5 Tips for Beginning Bloggers
I was recently asked to contribute content to my company’s technology blog. I’ve been a long time blog reader, so I figured writing a blog myself should be easy right? I mean, how much can there be to it really? Just select a topic, type up some thoughts on it, and presto – I’m a certified technology blogger! So I started to think of a topic I could blog about. Every time I thought of a blog idea, these little doubts crept into my head. What if people don’t agree with my blog? What if I explain something incorrectly or find out I’ve been doing something the wrong way all these years? What if people think I’m an idiot? Well, there’s not much I can do about that last one, but on reflection I realized I don’t know all that much about blogging after all. So I decided to write myself tips on how to make the most of my blogging experience. And who knows, maybe they’ll be helpful for you too.
My first thought was to do a little research to see what suggestions more experienced bloggers may have. There is certainly no shortage of blog posts on how to write a good blog post and they all have great titles like “Top Ten Blog Tips” or “How to Write Killer Blog Posts“. And they all say pretty much the same things more or less. You can find them easy enough – just Google “how to write a blog” or “blogging tips”. Certainly the blogging community doesn’t need another blog post on how to write a blog post right? I decided I wanted to write this post anyway because I want it to serve as a set of guidelines for my future posts. Hopefully, when those nagging doubts arise, I’ll think back to these tips and get my thoughts back on the right track. So, here are the 5 tips I’ve decided to focus on when I blog.
1. Blogging is a Learning Exercise
I think my biggest misconception about blogging is that the blogger is a teacher and the readers are students. The students don’t know how to do something so they go to a teacher who explains it to them. I read a lot of tutorial blogs and have certainly learned a lot from those bloggers. This is probably why this is such a big hurdle for me. I assume anyone who can write a blog post on a topic must know much more about it than I do. But I have also read a post here or there and thought to myself, “I know a much easier way to do that than what this guy suggests”. He would probably be grateful for that information. This helped me realize that some of my blog readers may learn something new and some of them may be able to teach me something new. That’s a win for everyone! When you become a blogger, you join a learning community where we can all learn something from each other.
2. Blog From Experience
Now that I realize I am part of a learning community, it makes sense that my main goal in blogging should be to just share my experiences in tackling certain problems. Some readers may have run into the same problem and not found a solution yet; other readers may be able to help you out with an even better solution! I may not always know the right way of doing something, but I may know a way that works and that’s good enough to blog about. If one of my readers hasn’t come up with a solution yet and I can help him out, I gain a little. If one of my readers knows the right way to solve the problem and shares that with me, I gain a lot!
3. Blogging is Conversation
If there is going to be any exchange of information, a conversation or communication needs to take place. I cannot teach someone something or learn something from someone without a conversation. I would like to write my blog posts in such a way that they encourage conversation. I know I will quickly lose the motivation to blog when I find that no one has left any comments on my posts. I’m sure this is a big hurdle for many bloggers. I need to constantly ask myself what conversation I am trying to start with this post. Am I writing this post in a way that encourages conversation from my readers? When I read a textbook I am certainly not interested in engaging it in conversation. Do people feel they are reading a textbook when they read my posts or do they feel like they are sitting with me at a coffee shop? I want my posts to represent me as personable and as approachable as possible.
4. Blogging is About People
I may have given the impression up to this point that blogging is all about information, sharing it with others or letting others share it with you. I don’t really want the central focus of my blog posts to be the information presented. I don’t think a blog can really have a heart or soul unless the main focus is the people. Who are the people posting to the blog? Who are the people reading the blog? How does this post relate to them? Does this post help me get to know them better, what their issues and interest are? Blogging should be a way to meet great people who share similar interests. I think maybe this should determine how a blog establishes it’s niche. Rather than limiting a blog’s content to a narrow set of information, a blog should evolve itself into specializing in information that is relevant and useful to its community, the people who read and support the blog.
5. Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tips
Every blog should contain as least one tip for surviving the zombie apocalypse. The number of blog readers in the world is growing exponentially. Can you imagine the number of lives we could save if we all do a small part in preparing everyone for this inevitable disaster? If every blogger would include just one survival tip with every blog they write, I’m sure it would have a significant enough impact to really make a difference. I’m prepared to get this project started. It’s pretty much the most obvious survival tip out there but you would be amazed at how many people ignore this tip.Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tip #1: Never split up to go look for supplies. Always go looking for supplies as a group!
Really, this point is meant to illustrate that blogging should be fun. I want to try to have a sense of humor when I blog and keep every post lighthearted and good-natured.
So this is my first blog. These are just my ideas and opinions on how to prepare myself for the different challenges I may face in becoming a blogger. I think if I can remember these 5 guidelines, I have a better chance of having an enjoyable and successful blogging experience. I’m sure there are many other tips I’ll need to pick up as I go along. For starters, my paragraphs are probably a bit longer than they should be. Shorter paragraphs make a blog easier to scan. Maybe I’ll post new tips as I learn how to write better posts. If any of you have any other tips for a beginning blogger like myself, I would love to hear them!
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