By: Blonde Two
Blog writing success
Success is a subjective term but there can be no doubt that, after 5 years of daily blogging, Two Blondes Walking the blog is going from strength to strength (yes, that is B2 holding a real BAFTA). We see a rise each year in the number of visitors to our blog and have enjoyed meeting some of you at our Navigation Workshops and around the UK. It is good, from time to time, to sit back and reflect on where you are and how you got to that point (we Blondes manage it about once in every five years) so we have been thinking about the reasons that our blog has been so successful. If you are about to embark on the blogging journey yourself or already have an outdoor blog that needs a bit of encouragement, read on. Here are our thoughts on how to write a successful outdoor blog.
Get Outside and find something to blog about
I know, the Get Outside message is always in there somewhere but, honestly, the only way for real outdoor blogging success is to go outside and find out what the outdoors has to offer. Great blogging comes from learning and the best learning about the outside comes from being in it. We Blondes have an outside experience/blog post circle going on; the more we go outside, the more we find things to write about, the more we find things to write about, the more we want to go outside.
An authentic blog is a happy blog
Above all your outdoor blog should be honest, we would advise against committing any of the 3 deadly blogging sins below (we couldn’t think of 7):
- Pretending you have done something when you haven’t
- Failing to admit when you get it wrong
- Losing the ability to laugh at yourself
If you do fall into any of these outdoor blogging bad habits, you will find that you, at best, stop increasing your readership and, at worst, start losing the followers you have already gained. People value authenticity and, what is more, they are better than you think at spotting its absence.
Use images to enhance your blog story but not to tell it
Images do have useful roles on an outdoor blog. They can grab the attention of a prospective reader, for example through social media, they can add a level of explanation to your blog topic and they can enhance the story-telling capability of your blog. There is no substitute however for high quality writing, it is your writing that will build your relationship with your readership and it is that relationship that will keep them interested and wanting more.
Never skimp on quality
Blogs (including outdoor blogs) come in all shapes and sizes. For example, there are blogs that are written almost entirely to gain search engine ranking, blogs that tell an individual story and blogs that give out useful information. Whichever type of outdoor blogging you opt for (and our experience suggests that a variety of blog posts works best), it is the quality of your blogging that matters. Quality blogging can be recognised in the following ways:
- An eye for an interesting and unusual topic
- Writing that is structured for ‘easy reading’ purposes
- Spotless grammar and spelling (we try with this one)
- An understanding of your blog audience
If you aim for all of the above for your outdoor blog, you will eventually find an appreciative audience who understand that you have taken time and care to entertain them. This audience is far more likely to remain with you, if you keep up your quality assurance and refuse to skimp on writing time.
Enjoy your blogging self
We Blondes love our outdoor blog. We love the people it has introduced us too and the places it has brought us to. We love writing it (well maybe not at midnight after a day out on the hills) we love getting outside to research it and we love the level of feedback we get from our blog readers. We didn’t have any tips like those above to follow when we started but we have always been ourselves and maybe that is the most important thing. As one of us said on the recent ITV Britain’s Favourite Walks” Top 100 program, ‘We don’t take ourselves too seriously.’
If you are interested to see how Two Blondes Walking began, below is our very first post, published in October 2012 and back in the days when we were learning night navigation rather than teaching it.