Having spent three years writing for multiple blogs, I have learned ten valuable lessons that every blogger should remember.
1) You will probably not become famous from this project
There are an unimaginable amount of blogs out there in the world. For every cockroach in your kitchen cabinet there are at least a thousand blogs. Some are world-class while others are ranting nonsense. It doesn’t matter what the content is. Chances are you will never become famous because of a blog. Don’t let this stop you from creating one. Admit it; you also thought you would become famous after that YouTube video you created of your cat sleeping. Thirty-seven views later and you are still wondering why you haven’t gotten a call from a major cable network.
2) The majority of your readers will be other bloggers
Your friends, family, and random people on the Internet will indeed read your blog. However, if you do things right the majority of your readership will be other bloggers. This is both good and bad. This is good because you can join a blogging community and see what other like-minded individuals are writing about. This is bad because since they have the same expectations and desires as you, they are essentially your competition. You should always do whatever you can to build as large of an audience as possible, including interacting with other bloggers. Even if they one day may become your hated rival, this is just the proper way to do things.
3) Nobody will ever read every word on your blog
Your biggest fan in the world won’t even scan their eyes across every word you type on your blog. Accept that people have better things to do than to read about your opinion on dating or the story behind your latest kayaking trip. People will scan sometimes and it will be clear they didn’t read every word. It’s unnecessary to call them out on this. Be grateful they are reading something and feeding your need to be noticed.
4) Trolls will come
When you first start a blog you will probably have a couple of trolls pop up. This shouldn’t be a chronic problem for bloggers who are not famous. For one, unless you really offend someone they are not going to bother letting you “have it.” If you were making money at blogging then they may be a little more likely to let you know how wrong you are about your review of a potato chip brand. The more followers you get on your blog though and the more professional the page looks, the less likely trolls are going to comment. They’re trolls for a reason. They are afraid what you are capable of if you were to send your legion of six fans after them. Thank goodness for IP Addresses.
5) It does take work to make the blog worth your time
There are two directions you can go in when starting a blog. You can either write and hope for the best or do whatever you can to build an audience. People will find your blog, but you limit yourself by not seeking out readers. To have a blog that others see as worthy of their time, they need to see other people commenting or interacting with you. It’s the same way nobody wants to be friends with the kid with no friends. As humans we like to be involved in whatever is popular. Put some time into making your blog well-written, organized, attractive, and worth your time.
6) You get what you give
A big part of blogging is giving back. Think of it like a gift giving holiday. If you give a lot to others, they will feel obligated to return the favor. The same way a good relationship between a loving couple involves compromise and working together, you will have to do the same with other bloggers. Aside from that, the more work you put into your blog at creating original and creative content, the more people may appreciate your work.
7) Make your blog as much about the content as it is about the person writing the content
The argument goes, “Are people there to see the artist or the art?” For instance, do people see Paul McCartney in concert because they enjoy his solo music or do they do it because he is Paul McCartney? As a blogger you are your brand and you need readers to be interested in whatever you do. Blogging should not be your end game. It’s fine if writing a blog is all you ever aspire to, but you should set your goals a little higher. Let the blog be a rÃ?Â©sumÃ?Â© to who you are and what you can do.
8) Remain consistent
Once you develop a following there will be a set of expectations readers will have for you. Do not disappoint them. While it’s hard to disappoint people when you are writing something as unappreciated as a blog, you still need to keep consistent. Keep a blogging schedule, whatever that may end up being. You should also give the readers what they expect from you, while always leaving room to surprise them. Establish your mission early and evolve naturally.
9) Don’t rely on words alone
All blogs should not be solely word-based. Add pictures and videos to add some spark and to break away from the monotony of text. Writing should be your number one priority, unless the blog is video or picture specific. Still, you should want to take advantage of the other options out there to make your blog even better. A blog is a chance to experiment and be creative in different ways. Try them all out to failure.
10) Be yourself
The most valuable lesson you can learn with anything you do in life is to be yourself. Writing online through a blog gives you the means to do just that. Don’t hold anything back. You will end up discovering that it was silly for you to ever hide your thoughts, feelings, and insecurities from the world. A blog is the chance to be yourself while still remaining as anonymous as you would like. The more transparent you are to your true self, the more connected readers will be to you.