Hello there, future blogger!
If you’re thinking about starting a blog but just don’t know where to start then you’ve come to the right article! Have you watched stories like Julie and Julia or $#*! My Dad Says with longing, wishing that would happen to you?
Or maybe you frequent some particularly good blogs with good traffic and admire the blogger. If you want to join the ranks of bloggers, you can do it and it’s not as complex as some people think! There are some steps you need to follow and I’m going to cover each of them in a series of “How to Blog” articles.
The first step to becoming a blogger is picking your topic. So let’s get started!
How to Blog Step 1 – Select a Topic
Choosing a blog topic is of utmost importance. You need something that you are passionate enough about to consistently pump out new copy for your readers. An unattended blog is an unread blog.
Tip #1 – Be Passionate About Your Topic!
(Said with emphasis)It’s important that you enjoy what you’re writing about on your blog, so, first think about topics you care a lot about.
Next, think of your blog as a conversation between you and your readers. So your topic needs to be something you enjoy discussing with others in-depth and with some frequency. Readers (and search engines alike) prefer topics with a little depth (length) and posted at a good frequency – typically a few posts per week is ideal but if you can only muster one that’s ok too.
When choosing your topic, use your own life and experiences as the basis. Is there something that your friends kind of roll their eyes and laugh about whenever you bring it up, not because the topic is silly but because you’re always talking about it? That could be your weapon of choice for your new topic.
Tip #2 – Let It Roll Off
Topics that are controversial are great but just be sure you are not so sensitive about this topic that you can’t withstand some dissenting opinions.
The internet is a big place and there will be people who disagree with you, and more importantly there will be folks who disagree and feel strongly enough—or have enough free time—that they will post strong, opposing opinions. You need to be able to not crumble into a ball upon reading this, and to be able to respond appropriately.
Tip #3 – Bring Something New to the Table
Most topics have been hashed and re-hashed a million times. And some have been hashed and re-hashed a billion times. Just search for ‘how to blog’ and see how many results you get (I get just shy of 2 BILLION).
You need to bring your own unique voice to the blogosphere in order to be successful.
What’s unique about you that will shine through in your blog? It doesn’t always have to be a writing prowess, either. Perhaps you look good on camera (video blogging)? Maybe you have a flair for photos (photo blog)? Whatever your speciality is, it’s important that you find it and run with it so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Tip #4 – Become an Expert
No one wants to listen or take advice from someone constantly shooting from the hip about a topic they’re only marginally knowledgable about. That said, you should be prepared to research and keep abreast of the discourse surrounding your topic.
Your readers will likely be folks who are also interested and may seek a forum to discuss new changes or ideas surrounding this topic. Your blog should be that forum.
Cover image by stevendepolo via Flickr.