Starting your first blog is tough to say the least. I should know because I’m still trying. Yes, you’ve got that right…I’m writing an article on blogging when I have yet to actually blog a thing. Nothing. Not a single word. And while that brands me officially as an uninformed source, it also makes me an authority of sorts in at least one small portion of the blogosphere: reminding all of us first-timers that we don’t know nearly as much as we need to.
So, with that idea in mind, stay with me as I walk you through what I have discovered on my quest to go live my own blog.
You know much less than you think
I’ve gotten a stern education thus far. When I decided I’d like to blog and maybe make a little side income along the way, I figured I’d run to a free blog site, slap it together, and start the process. Fortunately, however, I got linked into some articles by professional bloggers, guys who know the deal. And this was a quick and needed slap in the face. Their advice and knowledge made me stop and take into account my lack of a plan. In short, they made me see that I didn’t know an ounce of what I needed to if I ever wanted to get anywhere.
You have to read, and then you have to read some more
Once I realized just how much of a novice I was, I started to read. I went to blogs, ones considered successful and ones I just stumbled upon, the writers scribing about international business systems and the grandmas journaling about gardening. I looked at everything I could, and I still do. I click on as much as advice as I can, even when it gets repetitious. I read and learn until I know. I bookmark, and I comment. I do this for one simple reason: I want to cut down on the silly mistakes many bloggers make when they first start.
You have to appreciate patience
Throwing a blog up just to get it going is wasteful, both in time and money. I taught myself the value of being patient, waiting until I have the understanding of success before exposing my work only to learn that no one is reading, following, or caring. I know the urge to begin, that feeling when you are motivated and excited to let everyone see what you can do. You have that belief that your blog will draw everyone. But I’ve learned it’s just not that easy. In fact, in most cases, it’s pure fallacy, as most blogs are destined to fail from get-go. So, be patient and plan.
You must have an open mind
I had an idea that I thought was perfect, and I was bent on doing it that way. But, from all I have encountered, stubbornness gets you few followers and even less respect. I found that if I kept an open mind, always re-examining what I thought versus what successful people advise, my original idea became sharper and more defined. Like any writer, I have my convictions, but you have to let people in, accept feedback, and realize that others can and will help.
You need to take the time to get to know yourself
Sounds odd, but you have to come to terms with your voice. Doing so much research and reading, I found myself almost trying to mimic what I saw. That’s alright I guess when it comes to the technical side of blogging, but not when it relates to the actual words. Figure out who you are, what you really want to say, and how it is you want to say it.
In the end, I have learned that blogging is about a pursuit of passion and not a race to publish. You have to prepare and think long before you go live, and you must see all that is around you. That’s what I’m trying to do.