After being a blogger for almost one year, its time for a little reflection. I can safely say, blogging part time is just about as demanding as any other “side activity.” Actually, blogging is like a full time job, except bloggers hardly tell you about the requirements of blogging. Perhaps they should.
Most bloggers blog because they like doing it, but blogging encompasses a lot more than what it seems. Blogging is not for everyone. By this definition, I meant creating a blog that will still be around one year later. Whose readers aren’t just the blogger, his mother, and his friends. I like to think blogging is a little like marriage, easy to begin, hard to maintain…
For those contemplating blogging, here’s what I learnt from blogging for nearly a year. Every once in a while, I like taking a step back, and just getting an overview. Phew!
1) You wish you had more than 24 hours to a day.
Writing something fluffy takes 15 minutes. Writing something meaningful takes a few hours. Writing something with deep impact takes perhaps, a day or two. That’s why the major blogs have all more or less become team blogs. If you don’t have the time, make the time, or else consider another activity…because blogging takes up a lot of time, and you’ve been warned…. 😉
2) You’d need to be a news hound.
By definition, you need to be very up-to-date with everything going on in your area of interest. That means doing these things everyday:
- Putting your RSS readers to good use. ( I use Google reader, Bloglines and Netvibes)
- Being a forum lifer.
- Read other blogs, visit other websites.
- Communicate with others. They might know something you don’t. Comment. Link. Share.
3) Writers wanted.
Writing is different from talking. Just because you’re good at talking, don’t mean you’re good at writing. You don’t need perfect language skills either. But you do need good coordination between your ideas and your fingers. Develop a writing style that identifies you and don’t be afraid to brand yourself for the long run.
4) Sharing is the new wave.
Sharing (in an original manner) is a predominant feature of blogs; that’s why people visit them at all. That’s why the search engines love blogs. And why blogs are such a large part of Web 2.0. You share your stuff, ideas, tips, advice, and recommendations with others. Likewise, others do the same. And everyone benefits from this karma diffusion.
5)You need to be a little tech savvy.
Running a blog used to be a geek thing. It still is. To make it easier, they introduced Blogger.com, WordPress.com and Typepad.com, which cuts out a lot of the tech stuff, but still leaving behind (a little) geek know-know for you to figure out… For self hosted blogs, the requirements go higher….
At some point, you WILL need to acquire some knowledge of coding and servers. It’s an unavoidable fact of life for the dedicated blogger.
6) You need SEO skills.
Let’s face it. Blogs need search engines to survive. Without at least some basic SEO work, your blog is as good as dead.
To prove this to myself, I started a blog in Blogger some time back. Didnt bother getting a single link in.
Result – The blog didn’t get indexed at all even after 6 months!
Conclusion – SEO is boring stuff. Getting links is boring work. But just like vegetables, they provide essential nutrients for your blog to function.
That’s Search Engine Optimization for you.
7)You need Patience.
Yes, you need patience. A blog may take years to reach its full potential. Getting traffic and readers takes time. Think of the multitude of writers blocks you would have amassed by then.
Here’s an incentive – Google rewards long standing quality blogs with high Page Rank. Want a Page Rank 7? Unless Google does away with Page Rank….Oops. Off topic.
The buzzword is patience. Might add diligence in as well.
And yes, 7 requirements could just as well be 70 requirements, but for me, these were the top reasons why blogging may be simple, but never easy. Happy blogging.Share This: