In the world, there are 3 types of people. Those who are top bloggers, those who wanna be top bloggers, and those who could care less about being a top blogger. Over the past ten years, since people really started paying attention to blogs, I’d say I’ve been in all 3 of these categories. Didn’t care, wannabe, and top blogger.
There is a ton of advice out there on how to create an effective blog – one that catches. But honestly, there are more blogs than there are pieces of advice. This means that becoming blog-famous is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. It takes lots of work, several hours, and likely a little bit of luck – or just knowing the right people. Regardless of how hard it is, I’m going to give my basic advice on how I became a top blogger.
1) Start writing and publish that ish.
This is probably one of the biggest hangups people have; they think more than they do. You will NEVER become a top blogger if you never start writing. That’s kinda just a duh.
2) Write about controversial topics.
When I first started blogging, I wrote about safe stuff. Like what my brand was doing, etc. Nah bruh, when you want to get the attention of others, you have to be like that scene on White Chicks where ‘ol girl was like “I can’t believe you said that,” and the other girl was like “but you were so thinking it.”
“Working in corporate America can be a hard road to navigate, especially for people of color. From natural hair to code-switching to downright conforming, it’s hard. I have not been silent on those topics.”
3) Be vulnerable and transparent.
Working in corporate America can be a hard road to navigate, especially for people of color. BuzzFeed does a great job at chronicling some of the challenges. From natural hair to code-switching to downright conforming, it’s hard. I have not been silent on those topics. While I have had several popular posts, two very vulnerable posts that I’ve written include one that described what it’s like to wake up and go to work as a black person, and the other exposed my frustration with apologizing for who I was.
4) Be positive.
Regardless of how stressed you really are or how sucky a situation is, it’s good to include some type of positivity. Yes… racism sucks. Yes…it sucks to go to corporate America not knowing how people will view your hair or your speech. And yes, it’s tiring af to code-switch. That doesn’t mean that there’s no light in those situations. The allies; that’s positivity. The flexibility; that’s positivity. Working for a super liberal company that encourages you to bring your whole self to work; that’s positive. You have to find these moments and rejoice in them and help others appreciate them because let’s face it, no one wants to hear from a negative nancy all the time.
5) Be helpful.
Along with being positive comes being helpful. I write about heavy things. When you’re preaching to the choir, they get it, but some of the things I write about are hard to swallow for some readers. For whatever reason – it’s a lot of work or it challenges their biases – they don’t want to hear it. In comes the actual advice or “how to.” Sometimes it comes in the form of a challenge. Sometimes it comes in the form of encouraging a more personal discussion. Sometimes, it comes in the form of simple, easy to follow tips. (If I write about how meetings suck, I’ll give tips on how to make them suck less.)
“We all know the feeling of “this is 30 mins of my life I will never get back?” Don’t let that be the feeling people walk away with after reading your blog.”
6) Be human.
In line with being vulnerable and transparent is the ability to convey emotion. Leave the jargon for corporate spaces, take off the veil, and be truly who you are. Let your readers feel the tears. Insert sarcasm to display intended snarkiness (and disdain). Add a corny joke. It’s a personal piece, so be personal.
7) Actually, have a point and state it clearly.
We all know the feeling of “this is 30 mins of my life I will never get back?” Don’t let that be the feeling people walk away with after reading your blog. Be clear. Have a point. Articulate it well. No one wants to waste time trying to figure out what you were trying to say. If you’re not a seasoned writer, write a rough draft. Then revise and refine it before publishing. If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who you believe to be a good writer, ask them to review your piece and give you feedback.
8) Become part of a community (or many communities).
Being a part of a community is a beautiful thing. It’s in the community where you extend your voice. This is where you actually become part of the conversation vs. a mere voice in the wind. But…you MUST be PART of the community and not one who simply goes to give advice. You have to be willing to listen and participate…even when it seemingly has nothing to do with your brand. You MUST be willing to be a multi-faceted individual – not only full of knowledge and advice, but also one willing to listen and learn – or even just be. This will make you a better person, a better communicator, and help you get to know your audience better. In turn, this will help you become a better (and more authentic) writer.