Do you blog? I read blogs for years before I ever wrote a single blog post.
My first introduction to the blogosphere came from my best high school friend, who shared a link to her first blog (no longer active). I used Jamie’s blog as a jumping off point to find other blogs of interest to me. Before long, I had a long list of my own favorites and reading them became one of my favorite pasttimes.
I had another list: a list of reasons why I wouldn’t blog. If you have considered blogging, you probably have your own hang-ups and concerns about pubishing your thoughts online for anyone to find and read. Or maybe you would love to blog but aren’t sure what you would write or why.
If you are thinking about starting a blog, consider these questions:
Why do you want to blog?
Every day, people start about about 175,000 new blogs. There are likely over 100 million blogs online today, with close to 2 million new posts each day. If you are looking for fame and fortune, blogging might not be the best way to get there.
However, if you are looking to share your thoughts, wisdom, and knowledge with others or have an outlet and accountability for regular writing, a blog is a good place to start.
What will your focus or topic be?
To find an audience, you need to be clear in presenting your focus. Although your tastes might be eclectic, ranging from jazz music to money management to fine cuisine, readers typically look for blogs with a singular theme. Of course, you can bring all of who you are to your blog by including examples and facts from a broad base of knowledge. The HR Bartender does a fabulous job of integrating a range of interests around a unified theme. Choose a topic that fits into a recognizable category, and try to stay with it long enough to gain recognition by other bloggers in your category.
What is your commitment level?
If you view blogging as keeping a personal journal online for people to read if they to find it, then your commitment level is a personal decision.
However, if you are interested in finding an audience for your work, you need to commit to posting at least three times weekly. If you post any less frequently than that, you become unpredictable and people may lose interest. In some ways, Twitter is changing that, though; if you have a steady following on Twitter, you may be able to keep your audience by announcing your posts as you write them. When you tweet, people will read; at other times, you will notice a huge decrease in blog traffic.
About commitment level, consider what you expect, and then create intentions.
If you are already blogging, and would like to share a link to your blog, feel free to do so in the comments. And look for more advice for beginning bloggers in the next post.
This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Good morning Becky. I can’t wait to see the response to your post. As for me, I “blog” simply because it’s in me… so I have to… and it feels good. Probably not the best strategy, but then again, maybe it’s the best! As usual, you bring out some great points! Thank you. By the way, I “blog” and do other things @ http://www.SimpleEncouragement.com. I appreciate the permission to promote! 🙂
Becky, thanks for a good message here. I like your straightforward advice – because as with most things in life, it must start with focus and commitment. Without those two, all the actions, intentions and ideas will be just blowing in the wind. I am looking forward to your next post.
Becky, I hope you will continue to write about blogging and branding. Helping people find their voice and put the best foot forward is to me a leadership issue. We need to help people see how this really should be a much more mainstream activity for personal and professional development. Keep it up! Bret
Becky – thanks for the HR Bartender mention. You are spot on with the words of wisdom. I’ve learned alot by blogging. It’s all about what you put into it.
Blogging has been one of the best, and most difficult, things I’ve done recently. It takes time, effort and committment and echoing what Sharlyn says above – it’s all about what you put into it. And the cool thing is that you get to choose your level of engagement.