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Blogging 101: Write to Your Dream Reader

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

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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?

  • Writing with a specific reader in mind is a great way to focus your thoughts.
  • Exploring new elements and post styles adds more tools to your storytelling toolbox.
  • Publishing different types of posts and media adds visual interest and keeps people reading.

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 one 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.

Never added an image to a post before? Here’s how! And if you’re not the world’s greatest photographer, there are plenty of places you can get beautiful, free-to-use images.

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 blogging101 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.)

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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