Are You Ready to Blog?

Blogging can be great for business, no doubt about it. But what do you need to know or do to get ready?

The most important and simplest answer–do your research.

Check out Copyblogger and ProBlogger for professional tips on how to blog like a pro. The Blog Herald and the women-focused site BlogHer will also keep you apprised of happenings in the bloggosphere and what other writers are up to, all while providing news you can use on a daily basis.

If you want to start by writing more effectively, try Kristen King’s Inkthinker blog, The Golden Pencil (no relation to me), or Copywriter for pointers on writing and the business of freelancing.

Blogging is no different than any other popular topic, you’ll find contradictory advice on occasion (even from the experts). Don’t panic. When faced with contradiction always make sure you consider your options in terms of:

  • the community you serve (also known as your target audience),
  • the context of the comments/contradictions, and
  • what you are trying to accomplish in the end.

As long as you act or write in ways designed to communicate with your target audience and support your goals, you’ll be off to a good start.

You may find yourself wondering what ever happened to all the writing rules and methods you thought you learned a long time ago. Short answer–many of them changed when you weren’t looking.

Even if you have experience writing for the Web it never hurts to check your ego at the door and spend 30 minutes or so every few weeks looking around to see what people are doing right now. It probably isn’t the same thing as last month, and is even less likely to be effective if it simply repeats whatever worked this time last year.

Embrace the mercurial nature of the Web!

Short audience attention spans on the Web allow lots of room for creativity and flexibility. Expect that the Web will always be changing, and get ready to keep changing yourself too.

Since people use the Web to explore and develop in many different directions, you can bet that change will be the only constant in the long run.

Web norms tend to persist only as long as they remain useful–are you following outdated norms?

Are you choosing habit over change?

Are you helping or hurting your business?