Tomorrow I’m headed out for my first blog conference ever, and it’s a big one: BlogHer 2013!
I know some of you are bloggers too and I bet you wish you could hang with me for the next three or four days! I’m in for lots of great sessions, meeting some fun blogger sponsors, parties, swag, and probably some Chicago style pizza, too. But if you’re not coming along to BlogHer this year, I’ve got a mini-session right here, just for you.
1. The key is consistency. Pick a topic, pick a schedule, and stick to it. Most blogs fail because the blogger gets inconsistent or quits altogether.
2. Have fun. Pick a topic you like, and one that you’d actually pursue if you weren’t even blogging about it.
3. Don’t get discouraged if it’s not fun all the time. Guys, I love my job. I really, really do, and most days it is super fun. I get paid to get drunk and mess things up. But some days it is a struggle, and I mean a down and dirty fight to get my blogging done. It takes time and energy and sometimes there are annoying technical things, like your video editor craps the bed or WordPress freezes again. Don’t quit just because it’s not fun for a little while.
4. You can make money blogging. True, not everyone does, and not every idea will win, but it’s totally possible. Don’t turn your nose up at monetization because you think it’s unrealistic.
5. Start with what you know. You don’t have to be an expert blogger to blog. You become an expert by doing it and learning it as you go. Make it a goal to learn something new about blogging every week, and implement something new on your blog.
6. Figure out your limits before you start. This may require some input from your loved ones. Are your teenage children ok with you mentioning them? Are your friends aware that their conversations might end up on the Internets? Be clear about what you want to do, ask, and then respect people’s wishes and don’t get your panties in a twist if they will not comply.
7. If Internet fame hits, enjoy it. Store up all those fan emails and nice comments and those traffic numbers in your little bloggy heart and cherish them, because someday, things will be looking bleak and you’ll be glad you have those things to hold on to.
8. Even if you do everything exactly right, you might not be successful. Of course, this depends on your definition of success, but if we’re speaking monetarily, this can happen in blogging. Some of it’s timing. Some of it’s luck. What I’m saying is that you can’t depend on your skill as a blogger alone. It’s great to have skill, but it doesn’t always guarantee you a win. That sounds discouraging, but it’s actually encouraging to me– It makes me just keep plugging away, even if I’m not successful yet. The stars could align tomorrow and rocket a lesser-known blog to fame and glory, because I know I’ve got the skill to back up the luck stuff.
So new bloggers, keep on blogging. Keep learning, keep posting, don’t quit! I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say.