If you’ve been trawling the web, for any amount of time, you’ll have noticed that there are lots and lots of blogs. Everyone and his cat (literally) seems to have one. Do they need to have one? Probably not, but why spoil the fun?
Blogging is a great way to build a presence on the web, but only you can decide whether you actually need one. In trying to decide, you’ll probably ask yourself a number of questions and I’m going to guess that somewhere near the top of that list will be:
Who would want to read my rambling rubbish anyway?
The short answer is, probably nobody. But you never know until you try. What I can guarantee you is that nobody’s going to happen across your blog overnight and make it into the next web sensation. Blogging is a long-haul hobby, that’s for damn sure.
You’re going to have to do two things. First, write something that people will want to read. And second, tell people you’ve written someting they will want to read.
Writing something people will want to read is hard. Yes, I know you’re a writer and every word that drips from your pen is worthy of an audience. But trust me on this, writing for an audience (even a small one) can be nerve wracking.
Yes, you can write about anything, and people do. I’ve seen blog posts about haircuts, how awful the X-Factor is and daily diaries that cover all the minutiae of a persons life. And while I’d never tell someone what they should or shouldn’t write about, if you want readers, you’re going to have to think differently.
I suggest having a theme. All the best blogs have one. This one is about learning to get your head around the fast moving world of computers and the internet. Over at Will Write For Cake I write about writing. There are blogs about being a mum, training a puppy and juggling. There are blogs with nothing but photos of cats – FACT: The interwebs is made of cats. There are even blogs about blogging.
My advice is to pick a theme. And, as you’re a writer, don’t worry about blogging about writing, even if you’re not a published author. Let that fact be your theme. That’s what I do. You can’t be imparting your wisdom on people without the knowledge or experience to back it up, but people love to read about how others are coping with the learning curve.
That goes for any hobby, not just writing; if you’re new to it, blog about being new to it. Document each new thing you learn for the benefit of others. You’ll be surprised how many readers will find it useful. And that’s the key to blogging:
Be useful, be entertaining, be honest.
In future articles I’ll look at the various free blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr so you can see how easy it is to set up a blog. I’ll also be looking at things like Twitter and Facebook, which you’ll need if you’re going to find readers for your blog.
For now though, have a think about blogging and what it can do for you.
Oh and you might want to read my other article on this subject over at Will Write For Cake. There are some great links to other blogs over there too, so go click on them and see what’s out there.
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