Ten Tips on Blogging (or starting a blog)

31 Oct

So, you want to start a blog? 

I think that’s a great idea– but make sure you know the basics before you start.  You don’t want to lose credibility with those who think highly of you and are interested in what’s on your mind by making freshman mistakes.

 

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind about beginning blogging.

 1. Start with the right blog provider and the right address and blog name. Create an easy-to-remember web address (name.wordpress.com or similar).  Also, keep in mind that the various blog sites all have different styles and probably attract different types of people.

2. Find your voice (you should identify what all you will discuss on your blog, and be diverse enough for it not to be too vanilla and so it also won’t be too broad);

3. Provide good content (have something to say) consistently– without that, you won’t have a consistent readership;

4. Map out a blogging strategy (frequency of writing- how often you’ll write, a content schedule– like a preaching calendar… including series and topics scheduled out- mine is currently scheduled weekly through next October already);

5. Always write well, using good grammar, compelling vocabulary, never any type-o’s, using catchy images and blog titles;

6. Adjust your writing to hit the target with your readers, while still being true to yourself. Regularly check your viewing stats on Word Press so you can keep track of what’s working and what isn’t with your readers;

7. Don’t start if you won’t keep going.  I’d suggest doing 5-10 good blogs before you even launch it, to see how serious you are.  If you can’t do that, you won’t continue to do blogs or quality posts in 4 weeks– begin, schedule future ones you’re writing for the weeks to come, then keep writing behind the scenes, so you have a little grace period if you get behind on your writing schedule;

8. Promote your blog using tools you have through social networking;

9. Do a 2 for 1: Blog and Pod the same content— since the hard work is already done (creating the content).  Consider creating a cooresponding podcast that ‘speaks’ your current blogs on podcast, so you can double your audience– different groups of people do podcasts v. blogs, so that’s two for your time if you do both… I do that sometimes, but plan to ramp it back up and continue;

10. Consider Team Blogging. If you think this could be more of a fad interest than one with staying power, consider team blogging with others.  The bad news is that it lessens your personal visibility when on a team, if that’s an interest of yours– but the good news is that the team effort gives synergy.  In addition to my personal blog, for example, I’ll soon be blogging on my seminary’s blog (a new blog being started by Talbot School of Theology).  So I’ll be on BOTH a team blog and have my own personal blog too. 

I hope these ideas are helpful.  Treat it like a ministry and not a casual interest, and it’ll make waves.  But keep in mind that it takes time to reach a readership… Don’t expect lots of people to RSS feed it (subscribe) at first, as many readers will visit it when you post and let them know, rather than be groupies.

Best wishes on your blogging.  People want to hear what you have to say! 

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