If so, you’re probably not alone. According to reports, there are some 25 billion registered blogs out there on the world-wide web. However, only 450 million are considered “active.” While that’s less than 1% of what’s registered actually putting out content, it’s still enough to create a lot of “noise” in the blogsphere. And whether you’re a new blogger or the medium is ‘old-hat’ to you, trying to distinguish yourself can still be overwhelming.
It leaves many asking the question, “Why bother blogging to begin with?”
Despite the old saying that there are only 12 original themes, there’s still room on the net for your ideas, too. The difference for many is found in the spin rather than the subject. The subject matter may not be new, but the way that you present the idea can be. You can maintain creativity by mixing things up: use photos, collaborate efforts with other writers or professional colleagues, try a vlog (video blog), etc…
To build sustainability, you need more than regular, fresh and compelling content around a centralized theme – you need patience as well. Your readership won’t likely show up in droves when you put up your “I’m Here!” inaugural post. To gain a respectable following, you’ll have to consistently market your content on other platforms to those that are interested in the subjects on which you have something to say.
You definitely want an idea of what you’re trying to get out of it going in – and the answer ought not be money! At least not directly, anyway. Despite the enticing banners and messages many blogging platforms put out to doe-eyed bloggers; seducing them with the promise and potential of converting their hobby into a money maker, the reality is that there’s very little money to be made directly from a blog (none for most).
That being said, just because you want to have a blog doesn’t necessarily mean you should. There’s a lot that goes into putting together a successful blog that stands the test of time. And many (most, if you look at the massive gap between registered and active blogs) aren’t up to the challenge. Blogging is best suited for “long-form” content sharing. It’s the most effective medium if the message you want to share can’t be adequately expressed in a 5 minute ‘vlog,’ the meaning derived from pictures, or requires more than 140-characters to get across.
Speaking of 140-characters, join us tonight as we explore content, best practices, and the writing equivalents of “What not to Wear” in tonight’s #TChat discussion topic: “Blogging & Beyond.” Here’s a look at tonight’s questions, along with recommended reading:
1) What makes content effective and compelling? Are there universal benchmarks or is it subjective?
Recommended Reading: “Principles of Effective Blog Design” by Peep Laja
2) What are some blogging best practices? How does blogging fit in with a larger social media strategy?
Recommended Reading: “The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers” by Annabel Candy
3) What advice do you have for individuals or brands looking to blog? Any lessons learned?
4) In 140 characters or less: what are some of your favorite work-related blogs and why?
5) Does someone have to be a good writer to be a good blogger? Why or why not?
Recommended Reading: “Must you be a Good Writer to be a Successful Blogger?” by Bailey Digger
6) What are some of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions around blogging and online content creation?
Recommended Reading: “18 Stupid Mistakes Bloggers Make in their First Year” by Christine Kane & “8 Mistakes Too Many Bloggers Make” by David Risley
I’ll be joining the conversation at our new time this Wednesday night along with co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman from 7-8 p.m. (Eastern) via @TheOneCrystal and our community handle @TalentCulture