So what did 2008 teach you?
Don’t drink ten pints and eat a curry and expect to feel well the next day? Never expect an English sports team to live up to its potential? Tequila and milk doesn’t mix? Too much turkey leads to major flatulence?
I painfully and depressingly learned all of the above and more, but today I’d like to reflect on beginning this blog at the end of last year and what I’d have done differently. So here are my top ten dos and don’ts as a beginner blogger:
- Do start a blog. In this new age of digital media, if you don’t have a presence online you may as well not exist. All forms of social media allow you to develop your personal brand (a term I kind of hate) and give you control of how potential friends, employers and customers see you and your service
- Don’t start it until you have an idea of what you’re going to blog about.
- Do promote your blog on twitter, facebook, etc Don’t get someone with thousands of followers on twitter to promote your blog until it is really ready and has some kind of substance. It puts pressure on you to try and come up with clever/witty posts when what you really need to do is develop a voice and work out what you actually want to say.
- Do read other people’s blogs as much as possible. Work out what works and what doesn’t work and apply what you learn to your own writing.
- Do Comment, comment, comment. You need to show people what you think and why you think it and why it would be worth them reading your blog. By commenting on blogs that cover the same or similar subjects to your intended blog, you’ll be targeting the right audience.
- Do find a niche so that you can target a specific audience but…
- …don’t write about something you think you should be writing about write about what excites you, motivates you, something you’re passionate about.
- Do be passionate about what you want to write!!! Motivation is key with blogging. It takes a huge amount of commitment to write a blog and things like travel, work, girlfriends/boyfriends, wives/husbands/kids can really get in the way! You have to really want to do it and understand that it is a commitment. As I have learned, a blog without posts is not a good blog.
- Do Listen to your peers, ask their advice but don’t be afraid to reject it if you don’t agree with it. The beauty of blogging and microblogging (twitter) is that you get to do what you want the way you want to with out having to stick to a whole bunch of rules and regulations designed by others.
- Having said that, Do make sure that you follow some conventions/unwritten rules. There are people who have been blogging and micro-blogging since the dawn of (blogging) time and know what works/doesn’t work and can be of great help. Don’t forget to check out www.problogger.net. Darren Rowse really knows what he’s on about and has advice about everything from beginning a blog to making a living from blogging.
If you have any other advice for others just starting out in the blogging world, it would be great to hear your thoughts. Oh and finally, Happy New Year!