5 Things Every Blogger Should Know

by Lee Rose Emery

Charles Dana GibsonSo you want to start a blog. That’s great. But before you start, here are 5 TIPS I’ve learned along the way.

1) Be specific

What’s your blog going to be about? What will make it unique? How will you stand out in the enormous blogosphere? Find a niche that you know you can do well, and that you feel passionate about. A blog is a bottomless pit of time and energy. It needs to be constantly fed with quality content. Make sure you are writing about something that will hold your readers’ attention as well as your own.

2) Have realistic expectations.

Ask yourself what you hope to gain from writing a blog. Maybe it is just a form of creative expression. Maybe you are a writer and want a platform for other work. Maybe the blog will be a hobby. Maybe you imagine turning your blog into a booming business. Keep in mind your blog may or may not ever make you much money. Yet, I guarantee that you will put an enormous amount of time and effort into it. It will likely be extremely satisfying, but ask yourself hard questions before you start as to what your intentions and expectations are.

3) Do your research.

What are similar blogs? Is the market saturated? Is yours informational? Will it be a personal memoir? Who is your ideal audience? You will want to know where you are positioning yourself so you can align yourself with like minded bloggers and ideally start a community.

4) Keep your costs low.

There is no reason to spend a lot of money on a blog. The time you put into it will be costly enough, so there’s no need to pay a fancy web designer tons of money. Start small. Use WordPress or Blogger, they have lots of attractive templates. If you begin to get a lot of traffic, you can always upgrade and/or bring in a fancy designer and do something more elaborate.

5) Have fun.

The beauty of blogging for me has been the great adventure that it has taken me on. You never know who is going to stumble on your work, and what opportunities blogging may lead you to. Have fun with it. Let it unfold. My blog, LACityMom.com has been a great joy to me. I have discovered so many things about LA that I never would have had I not started it. I have met some fantastic people along the way. Blogging has opened up a lot of doors for me in my other writing, and it continues to do so. I have a living sample of my work on line, and I am very proud of that. I hope you have the same experience, that you go for it, and that your blog leads you to great things.

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