What Makes An Ace Blogger: what I learnt from the Huffington Post’s Jody Thompson 

What I Learnt From The Blogs Editor at the Huffington Post.

As a new blogger, I’m still testing the waters as to what makes a good post, a good blog. Here’s what I learnt from the expert!

Song for the day: Drôle de Vie by Ely et Lila

Because it is a fantastic feel-good song about friendship.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the Working With Words conference at UEA.  I got to hear a whole host of speakers, including bestselling author Emma Healey, but a seminar which really captured my attention as a blogger was Jody Thompson.  Yes, you heard me.  Jody Thompson, Huffington Post Blog Editor and journalist extraordinaire.  Honestly just listening to her was inspiring; her experience and knowhow were so useful – and I got her permission to “share the love” as she called it! So thank you Jody and I hope you guys find this useful!

  1. Find your blogging niche!
    There are so many blog topics out there, so don’t try to blog about something just to get hits.  Find something that you’re really passionate about, and share it with other people.  That passion will shine through your posts and people will enjoy reading it!  Don’t plug something that you don’t believe in.
  2. Build yourself a unique identity!
    When you’re yourself online, you can really shine!  Be funny, interact with your followers, start an unlikely trend… Having said that, check Twitter and Facebook to see what’s trending at that time and blog about it!  Predict what people will Google.  Ride the wave and put your personal spin on it.
  3. Find your target audience!
    Know the kind of people you want to talk to and tailor your posts for them, whether that’s uni students or fans of clay pigeon shooting.  Talk to them as your peers!  If you write an academic journal about it, people will switch off pretty quickly.  Use fun language to pique their interest! (She says, using the word “pique”…)
  4. “Your first thought is your best thought”.
    Jody was very supportive of the idea of bloggers sharing their passion and views, even if it means you write a whole page just there and then without editing anything!  Scary, I know, but I do see where she’s coming from.  Once a post has been edited to within an inch of its life, it loses something.  Keep the passion shining through!
  5. Network!
    Use social media to plug your posts and interact with other bloggers.  I know I pin a lot of my posts, and I always use twitter hashtags to promote myself.  I’ve met some lovely people through twitter chats and I can’t wait to join in with more!
  6. Grab people’s attention!
    Use your SEO to its full advantage, and tailor your blog posts to grab people’s attention.  Jody warned us that we only have 3 seconds to get people to keep reading (so thanks if you’ve made it this far!), so make sure you get your buzz words in your opening paragraphs!  It will also help boost search engine results.
  7. Quality over quantity!
    I blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to be consistent with my schedule.  It’s an anxiety thing.  However, Jody warned that we shouldn’t blog just to make a schedule – you don’t want to make your posts seem forced!  Two is her recommended maximum post count per week.

I am definitely going to take some of these into consideration!  What about you guys?

~*~

Tomorrow is March, and I’m going to start the 31 day blogging challenge!  If you want to join me, you can find the schedule on Pinterest here.

Speaking of Pinterest, I recently set up a new group board for lifestyle bloggers! Check it out here.

Hope you’re all ok out there!

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