As a new blogger, you may think that blogging is simply sitting down at your computer and entering a brain dump through your keyboard. Or, you may find the thought of coming up with fresh, new ideas and translating them to coherent english terrifying. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. The three tips below will bring you up to speed quickly.
- Immerse Yourself in Your Niche
Pick a niche that interests you, and immerse yourself in it. Check Google News for breaking news that affects the subject matter of your blog. Use RSS feeds to push the information to you rather than searching for the information. Check out the trade/industry publications pertinent to that field. Don’t forget YouTube; a treasure trove of information. Check out Facebook and Twitter feeds to pick up the latest buzz. Don’t forget books and magazines, they have the space to cover topics in great depth and offer context.
Of course, you’ll want to check out your competition. Find the top blogs in your niche and study them. Competing blogs will help you to develop ideas. Don’t be afraid to tweak someone else’s half-baked ideas. You don’t want to copy an idea outright; you want to find a way to freshen it, make it better and make it your own by adding a twist. Remember, there’s nothing new under the sun (except news); there are only fresh perspectives.
Start networking with people with like interests. Join some forums/message boards to see what the buzz is in your niche. The posts will give you an excellent indication of information that will interest and engage your readers. You’ll learn what’s hot and what’s yesterday’s news in about three minutes flat. You’ll want to check back every day or two to scan new posts. If signatures with links to your blog are allowed, add one. It’s free advertising.
Do you know who the go-to experts are in your niche? You’ll find this information from the news, the search engines, other blogs and the forums. Do these experts have blogs? Can you contact them for original quotes or interviews? Experts love to have their egos massaged, and developing relationships with a few experts is a lot easier than you may think.
- Focus on Your Strengths
By now, you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule. We spend 20 percent of our time and effort focusing on what yields 80 percent of our results. That means that the remaining 80 percent of our effort is wasted; yielding only 20 percent of our results. Take these numbers to heart. If your interest is writing, then leave the marketing to someone else. Outsource that which you have no interest in or ability to undertake. If you can write, but spelling and punctuation aren’t your strong points, leave that to someone who knows how to do it well. Yes, it will cost you a little bit of money, but it’s money well spent. In this case, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Preparation is worth its weight in gold, and of course, you should strive for excellence. At some point, however, excessive preparation becomes procrastination. Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to jump in with both feet! So, let’s get started, because you’ll gain great satisfaction from growing your blog over time.