Jun 23, 2015

3 Tips to Increase your Chances of Getting into the Finals of Singapore Blog Awards


Honestly speaking, I have not heard of the Singapore Blog Awards until April 2014, when I came across Grace Tan (workingwithgrace.wordpress.com) blogging course, looking for ideas to improve on my running blog (sgunfitrunners.blogspot.com). I noticed that she had a couple of Singapore Blog Awards banner on the site of the blog and that is how I came to know about the Blog Awards. I registered my blog on a whim and was incredulous that my blog actually got into the finals of the Topical Category of the Blog Awards. My blog even got a honorable mention by the guest of honor, Senior Minister of State, Dr Amy Khor.





I did not expect to win and neither did I win. However, due to my competitive nature, I studied other finalists and learn some of the best practices from them. My blog made great strides in terms of layout, design, functionality and content thanks to the competitive pressure from the Blog Awards. Around the same time I registered for the 2014 Blog Wards, I started another new blog Xeolyenomics (www.xeolye.com) to talk about my journey as an entrepreneur and as financial game designer. Incorporating many of the ideas which I have learn from my experience with the Singapore blog Awards, I was able to jump-start the traffic on my new blog, with its traffic matching that of my more popular SG Unfit Runners blog within a few months time. SG Unfit Runners took close to 2 years for the traffic to get to where it is today.

This year, I am fortunate that both of my blogs got into the Singapore Blog Awards. SG Unfit Runners is nominated for the Health and Wellness category while Xeolyenomics is nominated for the Best New Blog category. I am pretty fortunate that the Blog Awards started a new health and wellness category, which makes my running blog a perfect fit for the category. I wonder if the post I wrote last year (5 New Suggested Award Categories for Singapore Blog Awards 2015) gave the organizers some inspirations on what are some of the potential new categories.

So with two blogs under my management getting into the finals of the blog awards, perhaps I have a bit of credibility to share a 3 tips on what I think the judges are looking for. Here are the 3 tips which will probably increase your chance of getting into the finals of the Singapore Blog Awards.

Tip 1: Blog post with strong independent opinion

Blogs are typically divided into two groups. General topic blogs (www.smithankyou.com) that cover every thing under the sun which the blogger wishes to blog about, or niche topic blogs (www.cheerfulegg.com) that covers only a specific area. Whatever area that you are blogging on, there will be controversial topics which you may have an opinion on. These are articles which can influence or provoke a conversation with your readers. In the case of product review posts, top bloggers often have a strong opinion on what are the good points and what are the bad points for a product. Many a times, readers understand that there is no such thing as a flawless product and are often looking for the bad points in order for them to help them make a buying decision. On the other hand, if your opinion comes across as too strong (elitist, arrogant, vulgar language, racist etc), you may lose the respect of some of your readers. The key is to have a reasonable debate on the issue at hand, which sets people thinking.

Tip 2: Blog post with easy to read advice on how to improve people's lives

This tip is more of a challenge for topical bloggers who are subject matter experts, especially on very technical topics (finance, gaming, cooking etc). Very often, writing a blog is a way for the bloggers to showcase their expertise, but more often than not, these bloggers delve so deep into the technical details such that it alienates the mass population which is just looking for a easy to read guide on some of the problems that they have. If the mass population gets turned off by the technical jargon, you can also imagine the reaction of the judges. Therefore, your explanation on how to time travel using quantum physics might impress the fans of Big Bang Theory, but it will not help you impress the judges of the blog awards. One of the blogger is able to tackle the difficult topic of finance and present it to a easy to read manner is sgbudgetbabe.blogspot.sg

Tip 3: Less selfies, Less product placement, Less copy & paste press releases

Selfies! Glowing product reviews! Press Releases! Some of the bloggers are posting soulless product reviews which devoid of any independent opinion of what the author thinks. Consumers will often be looking across multiple blog post review on the product which bloggers review and it is not uncommon to find identical product benefit descriptions across multiple blogs. It will be obvious to the consumers that the bloggers are just parroting what the corporate sponsors are saying without any opinion of their own. As an entrepreneur, I have invited bloggers to try out my products and some of the posts which I hate most are those posts that simply copy and post from my press release. The blog posts which I love the most are those with a good balance of positives and negatives and explanation of the product features and benefits. The product review by blogger Tracy Wong on her blog Dainty Diva. Enter My World  is one of those blogs which I gave big praise to.

And those posts with made up of 90% selfies and wefies with just a short paragraph introducing the product.  Not only you will not impress your corporate sponsors, you will also probably not impress the judges.

Vote for my Blogs!

So if you think my tips make sense or can help you in one way or another, do support us by voting for our friends and their blogs for the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 . You can vote up to 10 blogs in a single vote and voting can be once per day.

Click here to Vote!



  





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