If you read the first post on the nvision blog, you’ll know the many benefits of blogging for your business. But you probably knew them already. Most business owners understand the importance of blogging and the problem they face isn’t whether they should blog, but how to start and maintain a successful blog.
Step Number One: Do Not Blog
Or at least don’t blog in the way that most people consider blogging to be, which is a lot of writing.
Many wannabe bloggers don’t look at the big picture of blogging. They knock their heads against the wall wondering what to write, they are ill-prepared when they start writing and they do so prematurely. This is why so many blogs, started in such earnest, died so quickly.
Writing is just the last step of many on the road to a successful blog. And when you follow all the steps, the writing practically takes care of itself.
Blogging is a cyclical process similar to a conversation. In a conversation, you listen to what others have to say, you contribute the pertinent knowledge you have gained from learning and experience, and you expand upon the topics under discussion – then start again from the top by listening to the responses.
OK. The Real Step Number One
1. Check out other blogs.
This is the “listening” part and all you need to do is look for, subscribe to and read other blogs that are:
- Similar to what you have in mind
- About your industry or area of interest
- About blogging (please subscribe below, thx 😉
- About anything that catches your fancy
You can analyze if you like; by checking for post frequency, headline construction, image use, etc.. But merely reading other blogs, and seeing how people respond and comment, will give you a good idea of how to take part.
2. Develop Channels of Information – “Learning and Experience”.
Yes. Coming up with something to write about is one of the most difficult parts of blogging. Developing channels of information will give you a constant flow of subject matter. RSS feeds let other blogs “push” their content to you, meaning you don’t have to go get it – it’s in your email box or on your RSS reader so you can filter it for the most pertinent bits. Look for blogs, social media groups, online industry and broadcast news sources, video channels and any other valuable source that regularly publishes information relative to your area of interest. Then subscribe to them and read them regularly.
3. Interact – “Expand upon the Topics”
If, in your blog surfing, you come across something on which you would like to comment, do so and do so as often as you can. Here’s why:
- Commenting on other blogs helps you experience the blogosphere; to get a feel for the conversation
- It helps you get and develop ideas for your posts
But most of all…
- It lets everyone know you’re in the conversation, especially when you comment on the most popular blogs
Starting a blog before taking these three steps is like getting into a conversation without:
- Knowing anything about who’s involved
- Knowing anything about the topic
- Letting people know you are there
And, just like if you actually did any of these in a real conversation, you won’t be recognized, you’ll not contribute pertinently and you won’t matter because no one will know you exist.
Then you’ll get frustrated and stop trying to take part. And another blog will be abandoned without ever being given the chance to work.
Oh, almost forgot.
4. Set-up Your Blog and Write Your First Post
Start again at Step 1.