—Written by Patch Staff
Q: Why should I blog?
A: Every day, many thousands of your neighbors turn to Patch for local news, information and conversation. Blogging allows you to connect with your community while reaching a geo-targeted, robust audience. From cooking enthusiasts and moms, to local politicians, real estate agents, sports nuts and everyone in between, our Local Voices platform allows members of the community to interact and post directly to the site. Share your story, share your voice!Q: Why does Patch offer such an amazing resource for no cost to users?
A: We see our Local Voices platform as a benefit to our readers and a way to enrich and strengthen the communities where we work. Patch serves towns across the country by connecting neighbors and sharing information. It’s as simple as that.Q: Why is it important to complete my profile?
A: Your profile introduces you—or your organization or business—to the community. Readers connect most with bloggers who share a bit of background (and don’t forget a profile photo or logo)!Q: Do I need previous writing experience?
A: We know not everyone is a professional writer! And there’s no expectation that you should be. As a member of the community, your voice is an important part of what makes Patch work. So don’t be shy—just share what you know, what you’re passionate about and what’s important to you.Q: How often should I post a new blog?
A: Totally up to you. That said, every two weeks is good, every week is
better. We find that bloggers with the largest followings tend to post regularly, without too much time elapsing between posts.
A: The best answer for this is probably, “whatever length it takes you.” But think about how you use the web: You want your information quick, concise and clear. So, don’t feel you need to write a book about a given topic. Long, short, or totally casual, it’s all good. You can even do a photo blog! If you have do subject matter that will take some length to explain, consider breaking it into two or even three parts. (And don’t forget how much you love bullet points when you’re reading; they add to clarity and tell the scanning eye exactly where to go for the most salient information.)Q: What can you tell me about photos?
A: One, be sure you have uploaded a photo of yourself (or your logo) with your profile. This will appear on our site next to the headline of your post. Every readership study tells us that stories—and blogs—with photos get more pageviews than those without. Second, include as many photos with your individual posts as you’d like. People love them!Q: Does my writing have to be original to appear on Patch?
A: It needs to be original to you—that is, you wrote it. Maybe you already have your own blog and just want to expand your audience by also posting on Patch? Or perhaps your organization shared some great photos and information in a recent newsletter and you’d like more members of the community to take a look? Bottom line: if it has appeared on another platform but you own the rights, we’re happy to have your material on our sites.Q: Can I use my blog to sell products?
A: No. But you’re better off using the blogging platform to sell yourself, anyway. What we mean by that: If you’re a local business, the blogging platform is not the place to list your Saturday sidewalk sales. But the blogging platform is a place to sell yourself—and position yourself—as an expert in your field. As long as the information you’re sharing is relevant and valuable to readers, it’s probably OK with us. Maybe you’re a Realtor, a local business owner or a health and wellness specialist? People will become familiar with your name and they’ll find your expert advice when conducting Google searches.Q: What about including a link to my website? Can I do it?
A: Absolutely. At Patch, our goal is to inform, connect and simplify. Adding your bio and a website link to the end of your blog informs readers about who you are and it gives them a simple way to connect with you. We're all for that!Q: How are my posts promoted?
A: Blogs appear on the homepage, in the daily newsletter to thousands of subscribers and are shared by editors via Facebook and Twitter. For posts that strike a particular chord with readers, there are also opportunities for exposure on the AOL homepage and with partners like Huffington Post. And, of course, we encourage bloggers to let their friends, family and coworkers know they’re blogging on Patch!Q: Can you tell me how many people read my blog?
A: While we don't publicly circulate page views, each blog post is shared with thousands of readers via social channels like Facebook and also through our daily newsletter each morning. Your local editor can provide specific figures on newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans. Email them (or firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.Q: What if I have more questions?
A: We’re here to help you get started and always around to answer any questions you may have. Just reach out! email@example.com.Thank you!
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