Before You Blog

Blogging is a journey. I just read Chris Brogan’s blog post today about how he writes 4,000 words daily and inspires you “how to write three blogs a day.”

For 99.9% of us, that ain’t happening; nor is it necessary. A blog post a day is ideal, and for 50% of us that ain’t happening, either!! So what’s a blogger to do?

Before you blog for real, you need to take into consideration the following:

  • A blog does not stop needing attention. It’s a living, breathing communication channel that requires nurturing. That daily pressure can be a deal breaker for those who cave under that responsibility.
  • Understand that subscribers and numbers of comments don’t necessarily imply success. It’s true, we’re a numerical society and “followers” count, but look at quality over quantity. There are many people who read this blog and say so on Twitter and elsewhere, yet they don’t subscribe. (That’s OK. Methinks having more subscribers would put added pressure to write and post daily.)
  • Goal setting is what everyone says you need to do; I say it’s pretty much hogwash. In public relations, we write plans and proposals oriented to goals; do goals really drive action and execution? One would hope, but for a blog, I’m not so sure.
  • Setting strategy is more like it – who are you targeting and with what fodder? It’s important to know that at the outset, and it’s also important to know this can change six months in to the blogging experience.
  • Understanding voice and what that means is just shy of critical. You need to give yourself a good six months to tap your voice, earn the confidence to recognize what that is and to keep forging ahead. While voice is often illusive, always remember to whom you’re writing and with what content.
  • Writing, writing, writing. You ought to be able to burn a blog post in 60 minutes tops and that includes its writing, adding of links, posting, adding an image and publishing. There are posts that take longer, and these are usually research oriented.
  • Understanding the back end of a blog is absolutely the most critical factor in your blog’s success. I cannot undercut the importance of this. I have so many horror stories that to others are laughable, but as a non-IT person forced to grapple with software, servers, plug-ins and widgets, the learning curve is painful.
  • I recommend Dwight Maskew of Carbon Based Life who is more than helpful in re IT. I asked a tweep who she used for her blogs, and she recommended Dwight. You will not be disappointed.

Lastly, for today, blogging takes confidence (a favorite post I wrote awhile ago when I was in the blogging dumps). There are so many emotions that go in to blogging, they are hard to describe and share. Everyone’s journey is different; what matters is your perseverance to keep it alive.