Simple Steps For Getting Started As A Blogger
Starting a blog is not difficult. What I mean is that the technical side of starting a blog is fairly straightforward. There are a number of blogging platforms available today that make the technical side of blogging about as simple as it can be.
It can be more of a challenge deciding on what you will blog about and dealing with the practicalities of writing. As part of your research, it’s a great idea to read a few successful blogs and see what they have that makes them successful. There’s a lot of blogs out there. One of the mistakes that new bloggers make is to attempt their own blog without seeing what it’s all about. By visiting other blogs this will give you some ideas about what to do with yours.
Here are a few words of advice to help you on your way.
What Will You Blog about?
This is sometimes easily decided. You may have a particular interest that you want to write about and engage with the online community about. Even in such a case, though, you will wish to avoid the two extremes that Darren Rowse says can lead to blogs not enduring:
The first is choosing a topic that is so broad that it becomes overwhelming and the second is choosing one that is so narrow that after just a few posts the blogger runs out of things to say.
You have to strike a balance between writing about what you know and love and writing about what your audience wants to read. In this, blogging is no different from any other type of publishing. A glossy magazine that has articles about the lives of the rich and famous is assured of a wide circulation; a trade magazine with articles about the history of the rivet is assured of a minority readership.
You’ll find it very difficult to write about anything that you know little about and/or you have little or no interest in. Even if it is a very popular subject, if it’s not your thing your blog is going to struggle to be successful.
Know Who You Are Writing for
If you are writing about something in which you have an interest or some expertise this will be something that you probably won’t have to too think too much about. Your interests and your audience’s interests are likely to coincide. However, as Susan Gunelius explains, there are certain obvious points that you need to consider:
Your blog’s design and content should reflect the expectations of your audience. For example, if your intended audience is teenagers, the design and content would be quite different than a blog targeted to corporate professionals. Your audience will have inherent expectations for your blog.
Start a Conversation
Once you’ve got going with your blog, it’s good to start thinking about ways that you can interact with your readers. As Leo Babauta says, a blog is a conversation,
It starts with your post… but it continues with comments from readers, and with comment and criticism from other bloggers. Get that conversation stirred up a bit by posting questions and polls and contests for your readers – this gets them deeply involved in the conversation that is your blog…
For example, you could pose a couple of questions for your readers and ask for their answers. Choose open questions to which those who respond are likely to give narrative answers. For example, if you have a blog devoted to the sport of underwater basket weaving, rather than asking: “Is Wilhelmina Weft the greatest ever underwater basket weaver?” Consider asking “Just what is it that makes Wilhelmina Weft such a great underwater basket weaver?”
Starting a blog is not difficult. Keeping it going is much more challenging. Follow the tips above to get you started and you’ll have a good base from which to become a successful blogger.