Experience is the Best Teacher
I have been blogging for almost four years now. I started my personal blog to learn about this form of communication and how I might be able to use a blog for my business. I have since learned that business blogging is much different than having a personal blog.
I also have found that blogging is a 2-way street. You get what you give. Unless you are a talented writer with a compelling story (think Pioneer Woman), your best bet is to make friends and comment on other blogs.
I made a few friends at Mom Blogger’s Club and the now-defunct Cre8Buzz. My “readers” are a handful of bloggers that cross-comment with me. I don’t spend as much time on my personal blog as I used to so I keep my bloggy friends to a small group.
I think it is more important to write for yourself than to worry about what your “readers” want to hear. For me, blogging is about personal development and keeping track of life’s trials and tribulations. And making a few friends along the way.
It's hard to believe that I am coming up on my 4-year anniversary of blogging. It's been an amazing journey. I've "met" some amazing bloggers along the way in my quest to understand Social Media. The knowledge I've gained has been helpful in understanding how to integrate tools like Twitter, Blogger, FaceBook and Constant Contact into my business.
There are so many misconceptions and worries when starting a blog. I worried about looking foolish in front of thousands of people. What would I write about? Would I be exposing my family to stalkers and trolls? How do I get started?
Truth is, in the beginning you will have no readers. No one will know about you. You are alone. The only person you will look foolish to is YOU.
Finding Your Voice
Forget about readers. The first challenge in blogging is to find your voice. Who are you? What is your unique perspective? What is your purpose for blogging?
If the answer is to make money, read no further. I am the wrong person to advise you.
Your number one reader should be you, the writer. Write about what you know, what interests you, and share your unique prospective on life. Write stories that you want to read. YOU will be your best audience and biggest fan!
A few tips on finding an audience
1. Join a Shared Interest Group - for an example, if you are a "Mom Blogger" join a site such as Mom Bloggers Club. You can find other groups on Ning, or use Google. Join in discussions, make comments on posts of interests. MAKE FRIENDS!
2. Key Words - Make sure you are using Key Words that someone might use when searching for the topic you are writing about. If possible, use these in your post title as well as when labeling the post in the area provided, "Labels for this post". Some websites have an area for SEO and ask for Meta words as well as a description.
3. Install a analytics program such as Stat-Counter or Google Analytics to find out who is coming to your blog and how they are finding you.
4. Tell your friends about your post - The best way to get others to read your post is to announce it on Twitter and provide a link. Shorten the title if possible using a program such as tiny URL. Give your fellow bloggers a reason to think about you and check out your blog. A well-worded comment on another post will help drive others to your blog.
Find posts to comment on.
What works for you? What drives others to your blog? How do you find your "readers"?