Beginning a blog is a lot like writing a book. It can be overwhelming and you may not know where to start. I have put together a list of simple tips that will help you to begin.
- Mistakes will be made. Mediocre to bad blog posts are inevitable. The most important thing is that you should start - and stay. The longer you put it off the more difficult it will be.
- Don’t listen to negative people. Ignore those who tell you the Internet is a waste of time and that blogging is dead. They may be scared of change and afraid that you will move into a space that does not include them. Blogging is the way to reach your audience. People look online when they want something. You should be there.
- Bloggers blog. Don’t aspire to become a blogger. People who have successful blogs blog often. They create a blogging diary and they make it a habit. [Read 8 Invaluable Blogging Tips for Writers]
- Be yourself. The success of many bloggers boils down to them writing in their own voice. A good blogging style means that you're not pretending. Don’t try to be funny if you’re not. Don’t pretend to be clever if you know you don’t have the knowledge. Honesty in a blogger will create a loyal audience.
- Be passionate. Few people are able to blog about everything. Fewer people will follow somebody who does. Good bloggers will blog about their passions and obsessions. People who share those interests will have a point of reference – a familiarity or a reason – to connect with you. It does not matter if you are mad about books or television or technology or cupcakes. Just make sure you love your subject, because you will be spending a lot of time talking about it. You may also find one or two things that flow naturally from that obsession. If you do, you can add it to your blog in much the same way that writers have a plot and one of two sub-plots when they write a novel. [If you want to blog about writing, you will enjoy 30 Inspiring Blog Post Ideas For Writers.]
- Blogging is its own reward. Don’t be put off if it takes a while to create a following. This gives you time to practise. It is also therapeutic and it is an outlet for your passion and creativity.
- Be inspired. Read. Listen to the radio. Eavesdrop. Watch good television. Eat something you’ve never eaten before. Watch the news. Talk to a stranger. Smile. You will find ideas for blogs everywhere. A trend may give you an interesting angle for your blog.
- You will want to give up. But don’t. Like any habit, bloggers need to find a routine and commit to at least 12 months of regular posts. Decide on how many times a week you will blog and stick to it. If you miss a week it may become two or three and that is how a blog dies.
- Create your space. Find a platform you’re comfortable with. You may want to start with a free template on Wordpress or Tumblr. Spend some time on these platforms and learn how to use them. You can create drafts and publish them when you’re happy with them. [Read Social Media 101 - What is a blog?]
If you love what you’re doing after this year, and the blog is getting the reaction you want, you may want to think about investing in a tailor-made website. If you are going to use it as a primary source of income, you will have to be professional about it. And all of us would love to make a living out of our passions.
If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course.
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