Earlier this week I wrote about why you should consider blogging. If you’re ready to jump in, here are a few things you might want to consider.
- Write regularly. Whether it’s once a day, week or month, posting new content somewhat regularly will be helpful for those who are interested in what you have to say.
- Don’t tell anyone you’ve started a blog… for at least a month. Avoid the temptation to email everyone in your address book about your new blog before you’ve built up some content. You’re more likely to have return visitors if the first time folks visit your blog they’re greeted by more than the ubiquitous “So, I’ve decided to start blogging” post.
- Write about what you know and care about without being a narcissist. We know you care about this idea/thought/question; show us why it could matter to us. Kathy Khang consistently does this very well. She writes about her interests while inviting her readers to consider our opinions on a variety of topics.
- Be provocative. Don’t be a jerk. The internet has far surpassed it’s jerk-quotient but that doesn’t mean you can’t push and provoke, encouraging your readers to consider an old issue from a new perspective. A post from last year, “Immigration? No. Torture? Yes. Christian? For sure.” is an example of my attempt at this balance.
- Don’t spend a lot of time on the technical stuff. WordPress and Blogger are two free blogging platforms that allow you to be up and running in a matter of minutes. Take an hour or two to learn the basics and then begin posting content. It’s tempting to spend time making your blog look pretty, but many of us will read your posts via an RSS reader and only rarely visit your blog. Your initial efforts are best spent creating interesting content.
- Capture ideas when they come. Most of us don’t have the luxury of writing when inspired, so it’s a good idea to jot down that brilliant thought or provocative question before it disappears. I generally create a new post, type the idea as the title and then save it as a draft, a process that takes less than a minute. The next time I’m able to blog my initial idea is waiting to be expanded and published.
- Find your focus without being too narrow. It will be helpful for your readers to know what kind of content they can expect from you. However, don’t be so specific that you’re unable to write about interesting things that don’t fit within your blog’s stated theme. The Signs of Life umbrella has served me well in this regard.
There is much more that could be said, but I’ll stop here. What would you add to this list?
If any of this blog’s readers begins a blog, I hope you’ll let us know about it… one month after you’ve begun.