Two Secrets to Being a Better Blogger
Yes, that's right. I've got two secrets that can make an aspiring blogger a better one. And I better apologize up front because you're probably hoping for a quick road to success. Sorry, no such thing is forthcoming. Just a couple of observations that I figured made for a good blog post.
Just Do It
Nike had it right with their advertising campaign not too long ago. A lot of what holds new bloggers back is that they want to know everything about blogging before actually writing their first post. So they spend days or weeks reading the likes of Darren Rowse's Problogger site. That's certainly one approach, but not the one I try to impart on friends that ask me about how they can get in to the blogging game. I prefer to tell them to just do it. Start writing and continue writing. The first question you'll be able to answer when you do this is if you even like blogging. The second question will be whether you think you can continue blogging beyond the initial excitement of the first 2 or 3 weeks.
My approach doesn't back you in to a corner because what you do at the beginning is entirely up to you. After all, you're not going to have a following of significant size for a very long time so you can tweak your blog, move your blog, and change the topic of your blog to your heart's content during the first few months without fear of somehow losing something valuable. What you'll find is that you'll end up learning a lot about blogging as you blog and you'll be better able to pick a path for future efforts.
Stop Watching TV
That heading is right. TV is enemy number one for a blogger. Well, except for that pesky "real" job most of us have that can sap both our time and creativity It's too easy to sit in front of the TV and lose several hours every evening. At the end of it, you've likely learned next to nothing and you're probably headed to bed rather than thinking about how to write your next blog post.
So if you stop watching TV (or at least cut back on it) you'll suddenly find you have plenty of time to read and write. The reading, whether it's online or print, will get your mind working and blog posting ideas will naturally form because of what you read. Sure, you'll have to read much more than you write, but that's OK. If you can spend an hour or two reading for every 15-30 minutes writing, you can still churn out a post every day.
Only after you've done the above two things should you reach out to other blogging sites for tips. Darren's posts in particular can be very helpful and I look to them for inspiration every now and again. Just don't get bogged down by trying to get things right the first time. Be open to making mistakes and then correcting those mistakes. Happy blogging!