I have been approached quite a few times by people who would like to start a blog.
Of course there are many blogs out there giving advice on this subject, so why should I be any better qualified to give advice than the next person? I suppose the short answer to that is that I’m not. However, I have been running a blog for a couple of years now that not only won a couple of prestigious awards, provides me with a nice income stream but has also landed me a little book deal. So maybe I am better qualified? I don’t know. It’s up to you.
So you want to write a blog?
First of all, you have to ask yourself what kind of blog do you want?
There are many forms of blog out there.
The personal blog.
This is more or less an online diary, where you can write freeform on just about any topic that takes your fancy. This is probably the easiest form to write, but because of that you are up against very stiff competition.
The business blog.
This is one where you can showcase your business. You can provide a friendlier approach than is possible through a standard website. However, this type of writing requires fairly constant updating, or else it gives the impression that your business is stagnant too. If done properly, it is a great way of reaching your clients [or new clients?] on a much mre personal level.
The art blog.
The art blog can showcase photography, paintings or even music. Why not? This is ideal for the amateur or the professional alike. Your talent can be put on line for the world to see, and who knows? You could be the world’s next big discovery!
The specialist blog.
This is written by someone with an interest in some particular hobby or skill. It can cover a multitude, such as your favourite football team, cookery, knitting, beekeeping or whatever takes your fancy. The only suggestion I would make is that you should be passionate enough about your subject to devote a lot of time to it.
There are many other types of blog out there, but the above covers the bulk.
Having a subject to write about is not enough though. You must like writing. That may seem obvious, but it is very easy to become bored with the whole process and give up after the first couple of weeks.
The next question you have to ask yourself is why you want to blog at all.
If you see it as a way to make money, then forget it. Blogs rarely make much money, and then only when they are popular and have already broken into the mainstream. The passion for writing must come first, and money is just the possible bonus in the future.
If you are starting because you have been told it is the right thing to do, or because your friends do it, then you are probably doomed to failure. You must have the desire to dedicate yourself to it. The passion must come before the blog.
Having said that, starting a blog is easy. Starting a successful blog is a little more difficult, but don’t let that put you off.
To summarise –
- Do you enjoy writing?
- Do you have something to say?
- Is it going to be of interest to other people?
- Are you prepared to keep it up possibly for a very long time?
If the answer to all the above is ‘yes’ then there is no reason why you shouldn’t write a successful blog that isn’t doomed to failure in the backwaters of the Internet.
I will write about setting one up next time around.