I get a lot of emails and phone calls from people who want to start blogs and need some help and direction.
Here are some more tips for blogging that I have been thinking about, and some that I learned at the LAVISH conference.
I am strong believer that blogging is NOT a competitive sport, and that helping a new blogger or a friend will not take away from your success… There are more than enough readers for everyone!
These tips and guidelines are more for beginners and are more abstract than the tips I listed with Erica, but I think they are an important part of blogging and making your blog a success.
Be personable not personal. You want your blog to feel personable, but there is a fine line between public and private and once you put something on the internet, you cant take it back. A blog is not like Facebook and I DO NOT recommend over sharing. Unlike Facebook, you have no idea who could be reading. I try to balance posts that are infused with a lot of personality with posts that are informative and helpful.
Have a focus. Your blog will have more success if it has a topic that it dances around. Just blogging about yourself could be interesting, but focusing it through a niche will make it easier to attract readers.
Write in your natural voice. If you happen to speak in essay form, then by all means, go ahead and write your blog that way, but writing in your natural speaking voice will make your readers feel more comfortable. (This is topic-specific of course.)
Join the conversation on other blogs. Don’t imagine yourself standing on a soap box and preaching to the masses. Instead, look at your blog as a forum for conversation. That entails reading other blogs on your topics. The first people who will leave comments on your blog and read your blog regularly are other bloggers.
Don’t be a snob. Answer every comment, reply to every email, reply to those tweets! People will stop commenting if they feel they are being ignored.
Ignore the peanut gallery. Expect criticism. The more people read your blog, the more people will disagree with you. And just keep in mind, successful and public people are always the subject of scrutiny and criticism. And by writing a blog, you are making yourself a public person.
Don’t be discouraged. Things start slow! It takes a long time to build a following. There are some blogs that are met with instant success, but most of us have to build our readerships the hard way- over time.
Blog everyday! Keeping your content current encourages readers to come back often.
Learn from your mistakes. You will learn how to write a better blog as you write it. Learn which posts cause a reaction and which fall flat. As time goes on, you will improve.
Be a Yes Man- take every opportunity that comes your way. There is always time to say no, but saying YES will change your life.
Don’t undervalue yourself. If you give away your stuff for free people start to think it’s worth nothing. You may have skills that are valuable. People try to take advantage of bloggers because they think that you “write for free” but that doesn’t translate into giving away services for free. If you feel you should be paid for something, demand it.
Look at your blog like your personal magazine. You are the editor, the writer and the staff. Your blog is your business card, whatever your business may be. You might not even know yet… Like me… But if you keep working and actively pursuing success by putting yourself out there – something, maybe not the something you expected, but something interesting will come your way.
And be sure to check out the blogging TOOLS that Erica and I discussed at LAVISH!