Great bloggers are those who are able to provide informative and engaging content that keeps us coming back again and again. They teach us new things and give us the tools needed to seek out more information on our own or to form our own opinions. In short, the best bloggers are also the best teachers.
Think about it.
When you write a post discussing loans and telling your users how to divide their monthly payments to avoid overpaying on interest, you are teaching them how to do so. You are actively helping them solve a problem through proper education. A teacher in a classroom would do the same thing. He or she would give the class the equations needed to solve a math problem, or the right procedures to correctly complete a chemistry experiment.
When you host a webinar showing your audience how to correctly knit a scarf, you are being a teacher. Even when you take a stance on a specific issue, you are teaching. You are showing your audience that there is another side and perspective attached to each story.
If you consider yourself a teacher every time you sit down to blog, you may find yourself being able to more quickly connect with your readers. You will be more inclined to write engaging content as it will prompt them to think for themselves or to try something new to better their lives. You will be more inspired, and actually feel as though your blogging is rewarding – like you are releasing something good into the world, not just another half-baked article to just stick to a schedule.
So how do you go about honing your teaching skills? It’s much easier than you think,and many of these things you may be already doing. You don’t have to invest in a degree in education, you simply have to do some introspection – and maybe some reading.
As soon as I stated, “you are a teacher,” many readers were probably put into a panic. Not everyone is a teacher and that is okay. Some of us are born with a knack for it and others aren’t. However, remaining fearful of being a teacher will only hurt your writing. Simply accept the fact and then move on. You’ve been educating for awhile, now you are simply accepting that fact.
Create a Safe and Inviting Environment
Creating a safe environment simply means creating a level of comfort for your target audience. You want them to be able to come to your site and find all the information needed to better understand your specific topic in a relaxed, unhindered setting. Write articles that inspire action instead of guilt. Make sure your tone is not condescending or accusatory. Set some blogging ground rules for yourself, and stick with them. Post book reviews that may be helpful, include webinars you created or videos you found on YouTube that you liked, anything that may be useful to a reader.
Treat Every Question with Respect
If you are writing content that helps people, whether it be personal finance or plumbing, take every question into consideration – even those you may seem as dumb. Remember, your goal is to create a safe place for learning. If you start treating your readers like they are idiots, they will abandon you in a heart beat. Remember that horrid teacher who made awful retorts every time someone raised their hand? Yeah, you don’t want to be that person.
When someone posts a question that has an obvious answer or one that seems irrelevant, don’t scoff. Find a new and interesting way to both answer their question and further engage your other readers. Not only will it give you ideas for further content, but it will help establish a stronger community amongst your readership.
Be Real with Yourself
One of the most enticing aspects about a blog is that you get to be you. What you discuss are your opinions, stances, and what is of interest to you. Don’t ever lose sight of that, or your readership will dwindle quickly. Do you remember your favorite teacher in high school or college? They probably were your favorite and stood out because they had a personality and different perspective than your other teachers. Your readers will like you for the same reasons.
Treat Blogging as Your Own Learning Experience
When you choose a specific blog topic, you are often looked to as an authority on the topic. However, even teachers have to expand their knowledge and learn a few new things from time to time, and they often get their students involved when doing so. Treat your blog in the same fashion. Find new topics or new tools, blog about them, and invite others to take the journey through the learning process with you. Your readers will feel as though they are more connected to you, and that heightened level of engagement will keep them loyal to your blog.
Your blog is your classroom. That may sound a little eerie but it will make you actually feel responsible for the content in which you post. By keeping that in mind, you will be able to create more thought-provoking and engaging content that will keep your readers returning. They will be eager to hear what you have to say, and wonder what journey you will take them on today.