So you want to learn how to blog. Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been a quote-unquote problogger (someone who gets paid to blog) for a bit over five years now, and I have some information to share. These are things that I’ve learned on my own (often the hard way) and may or may not be of use to you, so pay attention. What’s true for me may not be true for you so take from this what you want, and leave out all the rest.
First things first: Create a blog
If you want to start blogging, then you’ve got to have a blog of your own. There are many ways of doing this.
My preferred method of creating blogs is with the use of the most popular blogging platform in the world, WordPress. You can also try any one of the following free blogging services: Blogger, Tumblr, LiveJournal, and TypePad.
There are many other blogging services available out there, but if you just stick to the ones that I mentioned above, you’re going to have a good time.
Pick a topic
Now that you’ve got your own blog, you can finally start blogging. How do you do that? Just pick a topic, and then start talking about it. It can be anything; work, your pet cat, the latest Apple iThing, whatever. After you pick a topic for your blog, you have to fill it with pretty much anything and everything that you think is relevant.
Of course, you want to avoid duplicating content that is already present in other blogs. That would be a waste of time not only for yourself but for everyone else as well.
What you want to do is make your blog full of stuff that can’t be seen anywhere else. These days, it’s hard to go around and read blogs without acquiring some form of cancer. So make your work count.
It’s easy to start blogging. What’s hard is to keep blogging, especially if you feel like no one is reading.
Let me tell you, that feeling will never go away. Even after more than five years of being paid to blog, I still sometimes feel like no one is reading what I wrote. You’re bound to experience that, too.
I say fuck that noise and keep blogging anyway. The day you quit blogging is the day your blog dies, and you mustn’t let that happen. Keep writing essays, posting photos, and linking web sites that you think help make your blog a little bit more interesting. If you have no one else to show it to, you can at least show it to yourself.
Read other blogs
Reading other blogs is something that many bloggers do every day. I do it, too. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have anything to blog about. Even if you don’t depend on other blogs for your content, you can check out other blogs for other things, such as design tips, inspiration, and sources of useful information.
Reading other blogs is also kind of like a way to plug yourself into the social pipeline. It lets you connect to your peers, collaborate with others, and participate in relevant discussions. If nothing else, other blogs can offer you precious — and often free — online promotion.
But don’t spam other blogs. Just try to contribute as much useful information (that is relevant to whatever discussion is taking place) as you can. Whether people agree with you or not, if they take notice of your contribution, they might check out your own stuff. And that may or may not lead to you gaining a new reader or subscriber. Just don’t hurt your own chances.
Share, share, share
You’ve got to let everyone know about your blog. Perhaps not quite everyone, but everyone who you think will benefit from what you’ve blogged about.
If you have started a blog, then you most likely have something to say or share. So don’t be afraid to tell people about it. You can link them to your blog directly, or leave your links available in your various social networking profiles.
The point is, don’t hide anything. If you post something on your blog, then it must be worth sharing. And if you’re blogging about stuff that you don’t want people to know about online, then maybe you shouldn’t be blogging in the first place.