By Steven W Daniel
Well, first things first… Pick up a pen, get yourself a notebook or a couple of pieces of paper, whatever works best for you, and start scribbling down some ideas of topics that you feel need to see the light of day. Where do you want this blog to go? What are its aspirations, what are its hopes and dreams? Know from the beginning what you hope to accomplish with the power of your words. Then make sure that your Google prowess is sufficient.
Next, get some idea of whom your target audience is. If, for instance, you decide that your blog is targeted at the business sector, you cannot one day turn around and write a piece about how nasty the bouncers at what was once your favourite nightclub have become. Unless somehow you package this nicely and use it as a lead up to a smart comparison of how similar those bouncers are to the receptionist for a CEO that you have been dying to get a comment from for several weeks, or an Intellectual Property Manager for an organisation that you are trying to release a marketing campaign for and need them to sign off on some artwork but are told that you cannot proceed as you are somehow infringing on usage rights for free material that was broadcast across the internet for worldwide usage, or something to that effect…
In the words of Mark Twain “Write what you know.” Why I say this is not so that you exclusively write only about your past experiences because you love the Hank Moody and want to be just like him when you grow up, but if you have a concept or have been given a brief – put in the time and energy to learn as much as you possibly can about the topic. Know what it is that you are writing about and do the necessary research. Make sure you can actually write – write an article, print it out and give it to a couple of friends who you think might enjoy the topic and take a look at their facial expressions as they read it. Make sure they are honest with you with their feedback, but better yet, if they cannot tear their eyes away from the page then you know you are in for the money.
The next step, quite obviously, is getting it out there. It takes a lot of time and energy to building an audience, so be consistent with your posts. Be engaging with the people who do read your blog, show them that you care because without them you may as well not even blog at all. That does not mean you have to be a suck up, or take every comment to heart. Be yourself as much as you possibly can, but remember how important your readers are. Listen to what they have to input and you might just be inspired, reply to comments and questions and be present – If you are not posting a blog daily then don’t make your readers wait, however long it is that you actually decide to space your blogs apart and still remain interesting, consistent and relevant, for your reply.
There are a lot of other people out there that write about similar topics that you may be writing about right now, connect with them. Go out there and check out what they have to say, read other people’s blogs and be engaging with them. There are many ways to build networks, just do not go and spam another person’s blog to get traffic to your site. Above all, try to have some fun with it – as my first girlfriend said “Life isn’t as serious as you tend to make it seem sometimes bro.” I used to hate it when she called me bro…
By Steven W Daniel