Tuesday, January 28, 2014

10 Steps to Even Better Beer Blogging

Since you've become a sensory pro, it might be time to refocus your writing skills, or think about starting your own beer-related blog. We've seen some great young and older blogs out there, and done a fair amount of blogging ourselves. We've compiled 10 expert tips on how to strengthen your beer writing skills, whether you're doing beer reviews, tastings, news, or just blogging for fun.


Onward to Number 1.


Determine your own, distinct voice.

Nobody is cut from the same cloth, and only you have your bag of experiences to draw from in life. We don't have to tell you how special of an individual you are (you already know that!), but do keep in mind that there are approximately a zillion-point-eight blogs out there, which includes more beer blogs than ever before. Think hard about what you do differently than everyone else and use that to your advantage.



Define what you won't do.

Just because everyone else is talking about one thing, doesn't mean you have to write about it too. Sure, ranking your blog higher and higher because you've nailed a newsy and topical subject feels pretty good sometimes, but is that your priority? What you don't do or won't do defines you as much as what you choose to do. Carve your own path, because no one else can make that same groove. Are three other beer reviewers talking about a trendy beer right now? Find a beer you're loving that nobody's talking about and get that unique content on your own outlet.

Take decent photos.

And I don't even mean they have to be complete and total studio perfection. We're visual creatures and technology is increasingly cheaper and cheaper putting the means to make great images more easily within reach. Take a minute to get some good photos to support all the effort you're already putting into your work. Phones do pretty amazing things nowadays, so it may just be a means of a couple technique tips, which we'll also get into later.


Define your audience.

You probably wouldn't write the same blog for a group 60 year old fishermen as you would for a group of 21 year old college students. Pinpoint who you're talking to so you can meet their needs and excite them. I've printed out and pinned photos to my wall of who I think my audience might be. This helps me remember who I'm talking to when my hands start typing too fast or go off track. Silly hands ...

Become an expert.

Of something. Even a sliver of something. In case you didn't get that point yet about you being a unique person with your own perspective and experiences to offer, here's your final reminder. Take your individuality a step further and become the pro on something -- even if it's one small thing, like ... strong ales made in Orange County! Whatever that thing might be, there's a good chance there are other people out who want to find someone who knows everything about that one awesome thing. The internet is a vast space to find all kinds of great (and equally not-so-great) information on any kind of interest, so find your sliver and go for it.

Determine a frequency for updates.

Are you going to strive to make shorter, more frequent updates or write a long thesis every so often? Setting a realistic timeline and schedule for your writing makes the constant chatter of technology more manageable and let's your audience know what they can expect from you. And if they are used to your usual update pattern, it's super fun to throw then a curveball once in a while and see how they respond.

Realize you have a life outside of your writing.

Things will happen that stop you from writing as often as you like, but don't drop the ball all together. Just because you missed a post one week doesn't mean you can't pick up the pieces and still have a great collection of work under your belt. Real life happenings can inspire new subjects you wouldn't have thought about. No need to feel you have to start posting again with an apology ("Sorry, it's been a while, I had a lot of laundry, but here's a post I made out of guilt.") You're chipping away at a collection of ideas and you've hopefully already set a realistic frequency for posting.

Content is king.

You've heard this a thousand times. At the end of the day, does what you're writing excite and engage YOU? If not, take a day to refocus your energy into making your writing worthy of your time. If you're not learning and enjoying what you're doing, then what's the point?

Get involved offline.

Meet your fans. Know your audience in person. Collaborate within your community. You might be at a point where you've cultivated a pretty strong following locally (or bigger!) so use some of your geniusness to help put an event together, or host your own! There's a good chance that few people will know the ins and outs of your community like you do, so you'll be able to put something together just for your crowd in a way unlike anyone else. Perfect example: our friend Greg of OC Beer Blog used his superpowers to organize Anaheim's first Firkfest this year.


Have we seen your blog? Tell us in the comments.

Some more fun stuff to help you become even more awesome:
More how to guides for you:


Post by Cambria Griffith, our Social Media & Marketing Manager, and ruthless self-promoter since she's posting about herself right now. Cambria has been nerding out on craft beer online since 2009 (both for fun and for dollar bills).

10 comments:

Sean Smith said...

Thanks for the tips! They'll help grow http://justanotherbeerblog.com

Greg Nagel said...

I love the Bruery.

Craft Beer Blogger said...

I wonder if Mr. Rogers was a craft beer fan???

Here are my craft beer Travels, Tastings, and Homebrewing: http://craftbeerblogger.blogspot.com/

Cheers!

Luis said...

Thanks for the tips!
www.hookedonhops.com

Beer Guy said...

Solid tips; you can find me at http://CraftBeerGuy.com

BrianHardyman said...

Great tips for any blogger. We'll be sure to use these at BeerQwest.com, thanks Cambria.

Chase Dipple said...

Great advice for both beginners and novices! Thanks Cambria!
http://chasecraftbeer.com

Andy Manshel said...

The Bruery is MY FAVORITE brewery around. Chocolate Rain and Sans Pagaie were so phenomenal. I'm a writer over at www.PorchDrinking.com and would love for you to check out some of our content!

Slothfacekilla said...

I didn't read the post, I'm just here for free advertisement. http://wildlifebeer.tumblr.com/

Cambria said...

You're all very welcome. Keep up the great work.