Launching a Blog? Before You Do…

So you’re thinking of starting your own blog? Good for you. Don’t let the naysayers dissuade you from giving it a go. You will find folks out there who insist they can write your blog better than you.

Maybe. Maybe not.

You also will find self-proclaimed social media gurus who don’t think you should start a blog unless there’s a lucrative business agenda attached.

Blech! Toss out that unsavory advice. Despite what you may have heard, no, greed isn’t always good. You can simply blog because you love the topic and want to connect with others who do, too! It doesn’t always have to include some marketing ploy behind it. Maybe you just love Glee and want the rest of the world’s Gleeks to share in your delight every week!

To create a really compelling blog or even a somewhat interesting one, here’s what you need: a goal, a little thought behind it, genuine passion about the subject and a commitment to stay active. Often it is that last part that throws off many a blogger. Take it from me. I can speak to that one personally.

Goals – what do I mean by a blog goal? Well, what’s its purpose? Not so much why would you take time out of your day to write it but rather why would the READER take time out of his or her day to READ it?

A little thought behind it – if you think to yourself, ‘self, you like local music. Let’s start a local music blog,’ and head over to WordPress to get things in motion, well, you may find things a little more difficult to set up than if you first take a few moments to decide who is your target audience, what kind of tone should you use (is it going to be funny or serious, objective or opinionated, etc.) and what different categories of info should you tackle. Maybe you’ll have a local clubs section, another about local artists, upcoming music events in the area and another about latest CD releases! You don’t have to plan out your content completely but know your direction and maybe key topics you want to cover during the next month.

Passion about the subject – if you’re not interested in writing about it, we’re sure as heck not going to enjoy reading it. A reader KNOWS when the writer is simply going through the motions. So make sure that if you’re taking on the responsibility of starting and maintaining your own blog that it’s something you feel strongly about and can maintain the same enthusiasm every time you write a new blog.

Commitment – as I wrote earlier, this is sometimes the hardest part of the job: keeping up with the blog. To get a dialogue going with your regular readers, you have to be frequently supplying new content, responding to comments, encouraging feedback and staying fresh and topical with your own content. Set yourself a schedule in advance of how many times a week you will be blogging.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. It’s easy for first-time bloggers to get disheartened by lack of direct feedback. It takes  a little time to build a momentum, word of mouth and a blog following, all of which your social media channels (whichever you may choose) will help you promote your blogs. So remember: if it’s something you’re passionate about, you should be enjoying the ride just writing about what interests you so much, and the comments you do get are like icing on the proverbial cake!

Good luck and let me know how it goes… would love to check out your new blog and follow your next big adventure!

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