Blogging–You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere!

Are you new to blogging? Do you sit and read blog after blog, but have doubts about starting one of your own?

Well stop doubting and sign up today! Especially if you’re a Public Relations student!

From laverrue's Flickr photostream

Here’s a list of my ten tips for a student blogger:

1. Eat, Sleep & Breathe AP Style–If you want PR professionals to read your blog and actually see it as a valuable asset to the PR community, make sure you speak their language! Read my post about the importance of AP Style here.

2. Tweet Your Heart Out–In addition to blogging, Twitter is one of the greatest ways to network with other PR students and professionals. Make yourself an account, start following some important people and tweet the links to your blog posts so that others can read what you have to say. Check out Barbara Nixon’s post, A College Student’s Guide to Getting Started With Twitter (start following her on Twitter while you’re at it!).

3. Write About Things That Interest You–If you write about things that you personally don’t find interesting, your readers will be able to notice. When you write about things that you find boring, your posts will come across as just that! Even when keeping it professional, you can add in personal posts every once in awhile.

4. Don’t Get Too Personal–Even though in number three I say you can make personal posts, that doesn’t mean you should go blogging away your feelings. The word “personal” in a PR student blog means write about events or opportunities that are of personal interest to you. Go to an interesting concert or want to share a YouTube video? Go ahead. Want to talk about how your roommate makes your life miserable? Make a separate blog and make it private.

5. Comments Away-In order to make connections with other PR professionals via blogging, you’ll need to start commenting on different blogs or articles on the web. Ragan’s PR Daily is a great place to start. Check out a list of my blog comments here.

6. Attract Readers With Shiny Things:  Pictures & Video–If someone goes to your blog and sees strictly chunks of text in every post, they will not stick around for long. Today, people thrive on images and videos and they are much less likely to read your blog if you are without both of them.

7. Long Paragraphs Are a No-No–When writing blog posts, make sure you keep your paragraphs short and use bullet points and lists as often as possible. When a post is broken down into sections it’s a lot less intimidating to a reader, especially those just searching the internet for a quick read.

8. Use Widgets, but Not Too Many–Widgets can be very handy little things on your blog, allowing people to quickly search for a particular post or see what kind of categories your writing falls under. However, too many widgets can make your page look cluttered and take longer to load. For a beginner, I would suggest these widgets; search, categories (list or cloud) and a calendar that shows which dates you have made blog posts.

9. NEVER Copyright!–Probably the most important thing to remember when blogging is that you must absolutely under no circumstances steal someone else’s ideas and write them as your own. Don’t think that your blog is unimportant and no one will ever know, because they most likely will and sometimes they’ll try to get you busted for it. If you want to share another blogger’s idea with your readers, simply link to their page. This is also important when using images–you can find images free of copyright on Compfight, just search for the image you want under the “creative commons” tab (make sure to still give credit to the photographer).

10. Find Your Voice–Although you’ll need to be professional on your blog, that doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Make sure you find your own way of writing to the public and don’t lose your personality in doing that. Read Rachel LaFlam’s post on finding your own blog voice here.

I hope these tips inspire you to start blogging and give you success!

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Filed under COMM 4333, Topic of the Week: COMM 4333

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