Row Z is now approaching three years old. Old enough for me to have put together an anthology, but also old enough for me to have picked up a few tips for successful blogging. I’m not saying that I follow all these points – it’s a question of time and to an extent will power, but here is my brief list of what I feel are the important points for any football blogger to consider:
Pay attention to style
It might seem superficial to say, but even the best prose in the world is going to look insipid when set in a standard WordPress, or Blogger template. A good, instantly recognisable style can work wonders. It could be a colour palate, a font, a logo, a clever use of images, or even an entire package which cements your blogs identity.
In Bed With Maradona – more commonly known as IBWM – is the one to emulate here with its distinctive visual grammar which exudes a type of coolness complementing the leftfield articles the site specialises in.
For all the diversity of the football blogging world there are essentially two types of blogs; Ones operated by individuals as a solo-effort and those run by a collective. Although it’s not impossible for solo blogs to succeed, success is much more likely to be achieved as part of a team effort; A pool of writers means much more content, many more ideas and perspectives, and far less chance of burn-out.
Exploit the gaps
Blogs are at their best when they fill a gap. While there will never be a shortage of broadsheet, tabloid or magazine articles on the race for the Premiership title, or the merits of the Arsenal squad the same can not be said when it comes to an analysis of the Slovenian second division which could expect to receive about a paragraph a year in World Soccer, if lucky.
Good example: Futbolgrad brings in-depth knowledge to focus on a region which despite being of interest to many receives little attention in the mainstream media.
Tweet-Tweet and Tweet again
This was a tip passed on to me by other bloggers – get on Twitter. There is a huge community, or sub-culture, of bloggers and readers on Twitter and it’s a great platform for publicising your posts and engaging with like-minded writers.
Take a wider view of success
When we’re talking about success in blogging what does it actually mean? Most people’s first answer would probably be hits, or for some maybe even money. For others success might mean an effective-stepping stone on to bigger and better things – i.e a job as a paid journalist.
The truth is that success can come in a multitude of forms. It could just as equally be measured by how much you have improved as a writer, how much fun you’ve had, or the number of friends you’ve made along the way. It could even be about some bigger and loftier aim of playing a part in drawing attention to a marginalised or neglected part of the game whether it’s grass-roots, women’s football, or even the Slovenian second division.
If you have any tips of your own, please leave a comment.