I have had this website since 2006. I have posts on this website since 2007. That’s a fair time to be blogging. Now, admittedly, I haven’t been a regular poster. I have around 250 posts published (at the time this post was published), which is an average of under a post a week. So I’m not exactly a blogging professional, and I’m probably not the sort of guy you should be looking to advice. But you are, so I’ll tell you what I know.
Over time, I have tried different options with my blogging. I’ve had general “about me” posts. I’ve had “On this day” what happened in music on this day posts (which I really enjoyed but took up a fair amount of time). I’ve had Plinky posts, post-a-day posts, feature posts, sermon posts, faith posts… the list goes on. If you’re starting to get into blogging, there’s a couple of things that I can recommend.
Find a niche
Finding a niche area to write about will make it easier for you to attract an audience. And when you find an area that works, stick to it! Keep finding new ways to keep that audience interested.
Set yourself up with a regular writing schedule. For me, I try to write some posts on my bus ride into work (thank-you smart phones), and do some cleaning up of posts in my lunch break. I’ll also try to spend some time either on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning working on lengthier posts, or building up a reserve of posts.
Build up a reserve
I’m attempting to post every day, so having that pool of draft posts that I can quickly just publish when I can’t think of anything is a handy tool. It also means that if I have to go away and can’t get to a computer to write, I can schedule some posts to publish while I’m away. When you chip away at that reserve, try to find time to replenish it as soon as possible, as you never know when you’ll need it again.
Sometimes you need to review what you’re working on, and decide whether it’s working, whether it’s worth the effort that you’re putting in, or whether you need to modify it slightly. I know many bloggers over time who have just slightly modified their niche to ensure it remains interesting to them. Or web cartoonists who have modified their posting schedule so that they can spend more time on their art work, or spend more time with their family. Always make sure that when you review, you take all things into account – not just whether you’re getting the statistical numbers you want.
Blogging should never be stressful, or cause anxiety. While there are many trolls and haters out there, overall I have found the blogging community to be one that is very supportive of anyones efforts. But if you’re finding yourself getting stressed over whether you’ve posted something, or you’re anxious about what people might say, then consider taking a break for a bit. Unless you’re relying on income from your blog, then there’s not much to be lost from taking a break, or stopping entirely. You should always do what is fun and enjoyable for you. If that’s not blogging, then so be it. Enjoy reading them instead.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out blogging?