So by no means am I am expert in blogging or an expert writer for that matter. There are so many layers to both that I won’t quit learning until I die.
But lately it seems like I’ve had some questions from various newbie bloggers wanting to know stuff I wanted to know when I started, too.
This will be a two-part series because I can’t cover all of this in 500 words or less (my goal for each post). If you’re like me, you start to glaze over at that point anyway.
If you are new to blogging or thinking about starting a blog, here’s what I’ve learned during the past four years:
1. Identify your purpose. Know your “why.” I know this seems like it would be obvious but it isn’t always. Some people want to start a blog to serve simply as an account of their lives. They don’t care about ever publishing a book and they want to stay far away from social media. This is fine as long as your goal isn’t to become a published author or respected speaker. If it is, even if you don’t want to embrace social media and writing for an audience through a platform such as your blog, you’re going to have to. Publishers want to know you’ll be able to sell a book or two (this is a gross under-exaggeration,of course) not to mention you need a place on the web to send those who want to hire you as a speaker where they can learn more about who you are and your speaking topics.
2. What is your passion? This took me a while to figure out because I’m a bit of a renaissance woman. I have a whole host of passions, how would I pick just one? After much prayer, I found my niche to be as an authentic voice among women ages 25-45 ministering to others through my own imperfections of daily living. If you are passionate about mothering, then this is likely going to be where you will write from. If you are a foodie, you’ll want to look into starting a food blog. Here’s the thing: your readers will be able to tell when you are passionate about a subject. You won’t think they’ll notice when you’re faking it, but they do. And since there are enough imposters on the web as is, I would encourage you to be real and true to who you are and what you love.
3. Who is your audience? Is it the tired mother who’s been up since 4 a.m. with a crying baby? Is she a fellow small business owner? Is she a fashionista? Once you determine your passion, you’ll know your audience. I would recommend that you come up with a visual of what she looks like, what she likes to eat, what she does for fun, and what she values in life. I would even give her a name. Now write specifically to her everytime you write a post.
4. Start with WordPress. I’ll just save you some time later – most people who didn’t start with WordPress are moving to it now. It was very easy for me to learn how to use and since most others are using the same, it makes for a smoother transition should you ever become a site contributor.
5. Start small with posting. Even if your goal is to become the next Beth Moore, you won’t be able to do it overnight. Like anything else worth doing, this is a process and what you learn during the process is more valuable than the eventual product. If you can only post once a week in this season of your life, post once a week. Keep your expectations low and understand that it took David 15 years after he had been anointed to officially become king. During those 15 years, God was taking him through stuff (understatement) that would make him an even better leader than he would have been if he had been handed the throne when he was anointed.
Wisdom comes to those who start small, chip away a bit at a time, and humble themselves to God’s teachings throughout the process. Think like David.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss more deeper, emotional issues that come along with blogging for an audience.
So I want to hear from you . . . If you are a new blogger or thinking of becoming a blogger, what do you want to know?