I was recently asked about blogging and I decided to blog about it.
My first observation is that if you are even asking about the topic of blogging, you should be blogging.
I can say with certainty, that you will learn a lot as a result of blogging, and this learning is something I wish for you.
I am not going to suggest it’s easy. In fact, it’s a big leap of faith. It is also powerful and rewarding.
So, how to start?
First read these
- Penelope Trunk gives a wealth of useful information, the only thing I would add, would be to consider WordPress, in addition to TypePad and Blogger, to host your blog. Her suggestions don’t stress about typos and focus on writing are key.
- Laurie gives excellent practical advice including topics that I think are important like voice [yours] and post size [short].
- Here is a great post about where to get ideas.
Once you are convinced you are ready to take the plunge, I recommend you focus on the following:
- Get your online profile in order. Update your LinkedIn summary to make you seem human. Write a decent About page that gives people a sense of you and your blog. Use a consistent photo online that looks like you. People like to read blogs from real people. Making sure that you attract readers that connect with you is more important than getting a lot of readers who are just random. Giving them a sense of who you are and why you are blogging helps make this connection.
- You have to give to get. Start reading other Bloggers work and commenting. Comments are very important. They help make a blog a conversation. Don’t just say “great blog”, add feedback that enriches their conversation. This is not just important in the general karmic sense, it helps you become a better blogger yourself.
- Write first, advertise second. Make sure you have at least 4-6 blog posts written before you start looking to get readers. You want to make sure that when people do find you that they come back.
- Don’t be needy about readers, just focus on what you are trying to say. Getting readers takes time. Lots of time. You will find yourself amazed that readers will find your content long after you have forgotten you wrote it.
- Set a realistic goal for on blog frequency and stick to it. I recommend you push yourself to blog at least once a week for the first few months. After that you can tune your frequency to your readership.
- Get support – consider a group blog to help enrich the conversation and take the pressure off. Get people on your team to read your posts, recommend you to their friends and to help encourage you on to success.
- Give yourself a break – Interestingly, after two years of blogging the most consistent feedback I hear from my blogger friends, is that they have a hard time posting due to concern about how others will view the work. My advice for this is to not take yourself so seriously. The reality is that not many people will be reading initially, so it really doesn’t matter. The purpose of blogging is to start a conversation, not set yourself up on a pedestal. If you are worried about what others think you are missing the point entirely [and you are forgetting my advice about being needy].
A few more tips from Mark
- Authenticity and passion are key and you can’t really have one without the other. In other words, blog about what truly gets you excited and energized; don’t try to blog on something just because you think you “should” or that it’s “smart.”
- Be abundantly welcoming to readers’ input. If you can make readers feel comfortable about asking questions or adding their contribution, they will build a long term relationship with your blog and likely refer others.
Let us know you’ve started. We love to learn of new blogs and Bloggers and are anxious to be on your team.
3 thoughts on “Some thoughts on blogging”
Thanks Meg for including Well Planned Web’s information on finding blog topics in your links! Great post and round up of must do’s for beginners!
I started my blog around October/November. So I am letting you know 🙂 feel free to give any feedback you like! I welcome it all
Thanks for the info Ben, glad to hear you are blogging. I’m adding you to my reader as I type.