People fall in love with blogging because of various reasons. Some of them want to make money by writing and work hard to make a name for themselves. Others just do it for fun and don’t mean anything serious by it, while some feel that they have something important to discuss with the World and the best way to share your ideas is starting a blog.
When I started blogging I had no idea what I was getting myself into and this is true for most bloggers out there, but in time I learned a few things that made it a whole lot easier and fun. Some of them I’ve learned from experience and others I picked up from more experienced bloggers who were willing to share their knowledge. In honor of the favor they did to me, here is a list of important lessons I’ve learned from blogging.
1. Have fun in order to keep the creative juices flowing.
It might seem silly but this is a very serious matter. I don’t care if you are starting a blog that is highly technical and you are doing reviews of highly sophisticated, scientific gadgets—you still need to have fun while writing about the subject. The writer’s mood tends to transfer onto his writing and if you are bored out of your skull by the work you are doing, you are also going to bore you readers. Shake things up a bit, try a different approach and work on your style in order to avoid repetitiveness.
2. Your writing is only as good as your grammar.
Have you heard about the Grammar Police? There are people online that are obsessed with good grammar and are constantly scanning for any mistakes so they can proudly point them out. They can be annoying, but having a trend of making fun of bad grammar is OK in my book.
In the beginning, I thought that nobody is going to care about a couple of typos and a few “its Vs it’s” mistakes but boy, was I wrong. Bad grammar kills your credibility as writer, and if you want to be taken seriously, check before you post.
3. Have a functional knowledge of the Internet.
You can’t skip this part folks. You need to be able to use search engines correctly and intuitively so you can get all the necessary research. On top of that, you will need maintain and update your blog on your own so as to avoid dishing out cash for that. There is a third point here, one that encompasses the understanding of the Internet lingo so to speak. Things that mean one thing in the real world can mean something completely different online and they can really cause some issues if they are misunderstood.
4. Ask for feedback so you can see yourself through your readers eyes.
It is of great importance to have an objective opinion on how good your writing really is. Unfortunately, writers and bloggers alike have a tendency to think too highly of themselves or to be too harsh on their work. Bloggers have one advantage though, and that is to ask their audience for their opinion and get instant reviews. Not everybody will like your work, so filter out the comments of people who wouldn’t like what you have to say no matter how you write it. Find realistic reviews and learn from your mistakes.
5. Reaction isn’t something that should ruin your motivation.
The Web is a big place and there is an abundance of opportunities for job positions and success as a creative writer, but don’t expect everything to just fall in your lap. You are going to live through some rejections as most of us did, and this isn’t something that you should consider “a big deal,” even in cases when you really wanted to land that particular job. Keep at it, work hard and don’t let things discourage you.
6. Developing relationships and networking are the keys to success.
You can’t do everything alone—no one can. Understanding the value of connecting with fellow bloggers, keeping in touch with your readers and getting as many contacts as you can is very important.
Opportunities for new projects can arise from simply knowing the right people at the right time. As the old saying goes, there is strength in numbers.
7. Things don’t just happen; you need to make them happen.
Always be on the lookout for new opportunities. Utilize your contacts, search for job opportunities, collaborate with your peers and think about the future of your work. If you just sit down, write and wait, you might catch a break if you are lucky, but in most cases you are going to progress very little if you don’t branch out and start making opportunities instead of waiting for them to happen.
8. Take a break once in a while.
Avoid writing when you feel exhausted since you are going to produce material of lower quality, regardless of your passion for the subject. If you have no choice, make sure you check what you have written more than once before you post it. Exhaustion doesn’t just have a bad influence on your writing—it destroys your motivation as well. Take the time to recharge your batteries and get back into the fray; otherwise, you are going to end up with your head on your keyboard and with your deadline breached.
9. Patience and diligence are the key to success.
A lot of bloggers, especially young bloggers, step in to the blogging environment with an overconfident attitude and the conviction that they are going to make it in a matter of months. Let me tell you this: most successful bloggers have worked for years for scraps before they actually capitalized on their work. Blogging isn’t something that you can have an overnight success with; it takes planning, learning and hard work.
10. If you get into fights with trolls, you are going to come out bruised.
These are some fickle creators to deal with. “Trolls” are people who are there to make fun of you and everything else for that matter. Why? Because they are bored and they do this to entertain themselves. If you run into trolls on your blog, proceed with caution. Don’t get into arguments with them because you can’t win.
They have put nothing on the table that they value and their primary objective is to ridicule your entire operation for fun. Ignoring them is probably the best course of action since your lack of reaction will bore them and they will go away.
11. Don’t chase after money at all costs.
There are a lot of ways to make money online; that much is true, but when it comes to blogging you need to be careful. Your fan base is what keeps your blog alive. If you start shoving ads or god forbid pop-ups down people’s throats they are going to leave you very fast and your hard work is going to go down the drain in a matter of days. Carefully make your choices, consult your fans and notify them about the changes that are going to occur so you don’t hurt your chances of making money while attempting to make money.
From my experience, these are some of the most important things to know if you are starting a blog and want to make a serious career for yourself as a blogger. Keep in mind that these rules are not rigid and that things change fast on the Web so make sure you are up to date with new trends and changes. I wish you a clear mind and may writer’s block never cross your doorstep.