It’s no secret that I adore blogging; I’ve been indulging in my blogging habit for almost 20 years. When you blog year after year, it tends to change your life, and brings you opportunities you would never have been offered otherwise.
My email Inbox formerly included daily questions about blogging. Now not so much. Now it’s questions about why books aren’t selling, why clients do whacky things, how to get started with (whatever), and what’s the best way to (whatever)…
Writers could answer most of these questions themselves, or the questions might never arise, if they took the time to create a blog, and wrote a blog post a week.
Be proactive: you’re a writer, so BLOG
Blogging forces you to pay attention. It’s instant publishing, which means instant feedback. That feedback needn’t be via an email message, or a comment. It can be the number of views an article gets over a month. Or maybe a post which results in a client who sends you a query, and then offers you an on-going gig.
Regular blogging improves your writing skills.
When you blog:
- You get more ideas;
- You write more, which results in smoother and clearer writing over time;
- You’ve got a head start on marketing and promotions;
- You plug in to the vast networks of millions of other bloggers…
But I get it. I really do. Blogging can be HARD. It’s a commitment. Although millions of blog posts are written every day, and hundreds of thousands of new blogs are started, most of those blogs will never contain more than one or two posts.
Let’s assume that you accept that blogging is a valuable exercise. Here are some tips on building a healthy blogging habit.
1. Trust yourself: follow your intuition
I started blogging because my intuition wouldn’t let it go. No matter how many times I ignored my impulse to create a blog, that same impulse kept arising. I had lots of excuses:
- Too busy;
- Takes too much time;
- Show me the money!
- No, no, no… a thousand times no. I can’t write for “free”.
And so on, and so forth.
Finally I gave in, and without a doubt, starting that first blog — I’ve got a vague idea that it was on My Journal — was the best decision I ever made.
Trust yourself. You don’t need to see the road ahead. You just need to write today.
2. Starting a new project? Write a blog post
This question always comes up: “What will I blog about?”
You can blog about anything you like of course.
- Blog about issues of the day;
- Write short stories and post them to your blog;
- Blog about your cat, or in the character and voice of your cat;
- Your diet, or your fitness program (always popular);
- Your hobbies…
Try blogging about your upcoming projects.
If you’ve just signed a new client, blogging about this is easy promotion — prospective clients see that you write website content, or Facebook ads, or whatever it is that you do — and are inspired to contact you.
Maybe you’ve just started writing a new book. Blogging about your book builds anticipation, so that you make sales on publication day.
3. Develop confidence, because it’s your blog, and there are no rules
“Confidence” is a major issue for many writers. New writers are unsure of themselves, of course. But confidence issues can also plague writers who’ve been writing for years.
Your blog helps you to take tiny steps towards more confidence. You blog, and you get readers: that makes you more confident, and you take on larger projects because you have confidence.
Blogging helps you to practice your writing in a low-risk environment.
What’s the worst that can happen? A post gets no readers. Alternatively, you get a huge response to a post. Either way, you’ll handle it. And with each little step you take out of your comfort zone, your confidence grows.
4. Invest in your blog, get your own domain name
I suggested in Blogging Dangerously:
That’s the lesson to take away from all those freebie blogging platforms which seem amazing, but over which you have zero control, and which are — POOF — gone. Your blog is just a single decision away from closing — a decision which is made by someone else.
Yep. Facebook can change the rules. So may Blogger, and WordPress.com. If you’re not paying for your blog, you can’t complain when someone else changes the rules.
Yes, I know: registering a domain name, signing up for a hosting account, and running a script to install WordPress… Sigh… 🙁
I get that you need to learn stuff. Recall that blogging is a low-risk environment. There are endless tutorials on how to buy a domain name, set up a blog, et al… So, learn how to do it.
Whenever you learn a new skill, it pays off. A skill will increase your income, and opportunities. So, please look on your learning as a gift.
Decide that you’ll create your own blog, and do it.
An experienced person can set up a blog — including buying a domain name etc in around ten minutes. It might take you five hours the first time you do it. However, that’s a gift too — you’ve just increased your confidence again, because you did it.
The more often you do things which seem hard, the more your confidence grows, and the more opportunities will arise for you. And did I say that you’d make more money? 🙂
Healthy blogging can change your life
So, if your intuition has been nagging at you to blog, please don’t hesitate — start today.
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