a few weeks ago I guest posted at Matt’s blog with 7 Tips for Beginning Bloggers. I’ve since gone through and rewritten the post to be more concise. And I added three more tips.
1. No Blog Writes Itself – Behind every blog post you read is a person just like you doing all the work. They have other stuff to do, but they make time to blog. It won’t be different for you. You will never wake up to find out that your blog has written itself while you slept. The Keebler elves make E.L. Fudge cookies, not blog posts. Expect to work hard.
2. Embrace Your Tiny Readership – Don’t go negative because your blog only has a few readers. See it as a positive and go overboard to make the experience amazing for those few people. You won’t be able to do that when your blog has grown up, so enjoy it while you can.
3. Blog Posts Are Not Like Kids – You might love all your kids the same, but you won’t be able to say the same thing about your blog posts. Some posts will be home runs that take hours of writing. Others will be opposite field singles you bang out in 10 minutes as you’re headed out the door. It’s okay.
4. Consistency is #1 – The most important thing you can do as a beginning blogger is be consistent. It develops good writing habits and trust with your readers from the start. The FIRST thing I look for when I visit a blog is the dates of the last few posts. If they seem too spaced out and erratic I’m already gone. If you want consistent readers you need to be a consistent blogger.
5. Don’t Fear the Crickets – Don’t be afraid to post something because you think no one will respond. I promise you, no one is going to come to your blog, see that no one responded to your question, and laugh at you. Even the best bloggers get disappointed from low response numbers. Get used to it so you can learn to brush it off and keep writing.
6. Transparency is an invitation – The more I know about you, the more inclined I am to become a reader. Give me a picture of yourself on the homepage. Give me important AND trivial details about you on your about page. Sneak personal details into posts so it feels like we’re getting to know each other. This is how real life friendships develop, that’s why it works for blogs too.
7. Your Most Important Reader is You – If you’re writing about stuff that bores you, then guess who else is going to be bored? Everyone. The only chance you have to write an interesting blog is to write about something that interests you.
8. You are Whispering at a Rock Concert – Don’t expect to be heard right away, no matter how many important people you know or how many links you get. Yes, it is tough to be heard with all the noise, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have something to say. Your voice is unique, so stay true to it and trust that everyday more and more people will find it and stick around if it resonates with them.
9. Comment Often BUT comment well – One of the best ways to find new readers is to leave comments on blogs similar to yours. I recommend doing this 5 times a day. BUT…take time to make your comments positive, useful, and excellent. Don’t scream at me to come check out your blog. I know I can click on the link and get there. Let me feel like it was my idea and not something you forced me into.
10. It’s Your Gig – The best thing about being a blogger is that you decide how often to post, what to post about, and every other detail that goes into making a blog unique. Have fun with it, invest yourself in it, and if it’s not working out for you don’t be afraid to shut it down. A blog shouldn’t be a burden you carry around all the time. If 90% of your thoughts about your blog are “man, i really need to post something”, then take a break from it and see if you want to start back up or not.
Blogging isn’t for everyone, but for some it will be an amazing experience. You might discover that you don’t love writing as much as you thought you did. Or who knows, you might discover a voice you never knew you had and an audience excited to hear what you have to say.
There’s only one way to find out, so get your butt in a seat and start creating.
If you enjoyed this post, there’s more where it came from. Stay tuned for announcements coming later this month.