Ready to make the jump?
If so, may I ask why?
Business? Pleasure? A creative outlet?
Maybe you dream about working in your underwear. Don’t worry, I won’t judge.
Regardless, it might be best to test the waters first.
Genius, right? I know, thanks master of the obvious.
It sounds like common sense, but I think many start blogging without focusing on those first critical steps.
Before we go any further, I have a confession to make. As recently as April, 2011, I had zero interest in blogging and thought it was an empty pursuit.
But I did start for one reason. As a member of Toastmasters I wanted to improve my speech writing. I figured no mortal would pay attention and my speechcraft would improve.
Yet this soon turned into a full-blown pursuit. So, here I am, blogging my little heart out.
But I want to focus on those first 3-4 months before I hit “publish.”
That slow build-up to the big launch. Weeks spent researching, commenting and being social.
So how did I get rolling? And how would I suggest you start?
1.) Do your homework.
I sought out the cream of the crop by reading every blog I could find.
I focused on finding the best and brightest AND fleshing out my own little plan.
I lasered in on the usual suspects, from Chris Brogan to Leo Babauta, but hit ‘em all.
Blogs on marketing, self-help and writing. Travel, minimalism and, um, blogging. Sites on SEO, video, graphic design and more.
Even the scrappy kids who drop more F-bombs than Joan Rivers at a Donald Trump roast.
Almost a process of self-discovery, I soon found flavors that jibed with my sensibilities.
From Zen-masters to potty mouths, I studied, learned and enjoyed.
2.) Tweet till your fingers turn blue.
I re-booted my Twitter account, so I could spread the word and just get social.
Twitter was my weapon of choice, and a fine addition to any greenhorn’s arsenal. If you have doubts about the blue bird’s power, check with this guy. He wrote a book on Twitter that just might show you the way.
3.) Comment like there’s no tomorrow.
I’ll be honest. This was a big step and sent shivers up my spine. Okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration, yet I WAS a bit shaky about dropping my two cents into any conversation, but when comments were answered, I felt like the star pupil and replies were like little gold stars.
They key is to find posts that resonate and leave a thoughtful, detailed comment, which might just morph into your very first post.
4.) Find your why, purpose and flavor.
Because truly defining your online mission starts with a bare bones plan that will constantly evolve, but it will help you discover your core reason for doing this, honest.
From May to September I basically did all four of the steps listed above.
Again, common sense prevails:
Research, comment, tweet, and discover a little more about your bad self along the way.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I met more than a few cool cats and was inspired by many.
And during this crafty venture, I started building the foundations of a humble little blog.
5.) Write. Write. Write.
That Brain Clark has a way with words.
Need I say more?
When I clicked “Publish” in September, I had spent 1-2 months writing a mix of posts.
Most hit the trash bin, but I started to learn about my why, purpose and flavor. And had posts queued up and ready to roll.
So, if you’re interested in blogging away, why not spend a few months up front:
1. Reading anything and everything;
2. Tweeting to you heart’s content;
3. Commenting as if your life depended on it;
4. You will soon discover your reasons for being here;
5. And you might just have a nice little backlog of posts ready to go.
For me, blogging went from schwiggity schwag to diggity dank.
It’s become an accountability platform; a motivational compass; a place for creativity and exploration; a networking village; a new business model; Oh, and it basically altered the course of my life.
I’m not saying this most basic of roadmaps will work for you, but if you plan to enter our little Blogtopia, the blog can wait, honestly.
So, before you hit publish, practice some due diligence and put in those hours up front.
Research, plan, discover, write, and just get social. The rest will come, trust me.
1. Do you want to start a blog?
2. If you’re already blogging, what’s your recipe for success?
3. What social media platform works for you?