#OutAndAbout: Of Blogging And Keeping Readers Captivated

Given the proliferation of blogs and online magazines in Zimbabwe, it sounds easy to start one. With a good internet connection and something to say, you can start your own blog and maybe make a lot of money out of it. But getting people to the blog is not that easy, and starting a blog takes more than just having something to say, a computer and a good internet connection.

There are a lot of things you will only get to find out after you have started your own blog, and they could be damaging if you don’t know what you need, hence the need to carry out a research, but we asked around, so that you don’t have to, the people who read stories online and these are some of the answers people have been giving about why they open links to stories from blogs and online magazines. Mr Innocent Chikwanda, a constant online news reader said that he wants his stories fresh and in real time

“I want fresh stories; stories written and distributed in real time. That’s why I go online because it offers that, something print media cannot give, a breaking story at the time of being made available.” Mr Chikwanda said.

The internet world is fast paced, and being relevant in such a world doesn’t come cheap, hence the need to distribute and share your articles with a lot of people. Blogs have been known for sharing their articles on social media platforms to drive traffic to their sites, and sometimes it gets messy.

Mr Chikwanda also noted the need for a very good and catchy headline, but not like a clickbait as it just turns people away.

There are services like Duta on WhatsApp, offering news for free. The platform offers a lot of services and on news, they send a headline with a link if you want to read more of the story. There are people that also want to receive their news on WhatsApp and Facebook, not just links to the site, but the whole article, but there is a catch to it as noted by Rita Kakono.

“It would be good receiving news on WhatsApp but sometimes it is hard trusting news on WhatsApp if they come from a random person as they can be easily edited to one’s liking and be passed on with misleading content.” Kakono said.

But despite the ease of distributing news on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, its not just about distributing news, its also a business, it has to make money, hence the need to drive people to the site so as to push advertising. But a lot of stories can be compromised via WhatsApp as one can edit the story and pass it along with incorrect information while it hurts the image of your blog or website.

The success of any blog lies with the people who read and visit the site, thus, their continued satisfaction is key. It is imperative to keep on asking them what they want so as not to keep chugging stories they are not interested in. We have asked the first questions on your behalf, that should go a long way.

While still on it, please tell us what you think about Technomag. Your opinion means a lot to us, we are an online magazine after all.


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