How to Start a Blog by Bridget Willard

How to Start A Blog

I was asked by one of my Twitter followers this week how to blog. Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve never written about it.

Why you should blog is here.

Why should you blog?

In my view, there are two aspects of blogging: the writing and the technical.

Obstacles

My nemesis is motivation.

Other people are daunted by the technology.

Still others, time.

All of these things can be overcome.

We know that one of the keys to being social is content. Too many people, including myself, think there’s nothing more to be said. Here’s an excerpt from that post:

What if I have nothing to say?

Have you ever thought to yourself that everything meaningful has already been said? Maybe it has. I’m sure there is another blogging series or posts that are better than this one. But this is my creation and the words come out in my voice.

Believe me, you, too, have ideas. You have your own style. You have a voice. You can add value to the world. Are you worried you’ll just state the obvious? Maybe the obvious isn’t that obvious.

“Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them. Maybe what’s obvious to me is amazing to someone else.” Derek Sivers 

Just Write

You just have to do it. This is what all of my friends tell me. I tend to write in binges, much like everything else in my life.

Carol Stephen recommends using a timer:

“Yes, you can write in small increments. Yes, it will help your startup. Back when I started to exercise, I gave myself an out whenever I went to the gym. If I didn’t feel better after 15 minutes, I allowed myself to leave. During many years of exercising, I’ve only left twice. So set that timer for 15 minutes and get going! You can do it!”

You're not the hero of your blog by Chris Lema - WCOC 2014

You’re Not The Hero: Insights on Building Community by Chris Lema at WordCamp OC 2014

Is your blog for you or for your audience?

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.”

“Wind Beneath My Wings” by  Jeff Silbar, Larry Henley

In a storytelling mode, the speaker quiets the nervous yet excited chatter in the room within ten seconds as he leads into a story, bringing us in with every word, pause, and intentional inflection.

Until Saturday, I had only heard tales of the blogging Sherpa and WordPress guru, never yet experiencing the inspired smile or sitting next to a gaggle of mesmerized engineers.

The best part of the talk was being reinforced in everything I believe in. That is to say, be a generous person, focus on relationships, care for people, and the rest will follow.

“The hero of the story I’m participating in is not me.” Chris Lema

There is a tendency for “experts” to pass on classes that cover topics “we experts” already “know,” discounting the power of reinforcement learning. Being reinforced by a total stranger who doesn’t owe you anything (emotionally or otherwise) is more powerful than you can imagine.

Do you want to get the most out of your blog?

You can watch the presentation on WordPressTV here.

Live Tweets:

Here are the tweets I sent out during the talk:

Keys to Being Social: Consistency - 130510 The Positive Daily Affirmation Image About Consistency by Omar Reyes, on Flickr

Keys to Being Social: Consistency

Do you struggle with making writing a habit?

 

Do you debate blogging based on consistency versus inspiration? Are you a slave to the editorial calendar?  Do you fear the impending, un-avoidable lack of quality that only comes with consistency? Perhaps, that debate has only been in my own mind.

“Consistency is the last resort for the unimaginative.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Yet consistency is important to our own skill-set. Like any skill, writing must be practiced. That reason alone, regardless of consideration for Google’s search math or serving your audience, is enough to compel me to publish more regularly.

The Confession

I admit that I’ve been selfish in my blogging. I only blog when I feel compelled to.

Often, since I have a “day job,” my reasons fall under “Life Happens.”

 “At the end of the day blogs, Twitter, Facebook are just sites. Sometimes the world is more important than the digital one we live in.” Scott Stratten, “Frequently Futile: How Often Should You Blog”