This morning, I got an e-mail from someone who wrote, “We need some help getting our blogs off the ground. Is there anything you can do to help shorten the learning curve and get us off to a good start?”
I think that the idea of blogging can be overwhelming at first. You read all sorts of things about SEO and social media and stuff like that the task seems daunting.
It doesn’t have to be that hard, though. When you’re starting out, you really need to focus on the basics. You can worry about the nuances later.
Probably the most basic thing that you have to do is to set up your blog. There are lots of other blog posts and websites that tell you how to do that, so I’m not going to go into that in much depth here. I like WordPress, so I’ll just suggest that you either set up your blog on WordPress.Com, or download the WordPress software and install it on your current website. Then, find a theme that you like and install it. When you’re through with that, you’ll have a blog!
Next—and this really is the hardest part—you have to start writing. First, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the purpose of the blog?
- What is it that you want to say?
- Is what you want to say going to be interesting and of value to readers?
When I set up my ham radio blog, the purpose was to document my ham radio activities. I figured that if I could do interesting things with ham radio, and write about my experiences in an interesting way, that other ham radio operators would find it interesting to read and have more fun with amateur radio. So far, this has proved to be the case.
Fortunately, I had no trouble finding things to write about. Ham radio is a pretty broad topic, and I have been a ham radio operator for a long time. I could write a post every day if I had the time or inclination to do so.
Most people, though, do have a hard time deciding what to write about. If you’re finding it difficult coming up with topics to write about, I suggest that you do what magazines do—create an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is a list of topics that a magazine plans to cover in the next six months to a year. Once you’ve come up with the list of topics, ask yourself whether or not these topics can be covered in 300 – 500 words, a reasonable length for a blog post. If not, you might want to rethink and narrow down the topics.
The reason for this is that you don’t want each blog post to be a major undertaking, especially when you’re just starting out. The easier you make it on yourself, the more likely it is that you’ll blog regularly, and if you post regularly, it’s more likely that your blog will attract a regular readership.
Not only that, most blog readers aren’t looking for long screeds. They’re more likely to read short, easy-to-digest nuggets of information. Think about giving them one good idea that they can use to make them more productive or have more fun pursuing their hobby
Having said all that, I’d be happy to help you get your blog up and running. If you do need some technical help getting your blog up and running I can do that, but what I’m more interested in doing is helping you focus your content.
What are some of the things that are holding you back? How can I help you?