It’s National Blog Posting Month, so over the course of November, we are focusing on how to blog better and faster. Catch up on our other NaBloPoMo posts and more tips for bloggers on the Blogging section of Beyond Bylines.
Landing an industry award has the potential to boost your career to the next level. Unfortunately, when you are part of a minority group, you may find yourself competing for nominations in a limited amount of categories.
The same holds true for bloggers, who without comprehensive minority blog awards, often struggle to get the recognition they deserve.
For many Black bloggers, winning an industry award that recognizes the best Black blogs has an even deeper significance.
“Those awards opened doors for me in terms of guest blogging for other major sites, being invited to keynote social media events and has expanded the reach of my blog,” says African-American blogger Jesse Muhammad (@brotherjesse).
Muhammad has been blogging for more than seven years and says the Black Weblog Awards have inspired him to be a better blogger and serve his readers.
It’s also connected him with fellow Black bloggers. His blog jessemuhammad.blogs.finalcall.com has received multiple nominations over the years, including Blog of the Year, Best Personal Blog, and Best Microblog. This year, he won Best Twitter Feed.
According to Gina McCauley (@), who organizes the Black Weblog Awards, new categories were added this year to recognize excellence in all of the popular social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Nonetheless, she explains the Black Weblog Awards always will be blog-centric because it’s important African-Americans own and control their own platforms.
“As awesome and influential as some of the free services are, we don’t own them, but they are an important part of the social media communities we’ve built,” she says.
Muhammad and McCauley share the following tips to make the most of your blog.
Quality First: Staying focused on the service and not the recognition is one of the keys to a successful blog, says Muhammad. When you finally get recognized or win an award, don’t become complacent, he advises.
“If you jump into blogging just to be recognized you won’t have much longevity because it takes patience, sacrifice, hard work and focus to build up an audience and position your blog to be seen,” he said.
Research the Best: In order to garner new story ideas and perspectives, it’s important you follow a variety of award-winning blogs and focus your attention on what makes site unique.
“If you want to be the best, you have to study the best while developing your own unique writing voice,” Muhammad said. “Forget thinking ‘outside the box.’ There is no box.”
Innovate and Support Your Community: McCauley explains that for Blogger of the Year, the Black Weblog Awards look for someone who’s changing the game of social media.
“Someone who is a blogger’s blogger; someone who is a trailblazer and doing remarkable and important work to build their platform, but also takes time to help up and coming bloggers with advice and guidance,” she said. “Someone who is proud to be a blogger and understands the importance of independent Black media.”
PR Newswire’s African-American press list can connect you with more news about the African-American community. If you are a journalist or blogger who would like to be added, please contact Jessica.Alas@prnewswire.com or follow us on Twitter @PRNAfricanAm.
Jessica Alas is Media Relations Director, Multicultural Markets and Hispanic PR Wire at PR Newswire. Follow her at @alasjessica.