog just might establish a strong readership.