That was the question I got asked yesterday and quite often get asked.
I don’t really consider myself a blogger, not externally but I contribute to several, but I really do it to keep track of what I do and the things I like, occasionally something happens that brings in some useful insight or contact which makes it worthwhile.
But what I do know is what it is like to blog. Important to try things when you are encouraging others to see the value in social media communications. It means you can see the pitfalls, dangers, values and surprises that these sort of things can throw up. Basically, would you take driving lessons from someone that just stood on the path telling you what to do inside the car? No.
My short summary of top tips:
It’s hard work: coming up with new things to say, finding the time and making it interesting is not easy. Very few manage it, so be realistic as to what you will get out of it. The phrase, “Just another wordpress blog” is very true.
Are you reading blogs? If not, why would you want to write one?
Even though I have this blog I found over time that through commenting
on blogs and forums I can get my point across directly to the people I
would like to reach. Also reading other blogs can give you ideas for replies to post on your own blog – referencing the original blog of course.
Write 5 blogs posts before you start to blog: Taking a page from “Groundswell” this tip is very good. If you find it hard to write 5 blogs up front, think what it will be like if you have to do it every week.
Once you start, give yourself time: Set yourself periodic reviews. See how you are going, how you feel and look at what you have written. It may be that you thought you would talk about ‘information management’ when you mainly spoke about your passion for ceramics.
Talk about the things you know: Seems simple but it’s still true. If you seem informed and passionate, your readers will also see that and your audience should grow. It will help you find your voice too – that is, writing without editing.
Set a calendar event for blogging: Put time aside to do the blogging. Make a meeting with yourself, each week to actually go through the mechanics of posting. At the start this can take a while to do, finding the links, getting used to the interface you are using and making it all look just right takes time and practice.
Make notes of your ideas: Ideas come usually when you’re not thinking actively about them. Something to do with the brain and creativity. Either use a note book, one of the many tools such as evernote that you can sync across phones and pc’s or even use a hashtag in your twitter stream to group thoughts. eg “#idea” so that you can go back and remind yourself of those inspiring moments and links.
You don’t have to do it: If after a good period of trying (six months say) it’s hard work, you don’t feel it is worth the effort, then stop. There are hundreds of blogs out there that would love a comment from you, so pack it in and check them out.
Of course these are just my thoughts and count for nothing in the whole scheme of things. Some more links below that may help you.