I thought about this last week at the bloggers conference. What advice would I give bloggers just wanting to start out?
I have made the list of Rules:
1. Read Phil Windley's "How to Start a Blog" for some technical details. It's so good, it comes up as #1 on google when you search "How to start a blog."
2. Decide on a theme. What are you going to blog about? Is it going to be about politics, food, or movies? Maybe you are frustrated with the dating world, and you want to blog about that. No matter the topic, blog about it, and stick to your theme. A blog about politics, sports, and movie reviews won't work as well as a blog about one of those subjects.
3. Be the expert on your topic. Have a strong voice, and let people think you know everything about your subject. Make your opinion the best one out there. Don't be afraid of a little research. It will get you further than just about anything. However, don't be afraid to change your mind and admit your mistakes. Honesty will be respected by your readers.
4. Don't worry about your readership. Let's face it, you probably won't earn much money from your blog. Write for yourself, and let the people who stumble across your blog come along for the ride.
5. On occasion, break rule #2. If you want, liveblog a charitable event. I read a major national political blog that has pictures of orchids every friday. Live for the moment.
6. Read other blogs. Don't be afraid to link to a good story they have. They may discover you that way, and link back to you, and that is how you raise your ranking in Google. People will find your blog searching for the darndest things, I promise. Two people read this blog looking up the word bwak this week.
7. Set a regular schedule. Most people don't blog because it's a big time commitment. I blog when I can. Others blog every Monday and Friday. Do what you can, but if you're schedule is going to be thrown off, and you know it before hand, let your readers know. Otherwise, they'll stop reading.
8. Forget the rules. This is your blog, your home. Who cares what others think, right?