In my Introduction to Public Relations and Public Relations Writing classes at Georgia Southern this summer, a large portion of the students’ grades came from their blogs. Most of the students in this class had never even read a blog before the beginning of the summer, no less written one of their own. For their final Topic of the Week, I asked them to create a list of tips for PR students new to blogging. Here, I will share some of the best tips:
The first thing to remember about blogging is to have patience. At first you will not have many visitors to you page accept you teacher and maybe a few classmates but if you continue on, the readers will come.
Don’t Treat the Blog like Homework! I know since this is all for a class, some people dread working on these assignements. Take in consideration that the teacher is not doing it to torture you. This is part of your career!
Make sure to proofread often. I am not an avid blogger but when I would go to a person’s blog and see that every other word was misspelled or their grammar was poor I moved onto someone else’s blog. One advantage of using Word press is that it offers a proofreading section to make sure you do not have a ton of misspelled words on your blog.
Media. Despite my taste for traditional writing and structure in blogs I can tell you first hand that adding media such as images, videos, and other interactive applications is a great way to keep your blog fun and entertaining. Now this is subject to change depending on your target audience and the purpose of your blog. In general it is a great idea to give some visual content to your writing in any blog.
Post your blog on other websites you are part of such as Twitter and Facebook. By doing this you will have more followers and interaction with your blog.
Try to find videos and pictures that complement your post. Blog posts that are full of text can look bulky. Use pictures to break up long paragraphs or add a YouTube video that relates to your topic to add variety.
Be organized. Take note of the tips [Prof.] Nixon provides over adding widgets and hyperlinks, as well as her tips on keeping your blog looking clean.
Be creative with your headline. Your blog may be very good and interesting, however if the headline is boring then the viewer may not read past the headline.
Link. When blogging, it is important to let your readers know what the source of your information is, if you have one. Be sure to link certain parts of your post in order to guide readers in the direction of more information on what the post is about. This also gives credit where credit is due in order to avoid plagiarism.
Whenever you are given leverage to choose your own topic [like for your PR Connections], try to relate PR with something you are passionate about. If you have a strong opinion about a topic, you should have less trouble overcoming potential writer’s block.
Lastly, have fun! It may seem like a task at first, but there is a thrill in having people show interest in your thoughts. This experience helped me acquire clarity about several issues I once believed myself to be educated on. That’s it, remember to enjoy.
So that’s what my summer PR students had to say. What other recommendations do you have for PR students starting off with a new blog?