After this post last week, I received an email from a new blogger asking my advice on how to get through the first awkward stages of blogging — you know, that time when no one knows who you are and no one comments and you don’t really know what direction you’re going. I’m a small fish in the big Sea of Blogs, and there are so many things that I don’t know, but I’ve learned some things along the way. So, I came up with this list and it’s pretty much everything I’ve learned in the last 4 years. To Ricci, this one’s for you:
Dear New Blogger,
Blog about the things that excite you—the things that you can’t stop thinking about. Blog about the things you think of before you fall asleep at night, the things you think of when you first wake up in the morning. Blog about the things that you work on until 3AM for the fun of it. Blog about your passions.
Blog to your strengths, the things you do effortlessly and with energy–the things that seem so ordinary to you but extraordinary to others.
Blog about the things you’re eager to learn about (these are your new enthusiasms). Share your discoveries. Share the wealth.
Write the blog that you want to read. Refrain from asking your readers what they want to hear. Don’t be an echo. That means no polls, no surveys. Blog from within, not from without. Surprise your readers.
I read somewhere that the #1 reason people stop blogging is that they don’t get enough comments — that is to say, they quit blogging when they feel that no one is listening to them. If you measure your posts’ success by the number of comments they receive (validation), you’ll be tempted to start entertaining (pleasing your audience for applause) rather than expressing yourself. This is a perfectly valid way to blog, if that’s what you want. But, if you want blogging to be enjoyable for a long time, expression is the real reward.
Slow growth is perfectly fine. There’s always some blogger who starts later than you, and becomes bigger faster. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Some people generate a lot of hype to market their blogs. In my opinion hype damages credibility.
Beware of best practices and the advice of others (ie. seo optimization, what to tweet, how often to tweet, how often to comment, etc.). That means beware of this list, too. The only voice worth listening to is the one that feels right with you.
But then again, what do I know. If your goal is to make real money blogging or get traffic for traffic’s sake, you should probably do just the opposite of a lot of the things in this list.
Very truly yours,
hiruko from myfonts