On Getting in to Blogging

Yesterday on twitter I asked for suggestions on what topics I could write about. Almost immediately I had the suggestion to write some tips for blogging because I guess I write a blog and maybe have tips? There is also a thing going on this month that I participated in last year when I started writing more than just once in a six month period. I guess a segway would go here. I’m not a good writer.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative is an annual event that tries to get more people blogging about the things they like doing. It is also there to provide support for new bloggers and there are several seasoned bloggers available to help out with advice. I took advantage of this last year, and while I haven’t really lived up to my personal goals on blogging it was very helpful having a place to go to for advice. I probably wouldn’t be writing this now if I hadn’t participated in it last year.

So tips? I guess this is advice I was given and stuff I’ve picked up.

Tip 1: Determine what it is you want to talk about.
This is fairly important when starting out. You have to know what you want to write about to actually sit and write about it. It can really be about anything you want, as long as it is something you enjoy doing and want to tell other people about it. You could write a blog about building legos if that is what you absolutely love doing. It’s not about writing about things just to write. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you’re going to burn out on it.

Tip 2: Set a reasonable schedule and try to stick to it.
This is probably the single biggest mistake I made, and I know other people make. When I first started blogging I said, “I’m going to do this everyday”. In the end that turned out to be a big mistake. After the first month of forcing myself to write daily it started becoming a chore. Something that I HAD to do every morning just to get it over with. It was not enjoyable and I quickly relapsed in to not writing for long periods. So my advice? Set a schedule, if that is one post per week, or a couple times a week that’s fine. Just write when you feel comfortable doing it. Some people write multiple posts in one sitting and then schedule them out for the week. Whatever works.

Tip 3: Write for yourself.
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. Don’t write for other people, write for yourself. This ties in to tip #1 because if you don’t enjoy your content then other people will pick up on that and not like it either. As an example, I’m not a huge sports fan. I don’t try to get up every day and write about the latest sporting news because I just don’t care about it. If other people said “hey maybe you could write about sports”, I would politely say “no” because that is not something I would want to talk about. I write about what I want to write about, and if people read it then they will. You’re not writing to please other people.

Tip 4: Don’t worry about statistics
This is the one thing I struggle with every time I write a new post. I come back to look at how many visitors I’m getting and I barely see a dent in the numbers. This bothers me more than I’d like to admit, and that’s the thing. You can’t let it deter you. You’re not going to be an overnight media sensation. If you can pull that off let me know so I can copy you. You might not see super high numbers daily, and this might bum you out. Try not to let it bother your and just keep writing.

Tip 5: Make other people aware of your blog.
My first blog, and from what I’ve read other people’s first blogs, tend to be more of a diary. You don’t publish it anywhere so people see it. It just sits there waiting for someone to stumble on to it. The thing is that if you really want people to read what you’re writing than you’re going to have to tell people that you’re writing. Social media is excellent for this, so are things like the newbie blogger initiative (*cough*). What matters is that you get the word out. Personally every time I publish a post it immediately gets sent out to twitter. On occasion I remember to post it in other places as well. It’s also important to try to set up your blog as an RSS feed so that people can easily subscribe to it.

Tip 6: Don’t stress about it.
This is more of a reiteration of previous statements. Don’t stress about your numbers, or your content, or what other people say about what you’re writing about. You’re doing this for yourself and if someone doesn’t like it they’re welcome to go away. There isn’t enough time in the day to worry about what other people thing of what you’re doing. If you worry to much about it you will never do it out of fear of failure.

I would highly recommend going out to the NBI website and signing up if you’re interested in blogging. There are a lot of good articles there and you will find friendly people who will be willing to help you get started. There are also a lot of good articles and posts with advice that will be useful to you.

If you’re thinking about blogging than I hope this helped out.

If you’re reading thing and not considering blogging that is okay too. If you know someone who blogs help them out. Be supportive and help get them readers. Don’t give them a hard time about doing something they like doing.

Source: Floor Tank
On Getting in to Blogging

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