Do you remember when you learned that everybody does it? Your parents, your friends, your teacher and neighbor all do it. Point at someone. Yep! He does it. Someone else? They do it too. Everybody does it.
The truism is that “Writers write”. In the new millennium, it would be just as true to say, “Writers blog”. In fact, just about everybody blogs. As I was preparing to start this blog, I began to read many other blogs. There are blogs for writers (of course), teachers, photographers, musicians, stay-at-home Moms, knitters, surfers, and children’s clowns. There is a blog for every conceivable profession,hobby, or interest. Many businesses have even become knowledge about the power of a blog to draw customers. I discovered just how true it is to say, “Everybody blogs”.
Now you want to start a blog.
Let’s take it step by step.
Establish a topic. What do you want to talk about? We established that there are blogs for everything. Do you have a purpose for the blog. What do you want it to do? What action do you want readers to take? Visit/read regularly? Visit your Web site? Comment? Link to your content? And how do these actions fit into the bigger picture? Or do you just want to share interesting stories and humorous anecdotes about your life? Maybe you just want a place to showcase your poetry and art.
When I started this blog, I had an idea of the two things I most wanted to talk about: Writing and My Novel Writing Progress. Hopefully, it is that easy for you and you know exactly what you want to share.
If not, it might be time for a little brainstorming.
Identifying and defining your blog will lead into your next step.
Plan your content. Defining the subject of your blog should make it easier to determine topics to cover, as well as tone and content of your posts. Make a list of things you want to share about your subject. Hopefully, you have a long list of things that you want to say to your readers about your topic. It is a good idea to do a bit of brainstorming and planning at this time. Try to come up with at least 7 solid subjects. You will want to know that you have plenty to share on your topic. The more possible topics that you can come up with the better but if the topic of your blog is something that you are passionate about then a short list may suffice for beginning but return to brainstorming each time you run low on topics. What makes for good topics?
- Did you learn something new about your topic that others might not know?
- Do you have a tip to share?
- Is there a new trend or some news about the subject of your blog?
- How did you discover your interest in the subject?
- Did someone say something interesting on the topic that you want to share?
- Have you finished a project and want to share it?
- Did something funny happen to you that somehow relates to your topic?
Start writing. Set a schedule for yourself and start writing. Set aside an hour of your day at least for your writing. If you are too busy to take an hour for writing, then question your intention to write. Publish consistently and regularly. For your blog to be successful, you must focus on both quantity and quality. Quality means that you post informative content in a consistent, recognizable voice. Quantity, of course, means regular updates. Is it a choice between Quality or Quantity?
The single most important thing about blogging, I’d suggest, is to post regularly. If you haven’t yet found your “voice” or need to adjust to the medium of blogging, practice makes perfect. Regular, consistent posting pulls in a readership. You won’t have readers if there is nothing to read. Engage your readers in conversation. Choose a few comments on every entry and reply back. In the beginning, this might be easy as there won’t be many. There won’t be any if you are not posting regularly and consistently. Readers do not comment at empty or abandoned blogs. Extend the conversation beyond your blog through links and trackbacks.
Be patient. It takes time to establish your “voice” and it can take a year to build a steady readership. Quality is important. Quality takes patience and diligence. It will take time to develop your blog.
Nobody is The Bloggess over night.
I’m sure not even The Bloggess was sure from here first post exactly what she was doing. That is one big secret about blogging and about writing, nobody knows exactly what they are doing. It is better to be doing it and developing than to just wish that you could do it.
Promote yourself. Now you are writing. Get at least a week of content up before you begin really letting people know about it. Then promote it like crazy. Include your blog URL on your email signature, web site, Facebook profile, LinkedIN profile, Twitter bio, business cards, and anywhere else that you promote yourself.
Click the button to learn more about Blogarama (while I receive no money for this link, I do receive some preferential treatment if you follow back to their service and you should).
Read and Comment on other’s blogs. Read. Read. Read. Writers read. Allot some time during the day to reading and commenting on other’s blogs. I take part of my morning before I sit down to write and read all of my neighbor’s blogs. It not only helps you keep in touch with trends and popular topics but also can help you build conversations. Join in the conversation. Show people you have something to say and they may just want to know more about you. Blog readers may follow your link back to your blog.
Measure your growth. Use analytics to show you how your readership is growing. Notice what searches lead them to you. Watch what topics draw the most readers and comments. This can show you what topics that people are most interested in reading your take on.
These are the basics. There are many tips and tricks that you can learn along the way. You will. Remember…
- How to Plan Your Blog Posts for a Year in Advance (contentmarketinginstitute.com)
- Are You an Insecure Writer? (blogher.com)
- Two Easy Brainstorming Techniques (verynovel.wordpress.com)
- Register Your Blog with Technorati (verynovel.wordpress.com)