If you have a friend who has a new year resolution to start a blog in 2019, then please recommend Problogger and Melyssa Griffin to them.
Problogger “the home for those wanting to start a blog, create great content and grow their blogs and then go professional to make money blogging” has a website with tons of excellent ideas and a podcast highlighting different aspects of blogs. (See photo at the side, from their website, showing what areas they cover).
Darren Rowse heads up the Problogger ship, and his practical commonsense approach, professionalism and pleasant nature make for a helpful companion through the whole process. As well as running a blog to encourage bloggers, he also runs his own photography blog, so has good understanding of the visuals involved. Darren began blogging in 2002 and once he had established a regular income from blogging, then began his own blog on encouraging others to earn the same way. His site has 8,000 helpful articles and 225 podcasts (and counting) – that’s nearly a quarter of a thousand audio programmes. It’s a terrific, helpful and free resource.
Another great free resource and source of information is Melyssa Griffin – she runs free classes, and provides great insights (e.g. use Pinterest as a search engine to display your content to future followers). Once you get onto her emailing list, you’re sure to hear more good tips and insights and offers of free online classes – in fact, after a while, you may end up unsubscribing. She, like Darren Rowse, has a professional attitude which creates her income from blogging.
Blogging is a fairly overcrowded field nowadays – anyone who seems to earn a living from it has developed a steely-eyed core of a business brain (see folks above) and works long, hard, constant hours to keep up the necessary finding new material and publishing. Alternatively, some folks earn from sticking adverts all over their blog – to the point that it’s a joyless experience and I find it not worth sticking around to find the original, good info. It’s like watching TV where the advert breaks are longer than the programme segments themselves.
How to blog and enjoy it:
- you enjoy writing – you have experience of writing journals and getting beyond what you had for breakfast on 5th January and giving up
- there is something so exciting to you that you can’t wait to share it
- you expect almost nothing in return, just occasional likes
- you are not financially dependent on it
- whatever you blog about, you have access to an abundant source of material, new things happening etc
- it’s a way of thinking and responding to life – a bit like your journal, only you don’t mention the very personal bits
- only look at the stats very occasionally so you don’t get disheartened – and keep on writing anyhow – reading figures do gain momentum gradually – you have to prove yourself an interesting companion
- expect that you will get very low interest for the first 6 months; this is the time to keep at it and improve your skills
- Listen to at least 3 podcasts from ProBlogger about beginning a blog, so that you tag it in such a way that other people find your blog articles easily
Put it this way – you blog what you would write to friends about anyhow, whether emails or handwritten letters, or quick, excited and misspelt phone texts.
Darren Rowse put it beautifully: how many readers are enough for a blog? If your blog changes one person’s life – it’s enough.
Personal enjoyment: novelists write the books they want to read. If you are in tune with your true interests, you will occasionally read back on your blog and find something you wrote a year ago is genuinely interesting and fascinating.