Photo courtesy of Elwood Photography.
I would like to start out today by setting the record straight. I’m not some big deal blogger that churns out real groundbreaking posts that continually make their way around the internet. For those, you’d have to talk to Aaron, he’s the head honcho that’s actually been recognized by one of the big time blogs. If you found this post and you are just starting out as a blogger, or are struggling for ideas, then I’m just like you.
Today marks the end of the 2nd full month that I’ve had a post every single day. I’ll be the first to admit that not all of those were great posts, but when you are starting out, you can’t expect to strike gold with every post. It’s about getting into the habit of blogging. With experience comes more worthwhile posts, and eventually, it all comes together… I’m still waiting for the whole ‘coming together’ moment with my own writing!
After the jump I’ll give you my top 10 tips for beginning bloggers, some relate to blog post ideas, some I’m still working on myself, but hopefully you find a point or two to help you get started with your own blog. I’ll also include some links to some other great resources that I’ve used.
Before we jump in, I’d like to point out that this is in no particular order, just the order I thought of them. With that out of the way, let’s get going!
- Find a team to work with: I’ve always been interesting in blogging, but I would have never undertaken the task on my own. Working as a team will enable each person to focus on a day or two out of the week so that your site is constantly producing new articles to grab people’s attention.
- Write about what you love: I had to really take this one to heart. I was a part of Hijinks when we first launched, but I didn’t feel like I fit in with what Fred and Aaron were writing. I struggled to find content to write about, and since it wasn’t something I cared about, I had no ambition to keep working at it and I quit. This is also why, since I’ve come back, my topics have ranged across so many different subjects even though we call ourselves a tech blog. Constantly coming up with new content is never easy, so you have to be sure it’s something that grabs your interest.
- Continually think about blogging: This was the main reason I created the ‘Saturday Shenanigans‘ and ‘T.W.I.S.T.‘ articles. I frequently peruse ESPN and a few entertainment sites, having these articles to fill each week allowed me to constantly ask myself, ‘is this a story that people would find interesting? Should I include this in my weekly articles?’ Always keeping those questions in mind allows me to come back to the drawing board over and over, helping me to have more opportunities to write.
- Create a weekly topic or two: This goes along with #3. You want to have a weekly day to post (which can be whatever you want), but adding a weekly topic will keep you honest on your ‘days off’.
- Don’t worry about being perfect: The old saying ‘you can’t learn to swim before you jump into the pool’ applies here. If I decided to only post about stuff that everyone will enjoy, I’d never post. I try to cover a wide array of topics. I’m a regular guy with regular interests, there’s other people out there just like me… they might find some of my stuff interesting. Except for a select few cases, there are people out there just like you, you just have to hope they can find your stuff.
- Get involved with your regular sites: I’ve used sites like Listal and Rotten Tomatoes for a long time, but for the longest time I just used them, I wasn’t involved with them. Since I’ve picked up blogging again, I’ve begun to post the reviews that I’m writing here on those other sites, with links back to Hijinks. Who knows who might find your work, and what avenue they’ll take to get there. Get yourself out there.
- Don’t wait till the last minute: After selecting your day to post, don’t wait until the night before, or the day of, to put your post together. I usually write my blogs a week or two early. Of course, if something comes up that is of more timely importance, I can bump an article back. This also helps if you have a team because your teammates know that you are active, and know what you’re blogging about.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things: If you usually focus more on reviews, like me, don’t be afraid to try to venture into some How-To tutorial style of posts, or maybe a top 10 post, like this one! Mix it up a bit, it will keep you from being bored or getting stuck in a rut.
- Gather a bunch of information on a certain topic and centralize it: A good example of this would be my recent NFC and AFC quick hit posts. I took information that already existed in various locations around the ‘inter-webs’ and put it together in one spot. Any time you are searching for information and find that you have to look in a number of places, that’s a great chance for you to fill a need… before anybody else!
- Have Fun: What’s the point of blogging if you can’t have fun while doing it. When you write, really include your personality into your posts. If you try to sound super sophisticated and proper when in reality you aren’t, it’s going to come across very fake, and nobody wants to read that.
And last but not least, here’s a few articles I found helpful, some cover the same material, but with a different viewpoint, which I found helpful.
What do you use for inspiration for your blogs or maybe you have some tips for beginners out there? We’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.
Problogger.net: 20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block
McLinkyblog.com: Twenty Fantastic Blog Post Ideas To Fuel Your Creativity
TheFutureBuzz.com: 45 Blog Post Ideas That Always Generate Buzz
DailyBlogTips.com: Blog Project: 30 Traffic Generation Tips
Seth’s Blog: How to get traffic for your blog
Ihelpyoublog.com: 101 Great Posting Ideas That Will Make Your Blog Sizzle