My first encounter with blog happened when I was a teenager. Back then everyone had a blog. It was sort of online diary that your friends would read. Just for fun. I even had a blog of my own with typical growing up girly stuff. But since then the whole idea of blogging had evolved and now many people use it for business purposes. If you are thinking about starting your own blog, here is a handful of tips to get you off to a good start.
1. ‘My blog is about…’
First, your blog needs to be subject-specific. You need to ask yourself few questions. You might start with ‘Why I want to start a blog?’, ‘What are my goals?’, ‘What I’m going to write about?’. It is best to be specific about a theme for your blog, as it will be hard for you to promote yourself online if you are writing about everything. Remember, there is already a lot of bloggers out there, and the recent study showed that people don’t really read online. It will take some serious effort to get them to read you.
2. ‘Most of my readers are…’
Knowing your audience is half of the success. Are you a mother writing about your experiences raising up 3 children? In that case, your blog would be mostly visited by other mothers, possibly with more than one child. Always keep your readers in mind when writing up the content. That will make them feel appreciated, and if they’ll find what they’re looking for they are more likely to come back. You may also occasionally write a post with questions from your readers and your answers. That will establish a relationship between you and your audience.
3. ‘I am different because…’
As in business, it is always helpful to have that special something about your blog that somehow sets you apart from everyone else. It can be a humorous approach, writing style, special kind of pictures. Whatever comes to your mind, that will make people remember you – do it. Remember, for you, it might be a lot of work to write posts, but people mostly look for specific information and don’t really care for all the rest. So you need to have something special going on to make them stop and take a closer look.
4. ‘I post every (day, week, month)’
If you would like to add a year at the end of this list it would be probably better not to engage any further with an idea of blogging at all. Depending on your main focus, you want to blog at least once a week, but if you are really serious about blogging do it at least 3 times a week. Also, keep in mind that fixed times bring the best results. If you post too randomly people will get frustrated or forget about you all together. On that note, you should also remember to plan ahead of time, so you know what you are doing and when you need to do it. Planning will help you to keep your readers in the loop and inform about holiday or breaks that you are going to take.
5. ‘Follow me on…”
The blog alone is not going to work for itself if you don’t promote it through at least one other channel on social media. Most of the bloggers use Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for that purpose and it will depend heavily on the audience you are trying to target. You can choose one of those, you can do all of them just remember that everything will require some amount of work and a fair level of consistency. If you feel lost and don’t know how to achieve results you are looking for, you can always get a professional social media strategy design for your blog (wink).
6. Learn from the best
It is never worthwhile to reinvent the wheel. If you are thinking about starting your own blog, chances are that you are a regular reader of certain blogs. Look closely at how authors of those blogs promote themselves, how they engage with you and ask yourself: ‘why do I read this blog?’. Once you identify the reasons, you would be able to use those techniques to your advantage.
7. Stay true to yourself
Unless you want to make yourself miserable by writing posts for your blog, you always have to be yourself. The fact is that not everyone is going to love you and read your content. And that’s ok. You really want to attract only certain kind of people anyway. Remember, 5 true supporters are better than 20 spectators waiting for you to trip. When in doubt, go back to basics. Why and who do you write for.
8. Don’t let haters mess with your head
Writing the blog will make your views and opinions exposed to the wider audience. Not everyone is going to agree with you, not everyone will choose to be quiet about it. Some people just love to write hateful comments as a form of sport. It might be hard to read, but it should not discourage you. After all, you are writing content for your loyal readers and they count on you to carry on.
9. Network with other bloggers
In order to establish your position as an expert on the subject, you are writing about it is good to read other blogs with the same focus. It would be best to choose 2 or 3 of those and comment on post regularly. Ideally, as one of the first people. When commenting always appreciate how the subject was developed and offer something extra from yourself that was not mentioned in the article. Don’t go around the internet posting comments like: “Cool blog, visit me at www.nobodycares.com”. Also, nobody likes that.
10. Have fun!
Don’t make the blog a burden for yourself. It should be something created with passion rather than unwanted duty. People will pick up on positive vibes you will send out through your articles. Unfortunately, they will also sense your negativity so be careful what you put out there. Blogging should be fun, bringing together people with the same interests. By writing your content you make that happened. Be proud of yourself and keep going!