So, let’s say that you found this blog through the Newbie Blogger Initiative, the wonderful blog group that was pointed out to me by the fancy Sypster. (I like to say “Sypsta”.) The point of the initiative is to help out newbie bloggers or people who want to get into blogging by providing them with advice and some traffic. I think it’s an awesome idea.
Ironically enough, I don’t write on this blog as much as I did before I was hired at Massively.com, a major website that covers MMORPGs. I still use this site a lot and still get pretty good traffic on it, mainly because I tried to keep up with tags and wrote about some popular subjects. I will be writing a few advice blogs during this month, but in the meanwhile I would like to hand out a fee, basic tips to help you get your blog started int he first place.
1) Pick a subject and stick to it: Yes, I know you’re excited about Guild Wars 2 or the latest in fashions, but you have to be honest with yourself and decide whether or not it is a passing fancy. If you have tried to start blogs in the past and they eventually burned out, it’s probably because you were responding to that knee-jerk reaction of wanting to participate in the latest thing, thinking it might not only get your blog a lot of hits but because it ruled your world (at the time.) We humans are fickle creatures; be sure the topic you are covering is one that you will want to cover for a while. I can’t tell you how many bloggers I know who simply refuse to give up and go from topic to topic without ever really getting anything done.
2) Pick a schedule: I don’t care if you can only write once a month…stick to it. The reason television is so popular is because the shows are scheduled. Viewers can plan their week around one day. Me and my wife have Game of Thrones on Sunday night, for example, and it’s great to know when it will start and where we can see it. The same applies to your blog. If you can publish on a schedule, that’s always going to be better.
3) Get a Twitter and Facebook account: Social media will spread your info. If you come from the school of “Ewww, who needs that stuff?” then you are probably not suited for a blog. This is the digital age. Communicate digitally.
4) Shut up and write: One of my strengths has always been that I decide on what I like and I go for it. I don’t care if my opinion is liked or not. Also I didn’t spend more time on dreaming up the title for my blog than I do on writing blogs. Granted, I now write for Massively.com more than for my own personal pleasure, but I love scheduling and finishing a piece. Don’t spend more time chatting about blogs…write one. But, be realistic about how much you can do. It’s better to write on a schedule that fits into your real life and having that blog continue on than to try and write blogs every day or several times a week and burn out. Sure, I wrote something almost every day for years, but I was going for the eventual goal of doing it for a living, and I had the flexibility in my life to do so (no kids rules.)
Anyway, get to it soldier! Feel free to join the community over at the Newbie Blogger Initiative forum or to email me personally. Twitter is even better, because then I can Tweet your stuff out to others.
Be smart, be realistic. If you want to start blogging the difference between you doing something with it and getting readers is really only a matter of sticking it out. Trust me, there are very successful and horrible bloggers out there…they have the readers they do because they stuck with it.
Gotta’ give them props for that.