Thinking About Starting a Blog?
So, you want to start a blog. That’s great! Uh, what exactly is a blog? For you non-millennials out there like me, a blog is simply a website that is updated on a regular basis, most often authored by someone that has an interest or a passion for the subject matter. It is written with an informal approach; a conversational style of writing—like I’m using to communicate with you now. I admit, when I first heard the term I was like, “What is a blog?” Yes, I am a dinosaur, BUT old dogs (and dinosaurs) can learn new tricks. I did and so can you! You are never too old to learn.
In December 1997, a man by the name of Jorn Barger, editor of Robot Wisdom, began using the term ‘weblog’—his definition for surfing the internet, or “logging the web” as he called it. In 1999, the term was broken into the phrase ‘we blog,’ and then to the word we all know now as ‘blog,’ by Essay Writer, Peter Merholz, who used it in Peterme.com—his blog that is still active today.
What Are You Going to Write About?
You really want to think through this step. It may be easier for some than others. Maybe you are passionate about one topic over all others and you’re certain that’s what you want to write about. If so, that’s a big hurdle and you’re one step closer to the finish line!
Although some of you may be like me; having several different interests you’d like to share with people. If that’s the case, then you want to put even more thought into it. What is your goal? Do you want to share some of your life’s experiences topped with a few nuggets of information, just to be writing, or is a monetary end game part of your strategy? Would you like to do both? You can offer professional and/or non-professional information.
The first step is to think about what you’re good at. What special skills do you have? People tend to think they’re not qualified to offer instruction unless they have a degree–especially online. Not true. Everyone has something to offer. For example, accountants have bookkeeping skills, computer gurus possess IT and/or web building expertise, sales professionals know about marketing and advertising, and so on. These are services people are willing to pay for. Small business owners, for instance, need to know these things. They themselves may not be strong in those areas and may not have the funds yet to hire employees to do that work—but they are probably able to afford an online service from an ‘expert’ in such areas from time to time.
Now think about other skills you have or things you have accomplished—not related to your profession. Are you into health & fitness? Maybe you’ve reached a weight loss goal and would like to share with others what worked for you. What hobbies do you have? Is photography a passion? How much fun would it be to share tips on how to take beautiful pictures—and get your work out there at the same time? Have you restored an old car, house, or piece of furniture? Those who love to travel can share tips on the best deals, a destination do’s & don’ts, etc. Do you love gardening? Not everyone has a green thumb, but I bet they would seek the advice of someone who does. Do you love to decorate? People would check out your blog about designing on a budget. DIY projects are huge!
Are you getting the idea? The possibilities are endless! So, start making a list of your professional and non-professional skills, abilities, hobbies, and accomplishments. How-to information is always in high demand. Keep in mind that even though you may not have a degree in the subject, you do have experience and expertise; thereby qualifying you as an instructor; a teacher sharing knowledge, providing education. Your skills in these subjects will determine your niche—your specialty. Now, this doesn’t mean you have necessarily mastered your craft, you are simply sharing your experience and what’s worked for you.
Your subject, or your niche, should not be too broad or too narrow; you want to draw the appropriate traffic to your website, yet get ranked on Google and other search engines. For instance, if you love to write stories you could blog about fiction writing. However, if you do other writing, you may miss out on those searching for instruction on different types of writing. Again, this is an area you need to give a lot of thought to. You don’t want your blog to be so broad that the content isn’t cohesive.
Content for your blog should be informative and descriptive; yet engaging. You want to connect with your audience and let your personality shine through. Yes, you are teaching and maybe hoping to sell a product or service, but you don’t want to sound like a boring instruction manual! You also don’t want to sound like you’re just trying to make a buck. Your audience will see through that quickly. First and foremost, show the reader the value in what you are saying, selling, or sharing. Discuss your experiences, good and bad, be personable and approachable. You will have readers who are at all levels regarding your subject, so don’t talk above or below them. Make them feel welcome when they visit your site.
Opinions vary on how often you should blog. Some say two to four times a week, or just once a week, some say the quality is better than the quantity, so there’s no specific number. Personally, I think it depends on what you want to accomplish from your blog. If you are doing it for pure enjoyment and don’t really care if you make any money with it or not, then the frequency of posts isn’t a big issue.
However, if you are looking to make an income stream from blogging, then you will need to be consistent; keeping the content fresh and up to date. The frequency will also play a factor in SEO—Search Engine Optimization. The number of posts and the number of clicks on those posts will be seen by Google and other search engines; thereby determining your ranking, as well as possible ad placements.
So why not turn your knowledge into cash? If you were working for a company using any of the skills mentioned above, they would pay you, right? Same concept here. Working through this process, you will find that you could develop a service, e-book, product, membership, etc., associated with your niche and sell it on your blog. Sounds exciting huh?
For More Info…
For more in-depth information on blog monetization, SEO, writing content, and more, check out the links below. In this article, I just wanted to give you a general idea of how to get started blogging. Keep in mind you can have more than one blog–depending on how many topics you would really like to write about. Also, keep in mind how much time it takes and how much time you can devote to the project. My advice would be to start slow and get comfortable. Grow and become somewhat established before starting another one.
Now there is a topic that will get your attention. But, you know it happens to everyone for different reasons. Your mind shuts down and you lose contact with your writing hand. Close up shop for a few hours and just do life until you get that feeling again, you know the one.
Now to get that writing feeling from the brain to that magical hand of yours, you are going to need a little creativity. Just write letters. A whole sentence of nothing but different letters. OK, the next sentence all words, random ones. Guess what the next sentence is going to be?
It has always helped me to talk to someone because writing is really a form of talking on paper, or a screen. You may even be lucky enough to have a friend that is a linguist, English teacher, student, or even better , like in my case, a friend that is a WRITER! Catrina Vargo is a friend of mine that has always been willing to assist me with my writing and is quite good at it. I am sure she wouldn’t mind hearing from you and can always be found at THEWRITEGAL.SITERUBIX.COM
Until next time,