Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blogging 101: What I've learned so far

     Yesterday marked my 100th posting to this blog and it was rather ordinary. There was no local press banging down the door to interview me. The internet didn’t stop to wish me congrats or anything of that nature. The post went up like it always does and was welcomed by those of you out there that ready it and life went on. In the grand scheme of life, that is how it should have been. I will say that over these past months and the articles I have written, I’ve learned a few things about blogging and will share some of them in case there are those that are thinking about getting into it.
     The first thing you have to do is love writing. This is an obvious thing but I mean really love writing. If there are certain areas you love to discuss or are an expert in, those would be areas to focus on. The only way you can make your blog successful in the early stages is by getting your work out there. That may mean posting a couple of times per day or at least once per day. There have been those few lucky ones that their blog shot off from the start but most of us out here will tell you it just doesn’t happen overnight. In the beginning quantity will get you out there and will help build a following base for you to work with.
     Once you have a base to work off, you may want to jump from quantity to quality. Sometimes longer posts with a more in depth look at items will help with time management. Most of us that start blogging have full time jobs and families we need to raise. Working within those boundaries can be challenging by themselves but then add writing to the mix and time is fleeting. If you say write for 10 to 15 minutes per day and edit it all together to place as a once a week post, you will find that your work/life/blog balance can be achieved. I bet your asking, “You post almost every day, how are you managing?” Good question and let me explain how I handle things. First off, I’m a night owl so while most of you are sleeping, I’m up either watching television or listening to the comedy channel on Slacker Radio. So I decided that instead of just sitting down and wasting time, I could get all my writing done then and it would not interfere with my home life, thus The Views was born. Believe it or not, we all have time during the day where there isn’t a whole bunch happening. It is these times one could take advantage of to do writing. You don’t have to be at the computer, a simple notepad will do. You can just jot down your thoughts and leave it for later.
     The next thing I highly recommend if you are going to venture out is start out on a free site like this one. With so many options out there for web site hosting, you will need to do your research. Starting off on a website that costs you nothing out of pocket is the best way to see if this is something you truly want to do. No need to invest in a project that may or may not keep you interested. I myself am finalizing a move over to a traditional web hosting site but I took several months before making that transition. Ultimately you will need to make that move if you were to do this seriously. If you go and interview any blogger they will tell you in order to be taken seriously, a dedicated domain name will be needed.
     After all is said and done, the last thing you may want to think about is monetizing your blog. There are those that feel posting ads are wrong and there are those that say the more ads the better. I'll say that the blogging field has plenty of room for both and it is up to you to decide which way to go. Once you make a choice, you have to go into whole heartedly. I will get more into that area in a later post but for now it is something to keep in mind. Both ways you will need to do all of the above and build a following base before anything else can happen.
     These are things I have learned from my short time being out here. I hope it helps those of you thinking about jumping into this arena. If so, I wish you luck and hope you can be great at what you do.

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