Everyone is a Born Writer. If You Can Tell Stories, Then You Can Write.
A lot may dread the idea of writing and posting it on the internet. Fret not. Here are some great tips about starting your own blog, updating your blog, and getting more people to read your blog. But first, here are some guidelines and things that you need to consider. Let’s start with the basics…
So What is a Blog?
A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”). Almost all blog sites can let you post photos, videos, and other forms of media.
Why Do We Need to Blog?
We all have our reasons on why we blog. But for school owners, instructors, and Professors, having a personal blog helps your students stay up to date, promote school events, letting the community know why you are practicing Jiu-Jitsu and why everyone should get on board with you. Yes. Facebook is great. But nothing beats a website where your readers can focus more on what you need to say. I did mention that having a Facebook account is great and using it to update everyone about what’s happening in your school can work wonders, but to get someone to visit your website and focus on reading your articles will do better. Getting more readers to read about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and how great training with Gracie Barra is will benefit you as an instructor and get your students to become more involved in the gentle art.
Before starting a blog, you must have a clear vision on why you are starting it. For our case, it can be as simple as “Changing Lives Through Jiu-Jitsu,” or “Enhancing Health Through Competitive Jiu-Jitsu.” Remember: the “why” that you are giving your readers will not appeal to them intellectually, however, it will appeal to them emotionally. It will create followers from those who also believe in your cause.
I have been in the business of writing Internet content for almost 5 years, and we have a saying that content is king. Most readers can now discern between good and bad content. You have noticed while surfing the internet,
there are a couple of
websites that have virtually ZERO content. The good news though is that Google is cracking down on these websites that have absolutely no content.
What you will need to put on your blog is valid and good content. Valid in the sense it has something to do with your vision why you started your blog in the first place. Content wise, it should be something that is more than 800 words, grammatically good (if not, perfect) , and has authority over the subject. The operative word in here is authority. As Jiu-Jitsu experts, you already nailed this one good.
Before writing your content, you may need to go back to the basics of writing, which is thought organization. Organizing your thoughts before getting on the computer and typing it all out. One of the techniques that I always employ is that I start with a thought… then I sleep on it. I let the idea simmer inside my head for a day. Then I start writing.
- Keep it professional
- Make it lively!
- Try to make it the tone and the voice of the blog personal.
- Share. Share. Share.
- Personal experiences and real-life accounts are always great.
- Make is versatile; from Jiu-Jitsu news, to sports, to activities, to Jiu-Jitsu quotes
- Links – Limit your links to around 2 – 3 links per post.
- Keep the advertising to a minimum as some blog networks may post unwanted advertisements. Advertisement loaded blogs have less credibility.
- Put an RSS (rich site summary) to your blogs. These websites should have the same theme as your blog
- Do not purchase readers / likers – It will work for a time, but it will not create an organic following
- A picture paints a thousand words. Place great photos. The ratio vs size should be 25-30% of the total blog page size
- Don’t worry about having less readers. It’s normal for a start-up blog to have zero readers. Keep writing and keep sharing your articles. And in time, you will have followers.
- Link back your blog to your website or other websites that may support your article.
- TIP! Update your blog every day before the day starts, Eastern Standard Time. This way your readers will have something to read as they go about their day. Also, Google will identify these.
Choosing the Right Blog Network
For starters, getting into the whole blogging scene can be confusing and often daunting. Fear not, here’s one of the best blog networks out there that you may use.
Here is a list of my favorites and these networks really work. Some will even pay you to blog / write for them.
- Technically, what I would call a micro blog site. This website is great for newbie bloggers as the website is simple to use. An add-on feature of this blog site is that it automatically submits its information to Google.com. The site is so great that it has buttons already installed for ease of sharing between other social networks. Here’s one that I made recently with squidoo: http://www.squidoo.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-for-kids
- I am a big fan of Squidoo because I cannot do website coding even if life depended on it.
- This is blog is for serious bloggers or advanced users. The site sports numerous themes (both paid and free). The great thing about this website is that it is both easy, and not easy to use.
- It sports numerous themes. Some are free and some can be customized. You may purchase premium themes from wordpress.com. And by the way, to prove that wordpress is great, www.graciebarra.com is wordpress based.
- It doesn’t have advertisements. Adverts makes a website look cheap and spam-filled.
- Similar to Squidoo, Hubpages sports a great network of readers, writers, novices, and pretty much any person that you may want to reach. It’s totally free of charge.
If we believe that by getting everyone to do Jiu-Jitsu will make the world a better place, then help spread the vision of Master Carlos Gracie Jr., and reach more people whose lives may change by creating your own blog.
Upcoming: How to Take Great Sports Photos – What gear, how to shoot, camera settings and what-not.