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How Do I Blog?

Posted on | March 16, 2013 | Comments Off on How Do I Blog?

How do I blog?

Blogging is hard work.

So, Seriously. How Do I Blog?

A lot of people have said to me, “Hey, how do I blog?” Either they want to start a blog and see if they can make any money or they just have an urge to hold forth on a certain topic. Usually they’re not so much asking “How do I blog” as much as “How do I get online and set up a site and do all that technical voodoo.” Which is a shame, because all that technical stuff has been rendered fairly simple at this point. Blogging is easy to set up, the hard part is posting really good content over and over again in a sustainable way.

I’ve helped a lot of people set up blogs and seen them abandoned within a few weeks. Maybe the question people should be asking is “How do I keep blogging once I start?” The answer to that is “hard work and creative thinking.”

Hard Work

Once you get your thoughts public, two things will happen fairly quickly: 1) No one will pay attention and 2) You will get discouraged. You’ll post again and once again, no one will pay attention. This will repeat for a while and you’ll start to think that all this work you’re doing now will be wasted even if you do eventually get noticed because people will only see the latest stuff. But more importantly, you’re getting frustrated and even bored with this blog thing now. That’s usually the point where the blog gets abandoned. That’s also where, if you’re serious about this, you need to start working harder. Keep writing, absolutely, but beyond that, get out and start reading other people’s blogs, especially in your own niche. What are THEY talking about? Get more ideas there. More importantly, start commenting on their blogs. Comment thoughtfully, comment kindly, comment conversationally. Ask the author back a few questions. Hopefully you’ll get their attention and not only will they answer, but they might go look at your little blog.

Great, I got one visitor from that you may think, but here’s the thing. If you’re creating quality content on your blog and that author sees it, there’s a chance they may link over to your blog at some point. They may reference you in their next article (e.g. “A colleague of mine actually wrote a great post about X,Y,Z…”) with a link to that very post. Now that author’s readers may click on over and check you out. Now we’re getting somewhere!

Creative Thinking

To keep writing you need to keep coming up with creative ideas. Sure you could use something like Generator Land’s Blog Post Idea Generator to come up with blog post ideas, but you can also:

  • Read a lot of blogs, news sites, online magazines, etc. that are built around your topic.
  • Set up Google Alerts about your chosen topic.
  • Use a tool like the wondrous Topsy to come up with ideas from tweets, posts, news and a wide variety of other sources about your topic.
  • Ask questions on LinkedIn.
  • Keep a waterproof notepad in the shower when ideas always seem to hit (check out Aquanotes, which I use and love.)

So before you start that blog, think hard about how much you’re willing to put into it to keep it going and if your topic has legs for the long haul. If you’re willing to work and think creatively, you can be heard.

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