New mothers really hate it when mothers of grown children tell them things like “Oh, mine was so much worse. I never got a wink of sleep for three years,” or “She was such a sweet little angel and never got sick.” Anything along the lines of “You should really try this way of raising your children” can make a new mom’s hair stand on end.
Just like these mothers, I turn into an old mother hen and cluck on and on about editorial calendars, the merits of platforms, and SEO techniques at the first sign of a friend wanting to start a blog. And then I realize they didn’t even ask for my advice.
But there are things I wish I had knew to ask about when I started blogging and insight I wish someone had told me. So consider this our coffee date where I dish all my blog-rearing secrets.
Secrets to the Best Blog: 6 Tips for New Bloggers (and not-so-new too)
Write well for at least a month
Blogging can be a huge commitment and lots of people jump into blogging headfirst. I’m willing to bet one in a hundred of these bloggers quit after the first few weeks. It’s easy to find a blog that stopped updating after just a few posts. Finding a blogger who contributes something productive to readers is harder. Try writing about your topic you’d like to blog about for a full month, everyday, and then see where you are at the end of it. Still love it and have tons to talk about? Then blogging might just be the thing for you.
Think about what you love writing about
Unless you’re bringing a really neat and new perspective to your lunch, I wouldn’t recommend blogging about it. Write about what you love because your passion will come through in your words and excite the reader. And you’ll get to steep yourself in your favorite thing. Is there much better than that?
Blogging about the same thing over and over can get really boring. After about three months, you might be running out of ideas on the thing you thought you could spend a lifetime investigating. The trick is to stay in tune with what’s new and innovative across the board, not just in your niche. Read up on your area but pick other things you like too and find ways to incorporate new ideas and new life into your blog.
Get involved with community
The thing that separates blogging from writing a book, other than the actual way it’s written and the whole physical book bit, is the community surrounding your blog. When you post something, people can tweet, facebook, pin, and even be inspired to write about it themselves by it within seconds. So get involved with your readers! They like what you write so they’ll probably like you too. Don’t forget that people who don’t read your blog are valuable to interact with too for the very same reasons why you read blogs in the first place.
Blogging to be the next Martha Stewart or Design Sponge is a bad idea. If you constantly try to just get more, more, more, it isn’t going to help you. Bloggers get big because they’re contributing content that people find useful. Rule of thumb, if you your blog post were to go out in front of a huge crowd of people you respect and represent you, would you like what it would have to say? If it doesn’t feel like the best you can give, sit on it and wait. Time helps writing get better.
Don’t forget the reason why you started blogging in the first place. That’s the biggest secret! If it’s not fun, why do it? If it turns into a chore that you hate, just stop. There’s no reason to torture yourself if it’s just a hobby! And if you’re blogging for your business, you can hire people like me to do it for you.