It’s scary that anyone would come to me for advice. Such has been the case recently. A couple of friends have asked me about blogging. How do you get started, what sites to use, what topics to address, etc.
Made me wonder, maybe I should share some thoughts on jumping into the world of blogging.
First of all, for those folks looking to turn a buck or make a living off of their blog, I ain’t the one to talk to. Selling ads, generating an audience that will click on said ads is an entirely different area and not my bag. There is a world of smarter (or so they might think), more entrepreneurial folks out there waiting for you to Google them. If that’s the route you’re considering – Dominus vobiscum, and don’t forget your buddy once you’ve been acquired by some big media conglomerate.
If you want to take on blogging as a hobby or if you’re looking for an outlet for your thoughts or if you just want to comment on things in more than 142 characters, then we can chat.
What worked for me (yikes) nearly four years ago when I started this experiment — and what still works — is simply sit down and just write. Sure, it’s good to have a focus. Focus and direction will come, but you have nothing if you don’t first get the words out of your head and onto the page. Don’t get hung up on templates, fonts, widgets and – for goodness sake – tracking page views.
If you have (warning: quasi-buzzword) compelling images, go ahead and include them. But it’s not necessary.
Don’t worry about being funny, ironic, edgy or entertaining. Besides, you probably already are and just don’t realize it.
Don’t write about things that will get you in trouble – work (unless you’re being paid and authorized in writing to do so. Seriously! Think I’m kidding?), detailed family issues, or your annoying neighbor down the block who doesn’t pick up after their knock-off toy dog. Use the common sense God gave you and…
Don’t forget, this is the Internet we’re taking about, where people’s attention spans run shorter than Kardashian’s first marriage. Get in, get off and get out (insert smirk). I shoot for no more than 500 words. Funny how that seemed like such a daunting number in English 101 back in 82.
Don’t be a stranger. Once you get started, aim for consistency. More than a couple of blogs I follow have gone un-updated for weeks, nay, months. You know who you are and you’re missed! I try my best to check in with you at least once a week. Sometimes I fall short (like now), but I try not to let more than a couple of weeks go by without bending your ear. Forgive me for oversharing, but when you get stopped in the men’s room at the old 9:5 in mid – shall we say – stream and someone remarks about a blog post, it’s a pretty good feeling and it will inspire you to…