Lately, I’ve had several people ask me if I thought they should start a blog—it must be because it looks like so much fun, and for me it is, but blogging isn’t for everyone. So before we get started, I’d like to share a little about me…
I have been writing all my life, as a kid I dreamed about becoming a writer. For fun, I’ve written poetry, short stories and dabbled in the visual arts. Mostly, though, I’ve written for business; speeches, magazine articles, advertising copy, reports and studies. From the time I learned to write, I have journaled daily, filling piles of notebooks and diaries with my thoughts, feelings, doodles and ideas. I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t writing or telling some sort of story.
Sharing A Journey isn’t the first blog I’ve had. In 2004, I started a blog, got everything all set up, but never posted anything. In 2007, I revisited the idea of blogging, and began to post about what I was experiencing spiritually and emotionally, which gathered a huge following of crickets. I did have one loyal reader, a woman from Asia, who somehow found my blog and wrote long comments in broken English when ever I posted—which was when I felt like it—not a schedule conducive to attracting readers and keeping them interested.
Enough about me—what about you—should you start a blog?
From my ramblings above, you should have gathered that you need to love to express yourself, be able to write reasonably well, be able to get a blog set up, and to follow through by posting regularly on topics your audience is likely to be interested in reading or seeing—in case you are a visual artist of some sort.
All good blogs have a theme or concept, a point of view, and a topic or group of topics that draws readers visit regularly to enjoy.
Developing a Great Blog Concept:
Early on, I was advised to think of a concept for my blog and write a list of forty or more potential posts for it. If you struggle to come up with a minimum of 25, the concept should be tweaked, or set aside. Try again…and again until you come up with a topic/concept that you have oodles of ideas for things to write about.
Getting Others to Read Your Blog:
…and then there is the SEO thing…once you have a concept, the next test is whether people might be interested, so you use search engines to test the key words to see how many people are looking for information on your topic and what words they use when they look for it. Is the topic too saturated? If so, can you add a unique spin to it? Or is your topic so specific or personal that only you and a woman from half way around the world who can barely read English are interested? You want people to read your stuff, right?
People are interested in reading things that add value to their lives and leave them with a solution and/or a smile, so you may want to create an avatar—a profile of your ideal readers and what they care about within your topic area. Avatars help you focus on your readers, unless you don’t really care if you have any—in which case, a pretty journal and a cool pen might be a better choice than a blog.
Here’s Another Question:
Do you have time to post regularly? Are you disciplined enough? My first blogs petered out because I had neither the time nor self discipline to write, edit and post every week, and within a few weeks, I was no longer blogging.
Power Tip: Journaling and writing blog posts are different.
Blogs are read by others, journals usually (and hopefully) are not. When writing for others, clarity, brevity and editing are key. No one wants to read long, unedited, disorganized ramblings, no matter how wise and insightful they may seem to you.
And then, there’s the tech thing…
Are you tech savvy enough to learn to run the back end of your blog? I had a small amount of tech experience before I started, so I get by. I’ve hired help from time to time, and google “how to…” fairly often. Getting help to start things up can be useful, but you need to be tech savvy enough to operate your blog and social media going forward—at least until you grow big enough to afford writers and virtual assistants—but you should always know how to operate the mechanics of your blog.
If you are feeling tired and need to lay down about now, perhaps blogging isn’t your thing—but if you feel energized and ready for more, then by all means, start blogging—I look forward to reading your first post!
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