Tips from some experienced blog “mentors” on how to create, maintain, and make your blog thrive.
by Ryan Paugh
During tomorrow night’s Blog Mentoring event on Network Roulette, you’re going to get the chance to interact with some of my absolute favorite bloggers. The number-one thing that helped me out when I first started blogging was advice and encouragement from these people.
In anticipation for tomorrow night, I’ve asked each of our blogging mentors to share their absolute best piece of advice for starting a blog. Their advice is all very different. Occasionally contradicting. That’s because there’s no one way to be a successful blogger, but there are a few common traits that all great bloggers have: focus, passion, patience, character, inspiration and networking skills.
I recommend that new bloggers have a focus area of what they want to cover in their blogs, instead of talk generally about a variety of topics. If you try and become known for everything, you won’t become known for anything.
Website: Personal Branding Blog
You can follow a ton of website that will tell you all about analytics and traffic and feedburners (I recommend Think Traffic, Problogger and BlogCast.fm, personally), but they will not tell you “how to write a good blog”. So do not worry about all that stuff at first!
Website: Ophelias Webb
Consistent Content is King. Try and maintain a schedule for your blog to keep your posts organized.
Don’t try to force yourself into someone else’s definition of blogging success. If you want to blog because you love writing, do it—don’t worry about SEO, perfect headlines, or editorial calendars. It’s YOUR blog and the only person you have to please is you.
Website: mizz information
Make sure you have a clear goal with your blog. You need to know exactly why you’re blogging and who will read your blog so don’t just dive in without thinking about that.
Website: Get In The Hot Spot
Play to your strengths, your passions, and your goals. Write so you demonstrate your strengths and use the blog to achieve your goals, however modest or grand they may be.
Website: Working Kind
Start writing now! Whether you have a blog or not, writing will help you find your voice, figure out if this is for you, build up some content, and end analysis paralysis.
Website: Campaign Trail Yard Signs
Blog about what you love, if you do that you will win. Have HP&P. If you have Hustle, Patience, & Passion you will win. Head down and CRUSH IT today!
Website: Madden Bible
Don’t try to copy someone else, build a voice that uniquely your own. Stand out and don’t be afraid to be different, quirky, weird, funny or serious. Let the words reflect who you truly are.
Website: .:: phampants
Writing is meditative. Pushing your thoughts and passions into a mold won’t produce writing worth reading or generate conversation.
Website: Cranial Gunk
Don’t worry about writing a number of times a week, don’t worry about writing within a certain genre and niche, don’t worry about being perfect. Just write. Get it out there. The rest will come together once you get going.
Website: Life With Pho
Many people start blogging because they think it will be an easy and fast way to make money online. In reality though, it takes a great amount of dedication and time, if you’re willing to be patient success will follow.
The worst thing you can do as a new or experienced blogger is to try too hard to write something. If what you want to write isn’t coming together or even sounding right in your head… Stop, take a break, and come back.
Website: One Guy’s Journey
Blogging takes time and effort. Building content, developing your style, creating blogger relationships and establishing a readership and community doesn’t happen overnight.
Website: Small Hands, Big Ideas
There is nothing more engaging than being human in your writing. Conversely, nothing that will make you lose readership more quickly than appearing fake or lacking goodwill.
Website: Belle Renee
Tell Stories That Matter. At the end of the day, what people really want is to be inspired. With story you can inspire them to make more money, step outside their comfort zone and try something new, donate $10.00 and help change the world. Whatever your end goal is, stories will help you get your readers there faster.
Jamie Nacht Farrell
Write about things that matter TO YOU. DO not write for other people. If your content is YOURS, your niche will find you. Keep it real.
Website: Bizrelationship’s Blog
Write like a loyal, idiosyncratic friend and readers will keep coming back for your point of view if it resonates as the real deal.
Website: With Design in Mind
Think about the posts you most like to read—oftentimes the blogger is sharing something deep: fears, failures or feelings. Hitting “publish” on these posts can sometimes feel like we’re streaking naked across the Internet, but it pays huge dividends in terms of community-building and support. Experiment with vulnerability and see how it goes! It’s an evolution, not a destination.
Website: Life After College
Many people have concerns about putting too much of themselves into what they post on the internet, but, in my opinion, it is difficult for one to gain the trust of his potential reader base without being willing to show a little trust himself.
The posts you are most scared to write and push publish on are the ones that resonate most with readers! They are the ones that always get the most feedback and the ones that will help you grow as a writer and as a person.
Website: The Rest Is Still Unwritten
Getting started blogging can be daunting, and there are so many questions you’ll have: What to write about, how to make your posts unique, how to keep your momentum going. You can address so many of these questions by finding and sharing inspiration around you, like rewriting headlines from magazines you read or introducing a post by sharing a real-life story that relates.
Website: Personal PR
Try not to bury yourself in technology. Learn it, use it then abandon it every day in favour of hunting and gathering the old fashioned way.
Website: Society Pages
Keep writing. Don’t second guess your writing or your unique, personal style. Let the early stages of your blog be about not only discovering your voice, but getting comfortable in that voice, and owning it.
Your best hope is to get the attention and affection of the bloggers who already have the audience you want. A word from them will mean more to your success than a thousand words from you.
Website: The Anarcho-capitalism Blog
Find yourself a blogging mentor before you start blogging. You can look to that person for advice on your blogging strategy. Secondly, you are building skin in the blogging game by being accountable to someone you look up to. That will prevent you from committing to blogging and flaking on it, two months down the line.
Website: Being Olga
Blogging is not an island. So many people start out blogging trying to reinvent the wheel. There are so many great networks of people, including Brazen Careerist, that are happy to help answer basic “how to get started” questions.
What did we miss? Think about the following questions and leave some of your own ideas in the comments section below.
- Which piece of blogging advice do you totally agree with?
- Which piece of blogging advice do you totally disagree with?
- What’s missing? Share your own blogging advice with the community.