I’ve been getting a lot of questions from clients and colleagues lately about blogging, mainly about why they should write a blog and how it would benefit them.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a professional, a hobbyist, or just an individual with something valuable to share, there are many reasons why you should write a blog.
Your blog can:
- Establish you as an authority.
- Build up your resume (if you’re looking for a job or a gig, your blog is proof that you know your stuff).
- Help your readers get to know you better.
- Expand your circle by bringing you in contact with a lot of awesome people.
- Lead readers back to your website.
- Make money! (More about this in the next EZine.)
The first rule of Blog Club is… You don’t have to be a “writer” to be a blogger!
A blog is more unstructured and spontaneous. It’s sort of like an online diary – like the Captain’s Log on Star Trek – but you’re sharing it with a wider audience. It’s not as formal and should be more like a conversation with your readers. If you resort to a thesaurus, you’re not using your natural voice.
Some basic Blogging 101 questions and answers:
What’s the first thing I should do if I want to start blogging?
My advice is to find other blogs you like and read them often. Take note of what resonates for you, what you find appealing, and how the blog flows.
What should I blog about?
Write about things that are interesting to you, things that you would want to read about. Don’t hesitate to include personal stories – they make you more relatable. Above all, be yourself!
How often should I post my blog?
There are no rules. You can post short entries every day or two, but most people don’t post that often. Twice a month is a good place to start; less often, and you risk losing influence.
How long should a post be?
A blog post is typically about 400 to 600 words, but it can be longer or shorter. Again, there are no rules! Your post should be as long as it takes to say what you want to say.
Where should I host my blog?
If you want to build an audience and monetize your blog, you should host it on your own website with your own domain name. That way, you make the rules, and you control the content.
Any other pointers for beginning bloggers?
- When you’re just starting out and finding your voice, try reading your posts out loud. If the words don’t sound natural coming out of your mouth, you should go back to the drawing board.
- Ask for help – If you know and trust someone who is a more experienced blogger, ask them to review your work and give you some constructive criticism.
- Though the rules for blogging are less structured than formal writing, grammar and spelling errors make you look unprofessional. If you’re not confident about your editing skills, again, ask for help.
- Most importantly – Do the research and check your facts. Your credibility is your greatest asset!
Got it? Now it’s time to find your voice, flex those fingers, and start blogging!