Sometimes the only way to get going is to sit down and start writing. At the beginning of this month I felt there were things I needed to share with you about LinkedIn even though I know it’s not for everyone. This time I want to share some tips from my first 6 months of blogging.
I started this blog in order to find out if I could write, and write on a regular basis without simply running out of ideas really fast. Most of the time I have some idea of the subject before I sit down and write more than just a few lines – but sometimes I start my content creation process from scratch. All in all I guess I have the content as well as the rambler bit covered :)
Well-known important blogging tip: keep some ideas and drafts handy
It’s really helpful to have a couple of ideas for posts. But just now I reviewed my drafts and found they looked rather stale. Mark Schaefer reported something similar happening to him a while ago when he forgot his routine: whenever you have an idea, jot it down somewhere.
I’ve been meaning to write another “blogging impressions” post for a while, because it is about half a year since I published my first post.
My blogging tip: prepare for change so it doesn’t mess up your blogging routine
One major development which may impact my blogging frequency is the fact that I’m now back to my 32-hour work week (4 days). On my day off I tend to do way too much to entertain my son and myself. And my son is no longer taking naps in the afternoon. This means I have less time to let ideas for new posts form and to jot them down for later use. I have yet to find a routine that fits my new schedule. I may need to go back to posting once a week for a while. But we’ll see what happens ;)
How have 6 months of blogging on Content Rambler affected me?
Well, I’ve felt a lot better about my work and related activities. Because blogging helps me share all the things I read and learn along the way. I enjoy sharing my knowledge far too much to let it depend on occasions like presenting a topic to my team. Based on my early blogging experiences, my answer to the question:
Why should you blog?
Would be that your reasons to blog may include:
- Improving your writing skills
- Being creative
- Seeing tangible results of your efforts, starting with the existence of another published post (possibly followed, at some point, by a like or a comment online or IRL)
- Feeling better about yourself thanks to 1-3.
- Testing your ability to keep it up (discipline or passion?)
- Not depending on others to contribute something sensible (or funny) about subjects that matter to you
- Sharing your knowledge
Some of these reasons are purely personal. Others could be relevant for business purposes. Some listed benefits touch upon definite drawbacks.
Blogging tips 3-5: how to deal with the drawbacks
Just start writing Sometimes you think you have no idea what to write about. You need to just get started, writing about anything, and when you review your text you’ll probably find the start of a new post in there. It’s how I started this post, and I’ve left the first bit in to show you how it works. At some point I realized I had tips based on my blogging experiences that I wanted to share.
Blog when you think no one cares – a blogging tip from Jeff Bullas this time I think. I read too much. No response to your post is something you need to get used to. Some bloggers get around this by bringing all their Facebook friends onto their blogs. If you don’t have that option, look up other blogs via your WordPress reader and spend some time liking and commenting on interesting or funny posts. After all, your fellow bloggers are putting in their time and effort just like you! Show your appreciation for a good post and let ‘em know you exist. Maybe they’ll visit your blog as a result, and maybe they won’t. It’s called free will, and you need to deal with it.
Trigger actions This ‘blogging’ thing takes time. The writing, editing, getting images, looking things up to avoid talking complete rubbish… unless you limit yourself to writing only about topics you’re completely knowledgeable about and you skip editing. Or you don’t write (much) but post photographs instead. To help the ‘discipline’ bit: instead of saying you’ll sit down to blog at 8.30 PM, build in actions that trigger your blogging routine. In my case, as soon as my son is in bed, I go downstairs and sit down to blog. Once I’m blogging, there are times when I’m oblivious to whatever crap is on television but first I need to get started. My routine is “go downstairs and blog”. Easy. No thinking, no decisions required.
Finally, not really a tip because I haven’t looked at possible answers yet: knowledge sharing (#7) Sharing your knowledge may sound great but if you want to know how many people are actually reading your (business) content, you should know WordPress statistics don’t register every view (see their support pages). You notice something’s not right the moment you get more likes than registered views. If you have any suggestions apart from going self-hosted, please let me know.
That’s it – five ways from my content creation desk to help you “Just do it” instead of running into the brick wall called writer’s block. If you’d like to add your thoughts about blogging, my comments section is always open ;)