In this present day where information is key and entertainment is lucrative; pop culture, blogging, as a part of the infotainment trade has come of age. So, it’s not surprising these days, to find any Tom, Dick & Harry saddled with a PC or smart phone with ready access to the internet suddenly parading themselves as the next big thing in the world of blogging, as if it was that easy.
In my 3 years experience, I have seen it all and have seen people make a mockery of blogging as a casual hobby to pick and dump at will whenever the boredom gauge hits rock bottom, but no it is a passion for passing on solid info to the world, and of course a job; source of livelihood for us, who take it seriously.
Being a professional blogger which today has been coined as Online Journalist, comes with a lot of sacrifices which includes your sleep (for example, I get about 3-4hrs of sleep daily just to be sure to keep people updated), I consider myself to be still a child of this game. However, I can definitely offer you some advice that should set you in the right direction.
Here are some original pointers in-case you harbor the inherent passion, a genuine one, to pass exciting information to the world.
Firstly, figure out the direction in which you want your blog to grow. Map out your target audience and know exactly who you are trying to attract.
Once you have developed an understanding of that then you will be able to determine the content that is needed to bring them to your site. For example, if you want people between the ages of 16 to 25 who are searching for R&B music then it won’t make much sense to post too much about Cher and The Beatles.
Secondly, ensure that you provide a consistent flow of content. This relates to having regular updates to keep your audience interested and confident in your ability to provide them with the latest news.
If there are long breaks between your updates – normally anything over 4 to 6 hours – then people won’t trust you as source. We are in the era of information and this generation has little patience – they want everything now (this is why print media is dying).
Thirdly, in addition to having quick updates, being faster than your competition is key. If you post most things after everybody else then people will quickly venture to other sites and regard you as a slow source.
You may not always be first but always be available for major events so that you can compete with other blogs. For example, a Beyonce music video premiere or award show performances and pictures (If you are not buying your images or don’t own rights to the photos being used on your site, always make sure you credit the photo source).
Fourthly, having accurate information is critical. By only citing reliable sources and doing research you will ensure that you avoid any embarrassing incidents such as having to remove a post or doing a retraction.
Everybody makes mistakes sometimes but if you are consistently proven wrong then you will be disregarded as a trusted source by your readers (unless you aim to become a gossip blogger like those on Media Take Out and Sandra Rose).
Fifthly, linking other sites will help you to build relationships with your peers. Although you will be in fact sending traffic to your competition, this will have the benefit of having them do the same in the future.
The entertainment industry and blogging, by extension, can be a vicious place but when you foster strong relationships with others then you will always have a favor on which you can rely at a later date. For instance, if you have an interview to promote then other sites will be happy to post it on their platforms.
I have worked with people who constantly steal content from others without giving credits; this only creates tension and hatred. You may grow at a rapid pace but always remember this: “when you step on other people to get to the top then nobody will be there to catch you when you fall.”
I have a ton of advice to offer on this topic but I think these basic points will set you in the right direction.
Just remember to identify your target audience, be consistent, quick and accurate, and share the love!