There are many things I realized in my life, and I spread those ideas to as many people as I can! I want folk to think about their personal brand. I introduce people to the opportunities that come with public speaking! I’m also praising the benefits of starting a blog to whoever wants to hear about it. Someone recently asked me if I have any tips from someone who would like to start blogging, so let’s write a post.
As with anything is life, don’t wait: do it right now. You don’t have the time? Bullshit! You don’t have an expertise or topics to share: you can’t be more wrong. You don’t know how to start? Google is your best friend (kind of!). Now is the right time to start blogging. I’m blogging since 2005: I had different blogs, and styles. Blogging helped me a lot in my personal, but also professional life:
- I improved a lot my writing skills in French, and in English;
- It gave me visibility, and help me grow my network;
- When I was a freelancer, it helped me to get leads, and contracts;
- It helped me land my dream job as a Technical Evangelist;
- I received some books writing offers (that I declined as the topics were interesting, but not something I wanted to write about);
- I had tremendous discussions with people commenting my posts;
- It helped me to synthesize my thoughts about some topics;
The first step is to find where to blog. No need to buy a server, or even do self-hosting if you aren’t technical (even if you are). There are many platforms, but my preferred one is WordPress. I tried many blogging or cms one, but I’m now using WordPress since 2005. They have a free offer on https://wordpress.com/ where you can start your blog for free. Of course, if you want full customization, you may have to pay or do like I do, and put your blog on a hosting service. There are many more cms or blogging platform you can use: you have to find the one that fit your needs. If you are not technical, and wants something easy, I suggest you start with WordPress.
You now have the platform, but what will you blog about? This is a very subjective topic: some people will tell you that you need to find a niche, and others like me will tell you, talk about anything that makes sense for you. It depends on your goals. In my case, even if I’m a technical person, I’m blogging about anything else. Does that mean that I’m not recognized as a Technical Evangelist? Of course no! As with anything in life, I’ll tell you, stay yourself.
Now it’s time to write your first post. Don’t be anxious, you are much smarter than many people on the Internet. Don’t be nervous about your topic, or the fact that you may not be the most expert on the subject. Write for yourself, and share with others. You cannot please everyone, get over it. You may do some mistakes, but it’s ok: nobody will die. Don’t be afraid to adapt your style of writing: as a person you evolve, and you’ll see what make more sense for you. Review, review, and review: remove non useful words, sentences, paragraphs…
Personally, I’m using other social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, to spread the love about my blog. Don’t spam people, but there is nothing wrong to promote your post on other channels. It’s a way for people to find your blog, and read your interesting content: it’s not just about organic growth. Without being a business card ninja, I’m sure there are ways you can help your blog to grow, but remember one thing: it’s not about the numbers of people who read you, but about the quality of conversation you’ll have. For me, a blog is all about communication, and conversation…
Let’s be clear, blogging isn’t dead: it’s more powerful, and important than ever… So, don’t wait, and start your blog right now. Oh, don’t forget to let me know, I’m always happy to find new great content.
2016-09-29 – Update: the friends at First Site Guide seem to have some great free articles about starting to blog and how to promote and monetize it.