I have been writing a blog for over 5 years now. At one point I had over 100 thousand readers a month. I noticed that the readership had dropped off and wondered why. The blogs were the same caliber but something had shifted. Looking around online I realized that my blogs needed to be freshened up.
Writing For Online Magazines
I was lucky enough to get a chance to write for a second online magazine about a year ago. 5 years ago in the beginning I wrote for an online magazine so it was a good fit. I noticed some big differences this time.
The writing was dumbed down. A huge amount of research went in to my articles but the format had to be quick and peppy. Valid, important information was condensed down into word bytes. Bullet points were used to condense actual information into one sentence. I just couldn’t seem to do it.
Blogging For My Own Site
Even as I write this my post info is telling me this needs improvement. Too much passive voice. I am using transition words. Too many words in my paragraph.
These are some of the items listed to help me improve my blog so it will be popular.
I spent a lot of time and effort on my Herbalist and Hypnotherapist education. I tend not to write much about hypnosis because my friend writes amazing articles on it.
Writing about Herbal Medicine is my main topic. One thing I have noticed in doing my research, is that far far too many sites make declarative statements about what herbs can do. This herb cures cancer, this herb cures RA.
When you actually go to college to learn herbal medicine, (I have 2 designations), you learn immediately that herbs do what needs to be done. There may be amazing results with catnip for calming people down. However, there is 1% of the population that reacts the same as a cat would. I discovered the truth of this when I gave my Godson some catnip tea to calm him down and he ended up bouncing off the walls.
Writing sentences such as “this herb is thought to be an excellent choice for RA” gets you a slap from the blog watchdog. You are using passive voice. It should be An excellent choice for RA is XXXX. Most times the earlier sentence indicates that you are going to add a link or some actual studies. The second sentence tells you it works for everyone all the time.
I refuse to post a blog that hasn’t been seriously researched. I tend to opt for caution. My main sources are the National Institute of Health (Pubmed), Elsever, University sites and places like the Canadian Cancer Society. Places that have the scientific backing. There are a number of excellent sites that also use valid, well researched information. I link to these sites as well. Sadly there is a lot of misinformation out there.
When I first learned about Aloe in school I was horrified to find that it’s first action was an abortifaciant. It’s hard not to make the connection between Aloe in absolutely everything and women unable to carry babies. Perhaps I am a bit overcautious but that would be the first thing I advised against if you are trying to have a baby. I went out on the internet and there are sites telling pregnant women to take aloe orally to keep them healthy!!!! Horrifying!!!
I have seen herbal info on Facebook and I know it is not valid. I have checked with the site everyone trusts to say this is a hoax or not and found their information incorrect a couple of times on herbal medicines.
The most important thing to remember when taking an herbal remedy is that it is going to interact with your body chemistry. It is also going to interact with any and all supplements, OTC remedies and pharmaceutical medicines.
In my herbal blogs I try to make sure and include interactions and side effects if I can find any.
I guess the bottom line for me is that I have run across so many absolutes lately on so many sites. It isn’t that the writers are bad or even that they don’t know their stuff. It seems that if you have to take more than one line to tell someone about an item that can kill them, they aren’t willing to read further. That means less people reading and less revenue for the blog. (I still haven’t figured out how to make any money on mine).
Blogging and writing for online sites is a career for some people so the less readers and revenue the harder it is to make a living.
I am taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks so I can go into a craft fair. When I return I will be going back to my old style of writing. I am committed to giving valid information to the people that are willing to read it.
FYI 17.9% of my sentences use passive voice which is more than the recommended 10%. Just Sayin.