People always ask me, how can you write a blog post every single day?
(Answer: IT’S REALLY HARD.)
Fortunately, I have three big things going for me that lend themselves well to blogging:
- I love to write (look Mom and Dad – that expensive journalism degree is working out after all!)
- I have a lot to share. (Perhaps you didn’t read my post about my love of sharing.
- I am passionate about the topics I choose for my blog posts, namely social media and its vast potential to transform society. Also, when used correctly, it’s incredible power to grow businesses and nonprofits.
That’s really all you need to start a blog – a love of writing, a capacity to share and a real interest in your subject matter.
You may think that the “blogosphere” is completely saturated with bloggers and there cannot possibly be room for one more. I disagree.
The blogosphere is full of people sharing their ideas – however, there is always room for a well-written, thought-provoking and interesting blog. Hopefully that’s you!
Here are my 5 quick and dirty steps to starting your very own blog today:
1) Commit to a goal. My lofty goal for 2012 is to write a post, no matter how small, every day (except Sundays). Your goal could be to write one a week for two months. Pick a goal, put reminders in your calendar and throughout your office, tell everyone you know so that you’ll stick to it. Push yourself – you may be capable of a lot more than you think.
2) Make a calendar. I didn’t do this when I started, but it is definitely a best practice. Pick the days that you are going to blog, and insert the topics. You won’t always know what’s going to be in the news that week (and it’s important for a blog to be current and topical), but having a calendar will help you avoid repetition and redundancy. It will help you get organized and hopefully avoid writer’s block.
3) Brainstorm blog topics. Every single thing in my life inspires a blog post. I have post-it notes and little scraps of paper everywhere with ideas for potential posts scrawled on them. I read magazines, online journals, other blogs, books; I watch TV, online videos, movies; I consume all things pop culture, technology and social media. Everything and anything may be able to give you that kernel of inspiration that could be expanded into an entire post. Keep your eyes open, and make sure to write it down when you think about it – put it in your phone, your tablet or keep a pen and pad with you at all times.
4) Pick a platform. Personally I love WordPress. It’s easy to use and customize, and is friendly with a lot of other sites and social sharing (see the nifty buttons below this post to share you’re your friends). There’s always Tumblr. Empirella has a great post about which one to choose, based on your blogging preferences and your needs.
5) Choose a name for your blog (you can always change it later) and just get started!
Tomorrow I’ll share my tips on what to do when you’ve got your blog up and running – how to keep those ideas fresh, how to get more readers and how to promote your blog through social networks.
Do you have any other ideas for starting a blog? What platform do you use? Please share your ideas and thoughts in the Comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org – Thanks for reading!
It’s also good to not overwork yourself and write a post every day, then get burnt out and have to scale back. It’s better to start out smaller (maybe two posts a week), then increase the frequency of your posts.
I totally agree – if writing once a day overwhelms you then by all means start out once a week or twice a week even. I chose to write once a day as a personal goal, but it is challenging!
I had to start a blog for my social media class in school and I really don’t like it so far. I am trying my hardest to like it more, but I have a hard time getting around to writing on it and I don’t feel like the topics I am writing on are worth reading by someone else. I love reading blogs, but I need help with learning how to enjoy writing them. How long did it take you to really start enjoying writing posts and looking forward to sharing your thoughts with others? Do you have thoughts and think to yourself, “I should blog about this”? Did it take you long to get viewers? Sorry for all the questions…I’m a newbie. I will keep working at it! Thanks for the tips.
Thanks so much for reading and for your questions. You are definitely not alone – these are questions I see a lot!
Blogging is not for everyone. It depends on what you are trying to use it for and how it fits into your overall branding or marketing plan. Most bloggers have a lot to say and love to share their thoughts. If you are a more private person, then it might not be for you. However, there are ways to enjoy blogging more.
1) Start an editorial calendar with a goal for the month. For example, aim to post twice a week, once on Tuesday and once on Thursday, for one month. Write those dates down, and jot down some ideas for sample blog posts next to each date. Starting out with a blank page is daunting – try to have a couple of kernels of ideas to start from.
2) Read lots of other blogs, books and news articles to get ideas. I take notes with my phone or even a pen and pad about ideas that could be potential blog posts. I have TONS of ideas for future posts – the time to write them, edit them and publish them is where I fall short! With so much going on in our busy lives, it is very difficult to find quality quiet time to write a good blog post.
3) Start slowly. Blog posts don’t have to be more than 300 words to be great posts! Start out writing short posts.
4) Don’t get discouraged – writing blogs is like any other type of writing, it takes time to perfect and to get comfortable.
If you want to run potential posts or blog ideas by me, I would love to help you! I hope that these tips are useful and that you will keep at it!