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Blogging 101, Day Six: Write to Your Dream Reader

Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

Time to put your writing caps back on, and start honing your blogging focus.

We often create posts hoping that someone in particular will see (and appreciate) our work. Today, publish a post for that person — whether they’re a real-life figure or not — and stretch your blogging chops as you do.

Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Why do this?

  • Because writing with a specific reader in mind is a great way to focus your thoughts.
  • Because exploring new elements (photos, audio, video) and post styles (short, long, poetry, Q&A) adds more tools to your storytelling toolbox.
  • Because publishing different types of posts and media adds visual interest — and white space that makes text easier to read on-screen. And when your posts are easier to read, more people read ‘em.

Even if you’re simply blogging to have a place to practice writing, there’s someone you’re hoping will read. Maybe it’s your dad, so he’ll finally understand your life choices. Maybe it’s the head of Random House, so she’ll skyrocket you into literary limelight. Whether serious, frivolous or purely hypothetical, focus on your dream reader and write a post — about anything — aimed at him or her.

This doesn’t need to be the Greatest Blog Post of 2014 — it can be on any topic at all. The key is to keep your dream reader in mind as you write, and see how that influences what you create.

In your post, include one new kind of element. If you’re a photo blogger, try add context to your images with some haiku. If you’re a parenting blogger, add a photo. If you’re discussing current events, embed the tweets of other folks chatting about the same topic. If you’re an Instragram or Pinterest user, embed one of your own shots or some pins. Embed a song that resonates with what you’re posting about, or a map of a place mentioned in your post.

Trying something new brings an interesting twist to your blog, and thinking about what you post from a different angle is a useful exercise for any blogger. And the more tools you have at your disposal as a blogger, the more effectively you can tell your story.

Here are embed instructions for WordPress.com bloggers:

Before you hit “publish,” make sure you’ve added the zerotohero tag to your post — it’s the easiest way to make sure other participants can find you. (Still not sure how to add tags? Read this.)

Questions? Hit us, or share your works-in-progress in The Commons.

Editor’s Note: Using The Commons and feeling overwhelmed by new post notifications? If you’re following the Commons, head to https://wordpress.com/following/edit/ to modify your settings. Find the 101 Commons and click “Edit” — you’ll be able to turn notifications off entirely, or choose to receive them as daily or weekly digests.

 

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  1. Wow, this was really hard… I thought my readers are my “dream readers”, of course. This really got me thinking, a lot… I think that I would like to get some more objective feed back on my photos (and posts). This is worth trying in some different ways. I used “embed Instagram photos” in my post and I have to try later on to find some voting plugin to make it easier. Please have a look; http://kerlundphoto.se/blogging-101-write-to-your-dream-reader/

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    1. I think a plugin that could do the survey thing would be good. Can you use Polldaddy? I use it on another one of my blogs and it is easy to do.
      I wanted to leave a comment, but the form demands my Name (ok) website (ok) and email (don’t want to give that out). Sorry.
      I liked # 4 & 10 best – Silhouettes, and #1 least as it didn’t have a focus for me.

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      1. I will check on that plugin, I think it is something like that I am looking for, great to use from time to time, thank you. Also thank you for your input to my photos, mostly appreciated!

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  2. Hmmm my dream reader, who would that be? It would be everyone and anyone who is interested in what I either write about or photography. I plan on covering a wide range of topics with my photography, once I get going a little more. Those topics range from being a mom to homesteading to photography to tutorials to quotes to minimalism to whatever. I plan on seeing where my photography takes me. Since photography is my main reason for my blog

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  3. I’m learning so much from this course. Oddly, a great deal of it is about me, and not about blogging at all! (I wonder what that says about me.)

    The main part of this was easy – I’ve wanted to write this post for a while. It’s part of why I started blogging again.

    But using an element that I’ve never used before, that wouldn’t detract from the post itself… not so easy. I didn’t want to just stick something in there to have it. Gratuitous use of elements just seems wrong, to me.

    So I finally settled on a Block Quote. I don’t think I’ve done that before. (I hope I haven’t.)

    My post is an open letter to creative people who think their work isn’t good enough. You can find it at http://robinwoodent.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/open-letter-to-those-who-arent-good-enough/

    Hope you like it!

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  4. I love this and am thrilled to finally learn how to embed You Tube videos because there have been several I have wanted to work into posts but didn’t know how. However, since it is Easter Sunday AND I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry my post (my embedded link is working at least) is still in draft form and will have to wait to be published tomorrow.

    Besides, I already scheduled a simple photo/art piece for Easter Sunday anyway.

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  5. Thank you for posting this great topic! Started blogging yesterday! My dream reader has 10 seconds to pick what movie they are going to see. Why 10 seconds – its the time before dashing out the door or on their mobile outside the theatre or DVD store…

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    1. If you write it as a normal post on your blog – Yes (unless you set it as private). If you write it here in the comments, or in The Commons it will not show on your blog.

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    1. Turkey is such a beautiful country!! I have only seen it on TV, especially the Turkish dramas:)…but it is one place I would love to visit some day…I will keep coming back to read what Turkey and Turks are all about…

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  6. Wow! This is great, a real ‘idiots guide to inserting elements’….definitely going to try and learn two new ones today……woohoo….love this learning process.

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