As many of you will know, I created my first blog in the summer of 2013. I was bored and in need of something to do with all the spare time I had during the summer holiday. My friend had suggested that I make a blog and after thinking about it for a week or two, I gave it a try.
Now I am in no way claiming to be an expert blogger; this very post is a day late after I fell ill yesterday and didn’t get the chance to take the photographs that accompany this post. However after changing my attitude and becoming more organised ahead of next year, I wanted to share the improvements I have made to keep me motivated and producing new content that I hope will always be better than the last thing I have written.
HAVE A PLAN
Okay, so this one is kinda obvious but it has really helped me to keep motivated with my work. Organising what I would like to write about at start of a new month allows me to see what events or anniversaries are coming up and consequently I can deliver relevant content. With my blog, I decided that I didn’t want to regurgitate news stories or information that a reader could find on BBC or Autosport, instead I wanted to write fun and fresh pieces that would interest readers and get them talking.
Once I had listed what I deemed important motorsport events that were occurring over the month, I could start to plan blogs around them. Taking November as an example, it is the end of the year and many motorsport series are coming to a close. For me, MotoGP was a stand-out motorsport series so I wrote a blog titled ‘Has MotoGP been the best motorsport series of the year?’, an open-ended question that both those in agreement could share or those who disagreed could interact with me about. Ideal.
After collecting ideas of topics I find myself interested in covering, I then plan suitable dates. I try and post every Wednesday and Sunday, however finding the time to produce two blogs a week when you are working full time does prove difficult. However setting aside a day to publish on has been just what I needed. Although it doesn’t always run smoothly, knowing that your audience will be waiting for new content on a specific day of the week does make you work hard in order to hit that publish button.
Publishing on a Wednesday and Sunday also allows me to easily mould my work around the month’s events. With the MotoGP finale falling on a Sunday, I chose to publish my work on the Wednesday before so I could share it over the build up to race day.
If you can’t think of a theme for a certain time of the month, use your imagination just as I am doing now. Create a countdown of your favourite overtakes of the year, or tell us why you love it when Formula 1 visits a particular city. Go wild! Something that I want to introduce next year is a jar which I will fill with ideas for blogs. Then twice a month I have to pick two ideas from the jar and write about them. It’s so important to keep it fun and readers on their toes. You can always resort to interviews too, whether they are done face-to-face or through a computer screen, most of the time people have different ideas and outlooks to you, lessons they can teach you.
I love interviewing which is why I’m so excited about my December project. Keep reading to find out more!
RESEARCH YOUR THEME
This is always one of the best parts of writing a blog; finding the knowledge, statistics and facts to make it a really strong piece. C’mon, everyone loves a good stat.
If you are already competent with what you are writing about, that’s great but delve deeper and learn more. Study some old editions of Autosport or find a podcast which talks about the subject you’ve chosen. Never stop learning.
Most of my favourite blogs have taken me days to write about. These have often been about a young and upcoming drivers, whose background and achievements are scattered across various sources but you are able to collect them all and have it all in one place. One of the first pieces that did take me a while to compile and perfect was a blog about (now Formula 1 driver) Pascal Wehrlien. When I wrote that blog, back in February last year, Pascal had been busy testing with Mercedes and Force India at the pre-season testing in Barcelona. As soon as I shared it, it was very popular and answered many questions that fans had about the German star.
You can read that blog here: https://katyfairman.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/who-is-pascal-wehrlien/
In addition to my research, I also find it really useful to create a spider diagram of all the subjects that I want to cover in the blog, attaching relevant information to each topic header. These spider diagrams always get me to think outside the box too and are a necessity for all the larger blogs that I post. Spider diagrams for days, yo.
So as well as timing a blog effectively and making it relevant, be sure to fill it with a wealth of information. It sounds simple but I have read so many articles and think ‘why did I bother’, it’s been copied and pasted to death and I have learnt nothing. Make people remember you and your content!
Yes it doesn’t really have any relevance to how I ‘create’ my blogs but sharing your work is so important. Your work might be available to people that visit your website, but if you are looking for new readers and bigger audiences you need to share, share, share! I have lost count the amount of times I have said to friends in the journalism industry, ‘do I think I will annoy people if I post that blog again today?’, but I do and I get more and more views each time. Also don’t resort to just posting on applications like Twitter and Facebook, venture out in to that big wide internet world. Share it in forums, on LinkedIn, let your friends and family know on Instagram and Snapchat. Go crazy!
Taking this blogging thing seriously has also lead me to really study the stats that platforms such as WordPress offer me. I have created graphs and charts of how my viewing figures correlate with how much I share my work and where I share it. I’m also trying to grow my social media following, as far as I see it the bigger amount of followers you have, the more views, shares and interests you will receive. At the start of the month I record how many followers I have on three of my main social platforms (Twitter, WordPress and Instagram) and then again at the end of the month.
That is enough for me at the moment but the goal is to improve how I promote my work online every day. I am pretty bad at sharing my work at ‘peak times’ and I certainly don’t use hashtags and tagging as best as I could. But hey, what’s the fun if you start and you’re already perfect?
Applications such as Twitter also offer users the chance to promote their work for a small and flexible sum, something I am considering in the new year.
In addition to this blog on how I create content, I have some exciting news about my biggest project yet on katyfairman.wordpress.com yet!
COMING TO KATYFAIRMAN.WORDPRESS.COM THIS DECEMBER
During December on this blog I will be posting an outstanding 24 daily articles ranging from the 1st of December right up until Christmas Eve. Each day I will be uploading an interview with a selection of the finest talent in motorsport, ranging from a 2016 FIA World Champion to those that work in the media. It’s been a couple of months in the planning and I’m hoping you will enjoy the phenomenal selection of talent from the motorsport world that I’ve been fortunate enough to interview. They will each be discussing their year in motorsport and their highs and lows from the past 11 months.
I have also been organising a special giveaway for you but that is all I am saying! You’ll just have to keep your eyes open on katyfairman.wordpress.com or my Twitter account towards the end of the month.