I decided to put this 3 part series together to examine blogging in depth and considerations that should be made before beginning. Some people are of the school of thinking that it’s best to just get blogging and the rest will come after. Others take a more organised approach. I have to admit I am probably on the former side of the fence but I want to give you guys a comprehensive guide that sits on the latter. This series will examine some of the skills and courses that may assist with blogging, useful resources, blog planning, technical aspect and much more. I love a good motto so the anchor one for this series is “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Let’s get into it.
So you have something that you want you to blog about but you don’t know where to start. I guess it is important to point out firstly that each day an incredible 2 million blogs are written. The likelihood of your blog being read is probably pretty slim. Before you give up the dream, keep reading. The reason I am pointing out the startling reality that is the brutal world of blogging, is to prepare you better. Believe me, an interesting view point on a shoddily thrown together WordPress is not going to amass you readers. It is a much more technical and complex process. Before you put pen to paper, begin by researching. Lots.
I really enjoy the process of research. It leads me to places I didn’t set out to find, and it is an almost therapeutic form of what can be deemed “work”. Research is investigation of sorts, and it is really up to you how and when you do it. Rather than jumping onto Facebook on your daily bus commute, choose a blogger to study. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a blogger; read newspapers, magazines and as many opinion pieces as you can find. I personally found my writing voice through my teenage dedication to magazines. They were and will always be my one true love. I adored the various girl journos witty delivery of content on controversial topics. Without even realising, I learned my writing style between the pages of Cosmo.
Research gives you a really good feel for what you like and what you don’t. It also opens your eyes to appreciating the not so appealing content. Think of all the bloggers out there that don’t do it for you, yet have a massive following. This is important to examine as it takes you out of your comfort box so to speak. It can be difficult to write for the audience’s pleasure, if you don’t enjoy the topic, but sometimes this will be required.
On the back of your research, it is now time to do a brain storm or mood board of sorts. Even a simple list of recurring qualities you find in popular blogs, can a useful tool. Think about the pieces you have read and why the bloggers behind them have a good following. A dominating theme today is unfortunately based around the aesthetics of a blogger; that is the hotter you are the bigger your following. These bloggers tend to be in the fashion, beauty or fitness realm and have an Instagram presence. Perhaps you are not interested in these fields, but it is good to understand the science (or shallowness) behind our reader consumption.
I think it is worth mentioning a super popular blog for you to examine before next week. I would absolutely love if you could shoot me through your thoughts on the chosen one. Meet Brian Clark, the guy behind copyblogger.com. Brian started his blog to act as sort of educational tool for would be content writers and entrepreneurs looking to strengthen their online presence. I guess he began much like myself here at Twoggle; writing with the aim to share his tips on content creation. Copyblogger is now a multi-million dollar business, and I like to think I am a little bit like Brian and that Twoggle has as bright a future! More on copyblogger next week once I get some feedback from you guys!
Another consideration for beginning your blog is to assess the time you have available for it. Blogging requires continuum if it is to have any chance of building an audience, and sporadic posts sure won’t cut the mustard. Remember if you have an hour to write, you really need double that time, if you include your research, preparation and editing. Try to ensure that you are consistent with delivery of each piece. If Thursday suits you best to blog, then make it EVERY Thursday.
So far we have discussed the intangibles, but things are going to get much more serious next week. We will nut out the different technical skills required to blog, and examine the various avenues in which to acquire these skills. Chat soon!
Be sure to check out part 2 in this series of successful blogging.