So, you want to blog? And you’d like to build a following. Great. I’m here to help.
Here’s a quick reality check:
- Success has nothing to do with a fancy blog design.
- Success has nothing to do with learning the latest SEO tricks.
- Success has nothing to do with finding advertisers to fund you.
So save your money. And don’t waste your brain cells.
Success as a blogger is so much simpler than that.
Just start writing. That’s 99% of the battle. Write, write, and write some more.
Success will find you when you are satisfied with who you are and how you write.
Start at the beginning
Chances are, as a reader of my blog, you’ve read something I’ve written and thought… “I could have said that, just better. I am smarter and a better writer than Adam McLane.” And you might be.
So what is the difference between you and I? Experience.
Go ahead and look at a tab on the right sidebar called, Archives. Then drop down all the way to the beginning. Go all the way back to May 2004 and read a few posts. I was horrible. But I was consistent, I was trying, and I was listening. And over time I wrote less about things that were interesting to only me and more about things that might be interesting to both me and you.
2004 was my beginning. Next, skip up to 2006, then 2008, then 2010. You’ll see a progression. I got better. I’d like to think that the progression continues.
If you are starting, just write. It doesn’t even matter what you write. Or if anyone reads it. Just write and write and write. You’ll figure it out.
You don’t have a reputation to protect
The biggest block to most people getting going (and later, to you growing) is a fear of embarrassment. Get over yourself. Stop it. You aren’t famous and you don’t have a reputation to protect. And if you can’t stop worrying about your reputation… write under a pen name and don’t tell anyone you are doing it. All that matters is that you start writing.
I wrote for two years on a blogger account not tied to my name directly. Then for the next two years I wrote on a Typepad blog… I didn’t move to adammclane.com until I’d been at it for a few years. I didn’t have a reputation to protect. But I probably thought I did.
Don’t make an announcement
I think letting people know that you are going to start blogging is the worst thing you can possibly do. Telling people seems to mount pressure. Pressure to perform steals the joy of expressing yourself. And once the joy is gone– you will convince yourself that you don’t have time or that it isn’t a priority.
Just write. Don’t promote. Forget about Twitter or Facebook or anything else. Just write. If it’s good, people will find it.
Measure the right things
I’m 7 years into this. I measure some pretty sophisticated things. If you are just starting out the only thing worth measuring is, “Did I write today?” Get a year into it… then add to that, “What kinds of posts draw comments?” Once you have enough confidence… then worry about things like, “What’s my niche`, who is my audience, and is my blog growing?”
But for now… just write.