Since I blog for a living, I occasionally get friends or acquaintances asking me about starting their own blogs.
I'm hesitant to offer any definitive advice. Blogs can be personal, political, event driven, or business focused. Ultimately, you have to determine what outcomes you are seeking with your blog.
Are you building your brand? Expanding your reach? Nurturing a community? Here are a few tips you may find helpful when creating your own blog:
Do It For Free - I've been blogging since 2005. I didn't start getting paid to write blogs until 2009. I started blogging about events and issues in my hometown that I was passionate about. I learned how to research and present a position and how to write catchy and sometimes controversial headlines. Writing for free allowed me to hone the craft of blogging.
Write Before You Write - Many of my blog ideas come to me in the shower. I typically flesh out the structure of a post in my head before I begin to physically write it. I try to scribble down some notes that include bullet points and topics that will remind me of the particular flow I'm trying to capture.
Relish The Creative Process - Whether you are espousing the virtues of organic cucumbers or touting Snooki as an inbound marketing expert, remember that your post is your creation. And once published, it will be available globally. It's your "blog baby." You made it. Be proud of it. Be passionate about it.
Kill Trees And/Or Preview Often - as you build your brand through your blog, be sure to self edit. If you still print what you write - don't hesitate to mark up multiple print outs. Read what you write out loud. Does it flow? Can you say something more efficiently? Are you helping your audience? Will they value what you write?
What are your secrets to writing a great blog? Do you use the same technique every time? How do you let the creative juices flow? Do your best blog ideas come to you in the shower?
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