Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
As an occasional personal blogger, I have seen a lot of other folks in the blogosphere who just want to write personal publications that are not exactly meant for making money. I really like that, actually. We need more people who just want to share their stories in this world.
However, some of you may be wanting to start your own blog, and I thought I'd drop a few of my personal tips on you concerning this. Please consider them only guidelines, for only you can set your own rules when blogging. Granted, I really hope those rules include having some fun.
This is a personal blog, folks. You can't go into it thinking that it's going to be a grandiose publication that will draw millions of hits in traffic. This isn't to say it couldn't go all Frankenstein on you and become that, but don't go into it expecting you'll be swimming in a pool full of paper brought in by ad revenue. At that point, you can safely assume you're making a personal blog for the wrong reasons. Instead, write because you want to write.
I believe you should make it simple. Write posts that are intimate and… well… personal. I'd suggest making your readers (which will likely be a small amount) feel as if they are having a conversation with you, and during the amount of time that it takes to read your post, it could just be assumed it's your turn to speak. Hopefully, if the discussion is enticing enough, they will respond.
Pick A Topic
As referenced in one of my past articles, it's sometimes important to come up with the kind of blog you want to write. Do you want to write about your travels? Do you simply want to churn out daily personal anecdotes that are amusing to read? This is where you should start planning. Although I'm a big proponent of writing whatever you want, I understand that you have to consider why you are writing this thing.
If you are wanting to just spout out your ideas to the world, then by all means write your anecdotes. However, if you want to eventually be recognized for what you do, you may want to take into consideration the kind of topic you are writing about. Granted, your personal stories might be what you want to be recognized for, but just make sure that you have a goal in mind. (As a note, sites like Plinky might aid you with prompts).
Build Your Audience
Your audience is likely going to be small – Facebook friends and family, to be exact. However, you really shouldn't stop there. Be bold, and start posting your blog on related forums and websites or make a Facebook page and share it. You may say, "Well, people are so mean!", and you know what? You are absolutely right.
There are people who are going to jump on your blog's comments and insult your work, your grammar, your personal life, your topic choice… everything really. They may even get around to dropping some malicious slurs against your mother. However, as a certain songwriter once told me, "Dare to suck."
There are a lot of mean people out in the world, but then again, there are a lot of people out there who are going to like your stuff. Keep improving your work and trudge on through the negativity to find them, and when you do, surround yourself with them. Also, if they have their own blogs, check those out and make some writing buddies.
In my world, "consistency" is a relative term. I believe that it's very important to stay consistent, but the question is how exactly will you be consistent? For instance, will you be consistent with content or will you be consistent with publishing? There are several types of ways you can be consistent with a blog, and not all of them include posting a set amount of times a week.
Let's consider this – do you have a lot of time to write? No? Well, don't be consistent with your publishing days. Instead, be consistent with the types of items that you publish.
I would suggest that you not post an incredibly detailed analysis on music of the 1920′s on one day and then a list of your favorite types of gas station meat and cheese snacks on another. Furthermore, you may want to be consistent with the lengths of your articles – your choice on all this, really.
The best tip I can give you is that you should be you when writing your blog. Let your voice (not your proficiency in the English language) shine through when writing. Does that mean you can break some grammar rules? You bet it does. Enjoy that.
However, with your voice, you shouldn't pretend to be someone you're not. When you blog, you're basically letting people take a step into your mind. Sure, it's okay to clean the place up a little bit. However, don't entirely remodel your brain's interior just for them. Be who you are when writing.
As I've said before – write whatever you want. Hopefully, the tips shown here may spark you to get something started. Also, what is your blog about? Do you have many readers? Let's see all of your personal blogs!
Image Credit: taliesin