I got this blogging idea exactly two months ago from a seminar on Internet marketing for which I was presented a complimentary ticket. By then I didn’t have any “real-life” friends who were blogging really seriously and therefore I had to kick it off almost all by myself from scratch and made quite some mistakes along the way. I didn’t and still do not have a perfect plan but it is interesting that once you start rolling the ball the blog, it gains momentum.
The lesson learnt? Don’t sell yourself short because of limited experience/expertise/budget/time… and don’t wait till you have the perfect plan – you gain your experience over the course.
Trendy stuff are attractive and it is easy to imitate (or copy?!). Nevertheless, if you are serious about blogging and decide to linger for awhile in the blogosphere, just be yourself would be the substainable strategy. After all, readers are smart and it is not that hard to tell whether you’re pretending to be somebody you are not or you are being your authentic self.
The lesson learnt? Each of us is unique. It is most appealing when you are simply being yourself, and being comfortable with yourself.
It is hard to be consistent and it is even harder to be consistently good. Nevertheless, I think you won’t disagree that consistent quality blogging is the only way to maintain and grow the readership. No doubt we can blog daily or even post several articles a day. Nevertheless, beware that posts contain little substance may sometimes backfire – and your readers may leave faster than they gathered.
The lesson learnt? Never sacrifice quality for quantity – and this definitely also applies to many other aspects of our lives: One true friend is better than one hundred acquaintance; a pair of nice shoes is better than ten pairs of poor quality ones that wear out quickly; one bottle of fine wine is much more enjoyable than ten bottles of average quality wine…
Time is precious. Therefore, make sure you provide value to your reader when they do spend time on your blog. Give a piece of advice, share some experience, tell a joke, recommend a link – aim at making life a little bit better with your every post.
The lesson learnt? Respect yours, as well as other’s time. Be helpful and provide something useful and you are moving ahead.
Ups and downs are inevitable in our blogging journey. Things can move slow and not up to our expectations, while writer’s block can haunt us from time to time. The thought of giving up crosses every blogger’s mind. It therefore does take passion and determination to sustain the eleventh hour.
The lesson learnt? Do what you love and love what you do. It could be hard to carry on if you are not passionate / do not believe in what you are doing. Therefore, pick your choices carefully and give it your full once you have made the decision – and this applies to your job, your hobby, your relationships, your voluntary service…
First thing first
I don’t know about you but it is always tempting for me to “improve” the layout of my blog by adding one more feature here or there and I can spend hours on the search and the installation. But, does it worth the time? Not always. After all, if the contents of my posts don’t appeal to the readers, it really doesn’t matter how many feed buttons I have placed in my blog.
The lesson learnt? First thing first. Remember that 20% of our efforts brings 80% of our results? Focus on the essential to boost the productivity. We can work 7 x 24 with little gain if time and efforts are wasted on non-essential tasks. Have a clear mind, prioritize and focus on what matters.
Ask for help and learn from the best
In blogging, trial and error may not be avoidable but the experience of those who have already made it can save you much sweat. I am indeed extremely impressed by the generosity of many bloggers for their willingness to share with and help follow bloggers, especially newbies. So far I have not failed to find a solution whenever I encounter a technical problem, need to improve my blog in a certain way, or wish to install a particular function in my site, for many bloggers have already shared their experience or even created a particular plugin/widget that serve the purpose.
Besides, do observe what the established are doing for you are introduced the best practices right away. Pick those that suit your site and you have already saved a lot of trouble.
The lesson learnt? People are willing to help – in the blogosphere and in life. Don’t hesitate to search for an answer and ask for a favour. Besides, there are a reason why best sellers become best sellers and industry leaders are industry leaders (This is a tautology, but you get the point?!) – If you are new and inexperience, do pay extra attention to the best in that particularly industry/area for they mostly know what works and what doesn’t.
Find a niche
All experienced bloggers advice you to find a niche. Indeed, talking about breeding rabbits on Monday, racing cars on Tuesday and writing poetry on Wednesday would undoubted confuse your readers if not also yourself. So, even though you are an expert in almost everything, don’t try to talk about almost everything in one single blog or otherwise your readers don’t know what to expect from you.
The lesson learnt? Honestly this is tempting – in blogging and in real life – there are so many options and there are so many things I wanna try / talk about… Bear in mind that at the end of the day you can build a conglomerate. But, now, at ground zero, let’t pick a niche and focus on making it work first. Then, we can start another, and another, and another… Diversify, when you have built a concrete base.
If you are serious about blogging and really aim at building a readership, there is much work to do – you will have to do your research, pick your niche, write your posts, develop your site, market your blog, visit follow bloggers, response to comments, reassess your position from time to time and never stop learning…
The lesson learnt? If you are serious about anything, there is much work to do – and again, this applies to your job, your relationships, your family, your hobby, anything. You put in the effort and you reap the results.
We blog to communicate and the conversations with follow bloggers are always enjoyable and amazing. Many times, they would pose a question which have never crossed your mind, or offer a point of view that unlock a question that have lingered for longer than you can remember its origin. Over the course we bump into many interesting people and make friends with some. It is the friendship that is truly treasurable.
The lesson learnt? Friends make our hearts warm and we learn from each other. Don’t just talk and forget to listen. Don’t just take and not give. It is most wonderful when the feeling is mutual.