Hello and welcome to a very special WordPress Wednesday! Today is special for two reasons, first it’s July 4th so most people are firing up their BBQ right now and stockpiling their fireworks (where legal), second this is a post that’s been a long time coming and I’m not sure why I haven’t covered this before now. I’ve written tons of posts about WordPress but very few posts about blogging and what’s involved in maintaining a blog once you have WordPress installed and setup the way you’d like.
Running a blog means a lot more than just having a WordPress site with content, it means connecting with an audience, taking criticism, and constantly improving. It also means dedicating more time than you might have which is important to understand before you get too far into the blogging scene. Many people want to start a blog, what I am hoping to help you with in this post is understanding if you are truly ready to start a blog so you can be realistic with your goals and expectations.
Below are a list of considerations you need to make BEFORE diving-into the world of blogging. If you understand everything below and can commit the time necessary to do it right, then go forth and conquer. If, however this looks like a bit too much for your to bite off now, be realistic with yourself and wait until you can do it right.
- The Golden Rule Of Blogging: you need to be writing blog posts every single day. This is the golden rule of blogging and the reason why so many blogs fail. Just think of the blogs you read yourself, they become part of your daily routine because they are updated daily. Most people who start blogs write a post weekly or maybe even two a week and then wonder why they aren’t developing an audience. Blog readers are all about daily updates so if you want to have a good base of daily readers, you’ll need to provide them with great content every single day. If you can’t do this, stop here and wait until your life slows down and you have the time to commit to post daily.
- Pick A Niche You Love: there is nothing harder than writing about a topic that you don’t care about. This ties directly into the golden rule of blogging, if you don’t wake up in the morning and find yourself with tons of blog post ideas, then you might not be writing about a topic you’re passionate about. If you love Golf and play golf every weekend, read golf magazine, and do one big golf vacation every year, then write about golf! The point is that you’ll know you are writing about the right topic when you sit in front of your computer and find yourself overwhelmed with the number of things you could write about.
- Comment On Other Blogs In Your Niche: let’s face it, you’re probably not going to be the only person blogging about the topic you’ve picked…and if you are then you might be the only person who cares about it! Writing a daily blog means becoming part of a blogging community. Embrace this community and read posts from other top bloggers in the space and comment on their posts so you can become a contributor to the community as a whole. This in turn will help you develop relationships with people that could help you get more traction early on.
- Cover Conferences Or Events: if you really want to have an authority blog you should be attending all of the conferences and events you can and providing coverage of these on your blog. By doing this you will connect even more with your audience and meet the movers and shakers of your industry in person. There really is no replacement for meeting people in person and if you’re not doing this at least once a year, you’re missing out on what could be the most productive 2-3 days of your entire year!
- Start or Join A MeetUp Group: if there is already a MeetUp group for your niche in your area make sure to attend this regularly, if there isn’t one already then it’s time to start one! The people in your industry that are in your local area will be the easiest to connect-up with on a regular basis. Like I said above, there is no replacement for meeting people in person so you’ll want to do this as frequently as possible.
As you can see from the above list, starting a blog is a whole lot more than just putting-up a WordPress site. It takes time, energy, and a real passion for your niche to build a blog that really connects with an audience and becomes known within an industry. By picking a niche you love you’ll actually enjoy writing posts and have plenty of content inside you that is ready to get out. Attending conferences and events in your niche will help solidify you as a member of your community and allow you to give your readers even more great content.
Of course, this all takes time and typically you’ll need at least an hour a day of time to commit to blogging if you really want your blog to take off. If you don’t have this time right now, don’t beat yourself up about it, just know that this might not be the right time to start a blog. By starting a blog once you have the time to do it right you will have a much better experience and a significantly better chance of getting traction. Whatever you do, don’t start a blog to make money, start a blog because you love a particular niche and want to share your experiences with the world. Have fun with it and make sure that every morning you wake-up excited to share with the world. So you want to start a blog? Awesome, just make sure you’re at the right point in your life to do it.