One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, "Why do you blog?" I think it's one of those questions where the answer could be at least the length of a book... if not more. There are so many aspects of blogging that I absolutely enjoy. (I'm not sure how I could spend the time I spend on it if I didn't!)
meeting new people, going to events, writing every day, learning new skills, working with companies (big & small)...
and so much more.
I've written before about how my favorite part about blogging is the people that I meet, but I'm going to say it again. Every single connection, both online and offline, is truly a gift in my opinion. Some of my closest friends have come from some sort of social media encounter. I've turned the online "friendships" into IRL (in real life.. haha) friendships. But I also really value my online connections. Sending funny emails or tweets back and forth. Sometimes I think social media is the best way to make friends because you can find similarities right off the bat!
I do have friends who are way not into social media (seriously, no Facebook account or anything) and friends that I've met in "normal" ways... so I don't want this to come across as me living within the Internet! However, I truly truly truly value the friendships and connections I've made with everyone online.
Want to start your own blog? Here are my top five tips for bloggers:
1. Be yourself | This is your blog and it should very much be you! Write in your natural voice. (I pretend like I'm telling my best friend whatever it is I'm writing about.) You want your blog to match your personality. Creating a "brand" is a super popular buzzword right now, but you don't have to build one at all... you already exist.
2. Share your passions | You're going to find much more enjoyment (and likely more success) if you're writing about things that you actually care about or find interesting or fun to simply talk about. Don't blog about something just because you think it will be "popular." Chances are that if you are passionate about something then someone else will be too! That's when the fun relationships and connections will occur.
3. Aim for original content | It's one thing to get ideas from a favorite blog, but there's a fine line between inspiration and unoriginality. You have to be super careful not to duplicate content. Not only is it not fair to the original blogger, but it's also not very strategic for yourself. If a reader has seen it somewhere else first, there's no point in them reading it for a second time!
4. Write consistently | This can be interpreted in many ways. You should write consistently with your voice. Changing styles is confusing for a reader and she (or he) won't be able to really "connect" with you! It's also best to find a rhythm of blogging so your readers will come to know what to expect. If you post sporadically, it requires a lot of effort on the reader's part to find the new content. (If you don't have that much time to commit to blogging, try blogging only on Mondays! That's only four posts a month and readers will know you have new posts on those specific days.) Try not to redo your blog design or name (including Twitter handles)... the look and name should remain consistent as well.
5. Have fun | Blogging shouldn't be a bore and it shouldn't be something you dread! Have fun with it! Play around, experiment, be silly, do your thing!!!
What tips would you add? What's your favorite part about blogging (if you blog)?