Ten Steps to Successful Blogging

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  1. First of all it’s not easy! Don’t kid yourself. Step one… do not pretend that a blog will be instantly successful, that it will get you “found” by a social media company who will whisk you away to untold riches or that you will suddenly land a book deal. That happens rarely. Most bloggers battle to be heard and will only ever reach modest follower numbers.
  1. Carry a notebook with you at all times or have a phone handy to note down ideas when they come to you. Often they happen for me at night or when I’m out and about. A random overheard conversation can spark an idea, something on the tv can give you that eureka moment and even people watching at your favourite waterhole can form the basis of an article. Grab the ahaaa! moment while you can. If you don’t write it down you will forget.
  1. Pictures are important
Pictures, pah to pictures get me food, walk me, distraction distraction distraction
Pictures, pah to pictures get me food, walk me, distraction distraction, distraction
  • Use pictures in your blog… it’s not easy finding free pics; utilise Creative Commons images and Word clipart, find Royalty free images (paid or otherwise) or make your own.
  • Make sure you also save pictures if it is allowed as you can find they disappear from the site you’re linking to and as a result you will lose them forever!
  • Carry a phone or camera so you can take pics when you see them.
Even a walk into town can be useful - people love to see your world
Even a walk into town can be useful – people love to see your world
  1. Check your blog every now and then… just to see if there are any broken links or lost pictures. Don’t always look forward to your next blog, remember to look backwards sometimes too.
  1. Link to / like other blogs – people will find you who may not otherwise. As hinted in step 1. it’s a big old cyber-world out there, it’s good to be connected.
  1. Use social media to let people know you exist. It’s another way to get yourself out there… let your Facebook or Twitter pals know you have a blog, use any other social media platforms you are hooked up to. Your blog can get cold and lonely if no-one knows it’s there.
Coffee time can be great for bloggers... people watch, form ideas and utilise social media
Coffee time can be great for bloggers… people watch, form ideas and utilise social media
  1. If you are blogging for business rather than pleasure have the blog written in your company’s “voice” – I’m chatty, but that’s not appropriate for, say, a lawyer or a “serious” profession.
  1. Have your blog proofread, or at the very least print it off and read from paper, that way you’ll catch mistakes, but you won’t catch them all. You will never catch them all unless you hire a proofreader or get a friend to look it over first.
  1. Don’t underestimate the time needed to blog – it can take ages. I tend to write my blog, source pictures etc. at night, or first thing on a morning. From first idea to the finished piece it can take hours if not days. Seriously. If you can managed to bash out blog articles at a fantastic rate that’s great, you deserve a Superman or woman costume to wear underneath your work outfit, but for mere mortals not every blog will be written quickly.
He underestimated the time needed to blog... look what happened to him
He underestimated the time needed to blog… look what happened to him
  1. Finally, and linked to no.9, store up blog ideas or articles… that way you won’t have the mad dash when you realise that you have a blog due. It makes sense to have a stash of fully written blogs or a few ideas handy. Write snippets as the ideas come, make mind-maps or a bulleted lists, then if you find a post due and you are over-run with work you can reach into the pile, add a final polish and breathe easy. Like the Scouts… be prepared.
Did I mention distractions? There are always distractions... stay focussed...if you can!
Did I mention distractions? There are always distractions… stay focussed…if you can!

So there we have it…ten steps to successful blogging. Whether it’s for work or pleasure a blog can be an interesting thing. Sometimes your ideas will fly and go viral, sometimes they will sink like a lead duck. But if you are prepared, at least it will be a fairly painless writing experience that you can enjoy, and hopefully others will too.

8 Comments on “Ten Steps to Successful Blogging

  1. Pingback: Blog Day | Northern Editorial

  2. Well played, Sara. And love the dog pics. 🙂 I’m finding the stashing of ideas in Notes on my Mac (lots of folks also use Evernote on their mobile devices, too, I understand) works well for longish comments I make somewhere that I can expand into a blog post. It is interesting that it all feeds on itself; reading other folks’ blogs is a great way to get ideas for your own (not as in plagiarizing, but giving your own take on the issue).

    WIsh I had a collie to distract me, actually…

    • Well at the moment the collies aren’t distracting…well unless you count the snoring!

      And yes, I do tend to take notes on my phone if I have an idea when I’m out and about. I know from experience that that brilliant “Ahaaa” moment can turn to dust when you forget exactly what it was 😉

  3. Pingback: Social Media Roundup | Northern Editorial

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