What Do You Tell a New Blogger?
Recently I’ve been in conversations with several new bloggers. They’re interested and want to get started with their blogging, or had already done a little, but are uneasy about the path to take and what to do.
Just Do It
If you angst about it too much and worry about how to get started, you won’t. Now is the time. Create a list of ideas and get writing. Most people I suspect who started blogging just dove in the water.
Get Involved in the ActiveRain Community
Read others’ posts to see what they are writing about, and the kinds of visuals they use. Comment on their posts to start the relationship and share your thoughts.
The more YOU read the better you will get at writing. It’s a great way to learn more about blogging, PLUS you will learn so much about our business in general, develop some great friendships, and add to your nationwide and Canadian referral network
If you are not going to be consistent, especially when starting out, this will not be to your advantage. The same is true of any marketing. People who like your writing will want to see more (that includes Google) – I would say no less the 4-5 times per week when starting out, or more often if you can manage it. Many seasoned bloggers write daily. Writing an article once a month is probably a waste of time, at least if you want to grow your business through blogging and increase your online traffic
Be Yourself ~ Use Your Own Voice
Don’t try to model your writing style after someone else. Readers want to get to know you. Don’t be pretentious or something you are not – people will figure that out pretty quickly, especially if they decide to work with you and find out that “hey, this dude is nothing like I expected!”
Keep in mind, too, that if you act a certain way people can and will make assumptions. So be careful about your behavior. Act like an A$$, people will assume you are.
When you first start out it may not feel comfortable, and your writing may be a bit stilted. Relax. Over time you will learn about what you are most comfortable with and what speaks to you! Try to be conversational, as if you were telling your story to a friend or talking with a buyer or seller.
Write About What You Enjoy
Yes, writing is work and it takes time. If you hate it, don’t. And why spend time writing about things you don’t enjoy…short sales come to mind for some of us. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some topics that are less scintillating than others, say market reports. But your blogging will be better if you enjoy what you are talking about.
Lots of new bloggers ask “what do I write about?” This is a question with unlimited answers, and well beyond the scope of this post. Spend time on AR to see what others are writing about – this will surely generate ideas. And this post by Mimi Foster has a great list of suggestions. And ask others who are writing for their ideas.
Use Photos, Graphics and Video
Visuals are essential. They capture attention, not only of readers buy of the search engines. No one just wants to look at a long article of just words. I wouldn’t post a single article without at least 1 visual, and many great posts center on a series of photos rather than a ton of text.
A great photo can inspire a great post! So can a video, if you are comfortable doing them.
No Sticky Fingers - Don’t take other people’s photos, videos and articles
You need to write original content and take your own photos and videos. Yes, there are some sites that offer you stock photos (sometimes for a price) and graphics but I prefer, for the most part, original photos. If you use an article written by someone else do NOT claim it as your own but provide the appropriate attribution. And just because you do that does not necessarily mean you have permission to use the article. Check to see what the site says, and if unsure don’t do it. Plagiarism and copy right violations can really cost you…literally, as well as your reputation.
I could go on, but I suspect there are many of you who have some great ideas, too. And perhaps new writers will reflect on how they got started and what worked, and what didn’t.
I bet most of you reading this are experienced bloggers. So what do YOU think we shoudl tell a new blogger - please share!