Blogging 101: Content
In all things web-related, content is king. For whatever blog you’d like to whip up and depending on what you’re doing, it is something to consider. You want to start an Asian drama blog? There’s actually quite a few out there for competition. Should that stop you? Nah. Just be aware that depending on topic, don’t expect amazing stats and tons of followers and commentators since there’s some that have been around for ages and just for that sheer fact, take the top of search rankings…not like that is something you really care about necessarily when you’re just starting out. I actually stopped covering major dramas because everyone is doing them and just focus on other dramas that I enjoy (and sometimes end up hating with a passion) and that people aren’t giving as much love to on the net. You might not get a lot of hits right away, but it’s amazing how those posts jump in popularity later.
When it comes to content, I’ve never been one to stick to a topic. Just look at the posts on this blog and you’ll see quite a variety. Most of them fall under the umbrella of drama reviews and recaps, but I’ve got tons of music posts now, too, and some other miscellany. Content should be confined to whatever umbrella you like, however big or small. Do try to stay on target in whatever it is you’re posting about from travels, to cooking, to dramas, to whatever. Even though I cover tons of stuff, it’s all Asian entertainment related, so go me. I try not to post anything that doesn’t belong in that broad genre on this site. I save it for other sites I may possess, like my own personal blog which I rarely ever update. I suck at updating in a lot of ways, lol.
Just as a side note, if you are dreaming up an Asian drama blog, just be forewarned that the likelihood of getting comments on recaps is sadly very low. Reviews on the other hand usually garner more discussion since it’s personal opinions that may go against or jive with other people’s.
Anywho, really, write about what you want to write about which is hopefully something you’re passionate about. Do try to take some time and draft up a post and possibly re-read it before posting just to make sure it’s really saying what you want and there aren’t too many embarrassing mistakes. I don’t follow my own advice, so you’ll find tons of typos, characters called by wrong names, inconsistent character name spellings – especially with Korean dramas, but it is something to consider for prospective readers. Also…length. What is a good length for a blog post? Well, I suppose there is no easy answer, but it’s a known fact that people these days don’t really stick around to read long articles due to the sheer nature of information and how technology and social media has changed all of that. Unfortunately, I go anywhere from 500 – 5,000 words. 5,000 might be a little too much for a blog post, lol. I think keeping between 500-1,000 words isn’t too bad myself.
Referencing “stripping” (the video above, lol), something I learned as an English major that I did in my papers, but not quite so much with my blog posts, is to strip out unnecessary carp (intentional misspelling). Isn’t it so hard to deem what is needed and what isn’t? I can be horrible and basically do an entire play by play of a drama episode or movie. Is all that detail necessary? Heck no and if it’s not integral to the storyline, I’ve been getting better about leaving some stuff out. Oh, and speaking of stripping. I prefer teasing content on my homepage. I think most blogging platforms allow you to choose full content vs. snippets/excerpts/teasers. For nicer scrollability, I choose to truncate content on the homepage. Hopefully the teaser is enough to pull people in. If it’s a really short post, I’m okay letting those go in full, but my evil long posts would make the front page downright scary looking and it would be hard to tell all the new posts if someone just wanted to browse.
One way of disguising the sheer length of a blog post is to actually incorporate media from audio to video to pictures. Breaking up a blog post with these things can help keep the reader from straying due to an overly long post. Pagination, if possible, is another option. WordPress has an easy pagination trick. I don’t know about other platforms. I have had readers complain about my experiment with breaking up blog posts into pages, so I stopped doing that. I also don’t necessarily always include media, because, truthfully, it’s a lot of work in the recapping sense. Screen clippings are evil. EVIL and take forever to get just the right shot of the scene you want and I sometimes give up and just stick with an almost what I want photo.
I like to include videos…generally music videos…that correspond with that episode and what I was feeling when I was watching it. I don’t do this every time, but I think it’s kind of fun to do when I do it. I call those song dedications. I also like to include pictures if possible. You don’t need a picture for every paragraph, mind you. A few here and there are good enough.
And, back to the subject of content…DON’T TAKE SOMEONE ELSE’S POST AND REPOST IT IN ITS ENTIRETY! Think about it, plagiarism isn’t good in school and definitely isn’t good in real life. One, your own site can take a hit in search engines for having the exact same content as another site, two, it’s just not right. WordPress has a “Press This”/reblog feature. Lots of blogging platforms have them. This feature lets you reblog the blog article you want, add your own comments to the original and then it posts a snippet with a link back to the original article. That is the best practice. Bloggers who spend hours working hard on blog posts appreciate attribution and not pilfering of their content. I don’t care if you give attribution, if you take someone’s entire post, it’s wrong, especially doing that without their permission. The only thing I usually don’t care i someone utilizes full text is if they are translating a post of mine. Yes, I’ve had translation requests and only then I agree if they give attribution saying the original post is from AAA. You also need to beware copyright that bloggers use on their site to avoid trouble.
I could go into the more technical aspects of content and SEO and getting a jump on your “competitors” in the blogging field, but that’s more in the line of business blogging to me and I’ve never been one to understand all that mumbo jumbo.