Is this the obligatory “finding your voice” on the internet post? I surely hope not. I’ve written those one too many times in the past 4-5 years. Lately, I’ve been doing some research on blogging, since it is obviously an interest of mine, and I thought it’d be useful to synthesize some of my ideas through this forum. Full disclosure – I am really hoping to land a job writing for the web in the near future and I really want to prove that I am not only decent at this, but that I take the time to really learn and explore new ideas.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I know that knowing one’s audience is one key aspect of web content. So what actually goes into creating interesting, thoughtful posts that generate good discussion amongst readers? Does one repetitively throw content at the projected audience? I think there might be more tact to this than our professors and other web curmudgeons would like to admit. The point is not to pigeon-hole your posts into one vein with one purpose. Although that can work for some, I think that’s where a lot of blogs go flat and stop seeing growth. Rather, it seems from my investigations, that you take an audience and introduce them to a wider set of content, stretching the levels of interest far and wide to force people to think outside the box and really engage and interact with your content.
Examples – Three blogs I am consistently fascinated by, that do web content very well in my opinion, are Profhacker, ReadWriteWeb and Mashable. Now one could begin to make an argument about where the lines are drawn between “blog” and “aggregation site” but we’ll save that for another day. All of these sites write consistently varied posts, in a variety of voices, with a range of topics that could be generally interesting to most web citizens. They all have a “audience” demographic they aim at, but the content is so rich that a variety of people can gain value from them.
I’d like to explore this further, but I don’t want to rant on and on, blogging about blogging for blogging’s sake. I suppose the point to draw here is that writing for the web seems to become a “common denominator” sort of drill, but with the assumption that the average reader is of a certain ilk, maintains a certain level of savvy and reads a certain way. (Don’t get me started on the information divide.) Thing is, I enjoy reading like this. A lot. I can only hope that taking in all this great content will work in my favor as I trek on toward employment in the hyper-modern, connected world.
Have you considered how you write/read on the web?