Blogging is a fun way to express yourself. Whatever your interest(s), there is room for you. However, before you begin there are essential things you must have to make your blogging experience all it can be. Here are a list of 10;
1. Decide WHY you are going to Blog. Even though you may not see this as important, it is. If you want to blog to have fun, cool. I you want to blog, to make money, okay. Some want to blog, because someone else is doing it. That won’t keep you blogging when times get tough (and they will). Whatever your reason, always remember it, because you will need to revisit this when time gets hard.
2. You will NOT make money overnight, by blogging. It takes time, effort, education and focus. Any legitimate route to make money is never easy.
3. Decide when you will quit blogging. Maybe you will quit in a year, or six months, or when life gets in the way, etc. Decide when its time to quit, and you will feel better when that time comes.
4. Take the pressure of blogging off your shoulders. Once people begin to blog, they will start to feel the duty to blog. Remember, you are the blogger. You blog for free, and until you charge people to read your blog (which people rarely do), you can stop or pause at any time. Don’t feel bad when you take a break, blogcation (blog+vacation), whatever you want to call it. Blogging is an art form, and when you force it, it isn’t art anymore. Take the pressure and duty off yourself.
5. You must have thick skin. Blogging can be very much like jumping from a small pond into a very big pond (with sharks in it). You must have (or rent) self confidence and learn not to take things personally. It is tough, but you must learn to learn the difference between criticism and snarky comments. Leave the snarky comments (“You’re blog sucks”), and take another look at the criticism (“I like you’re blog, but your posts are too long and you need to double-check your spelling.”). Within the criticism there will be take away action items. Blogging is a trial by criticism fire, but the end result will be a better blogger.
6. Be You. Sure, you probably have other bloggers that you like, and that’s why you got into it, but don’t be a clone of them – be you. You’re uniqueness will set you apart from the tens of thousands of other bloggers out there.
7. Not everyone will read you’re blog – at first. “If you blog, they will come,” is not a blogging truth. A blog audience is just like growing a strong tree – it take time. Don’t attach success with the numbers of visitors, readers, followers or subscribers. Blogging is a journey of honing your blog “voice,” and not about money and readers (at first). Blogging is alot like building a relationship. It is give and take; You give your posts, some readers will give their feedback, you will take the good, valid criticism and give more fine-tuned posts. It is the circle of a solid blog growth process (and even the big blog “rock stars” have don it, too).
8. Have a clear vision of what your blog is. Some people say, “I’ll just blog about me,” well that’s okay, but it will take much longer for people to find it. I recommend breaking your blog into themes and subjects that interest you and you will blog about (movies, shopping on a budget, family fun, etc). Once you do that, you can take advantage of keywords to place it specifically in places that people will find it. The big plus of clearing defining what your blog is (and all of the subjects you will focus on), is that it will be easier to find your future audience. That right there was worth you reading this article. :)
9. Write ahead. A blog takes alot of preparation. People like consistency, and if you begin without enough material to post for a few weeks or months, you will be sitting and stressing about what to post. Use Google Docs or such to create blog posts for the future. The more ahead you can write, the more in control you will feel. I know this isn’t always possible, but it has always worked for me.
10. Don’t Whine. Many people use their blog, Twitter and/or Facebook to whine about life, but especially their blog. If people want to read your blog, they don’t want to be whined into it. Whatever you do, you do it because you chose and/or want to. Whining isn’t good form for a public medium like your blog or Social Network sites. Most people (including you) go to Social Media for escape, not to hear you (or anyone else) whine that no one reads their blog. Sure, you can make a jokey, back-handed comment, “I wanted to stay up late last night and think of a very cool blog post, but no one would read it anyway…,” but people will see through it as a whine in a pretty bow.
If you get in a whiny mood, let it out in ways other than Social Media (Call a friend, write it out, etc). If it doesn’t subside, take a blog break. Post something like on your blog, “I need to find a new spark for my blog. Taking a break. See you soon.” If you’ve run out of ideas, stop and close down your blog. Sometimes people need to stop what they are doing to really find what they really want to do. If you are having trouble making money, writing new blog posts, etc, take a blog break and immerse yourself into other blogs. What are they doing? Email them and ask what books or other sites they read to give them education and help to keep going.
Also, it might be good for you to become a reader and fan of another blog to learn what you need to do for your blog.
I know it’s a lot of work, but I mentioned that at the beginning. Hang in there, and have fun.
Best of luck to you.