Blog On, Babe: Create New Features!
Hey, blogger babe: this is part three of a ten-part series, in which I tell you my top tips for kickstarting your blog & pushing it to the next level. I’ve also written about getting organised & demanding your worth.
You can make it easy on yourself, though, by just clicking on the blogging tag!
I covered this last week, but today we’re going to look into it in further detail!
As a blogger, it’s imperative that you create some features to help keep your creativity flowing. One of the major reasons for blogger’s block is actually because of a lack of structure. I know this might sound antithetical, but bear with me!
You see, when someone says, “Tell me something about you!”, often our mind goes blank. However, if they say, “Tell me about you as a teenager” or “Tell me about your first love”, it’s much easier. You have a place to start from; a boundary within which to work.
Features are the same. They serve as a kind of guideline which help you to create content. Within those confines, you’re free to write whatever you want.
When you think about it, all successful blogs have regular features. So do magazines. Until Jamie Buffalino quit, I would always open Time Out New York to the back page so I could read his column. It was something I expected & looked forward to. (Your readers will look forward to your regular features, too.) From the point of view of the magazine, it was a slot that had already been (mentally) filled. It was also a page they could sell advertising around.
Magazines have all kinds of regular features, from sex columns to letters to the editor, puzzles to editorials, essays to quizzes. There is no reason why you can’t pluck these ideas from magazines to employ on your blog!
Of course, you don’t want to be all things to all people, so you probably can’t run a million different features. Just pick a few that excite you, & that you think you can execute with aplomb!
Maybe you’re learning to cook & want to share a recipe that you loved, or you’re getting involved in charity work, & want to encourage others to do the same. Here are some ideas…
Try these: 5 ways to do good / Amazing pet costume of the week / If my boyfriend was the Sultan of Brunei… (I envision this as a cool wishlist post!) / Girl icons / What I know for sure (this is an O magazine column, & it’s fabulous) / Reviews (restaurants, movies, albums, etc.) / Travel porn / An hour with … (interview?) / Funniest Amazon reviews for random products / AirBnB dream homes!
…You get the idea!
Be sure to give your features an easy-to-remember, catchy name. Things I Love Thursday, for example, rolls off the tongue (ooh la la!), & has spread like wildfire. Alliteration is always a win when it comes to anything online!
Once you’ve chosen a few features, decide how often you’ll run them. Some could be once a week, while others might work better as a monthly installment. When you’ve decided this, write them into your editorial calendar (see last week’s post!) & get crackin’!
Just taking a few moments to brainstorm features can totally transform your blog. Don’t believe me? Try it!