This is a guest post by Dino Dogan, Founder of Dogan Dogs and 2WheelTips . In this guest post, Dino is going to teach us how to start blogging in 10 steps or less. Dino also prepared us an audio version for us to take it on the go. You can follow Dino on twitter: @dino_dogan
Blogging:How_Do_I_Get_Started_in_10_Steps_or_Less (right click and save as)
1. Discover Your Passion
Starting a blog means you are about to give-up a significant portion of your free time to this endeavour. Also, it means that you will be doing it for nothing.
There is no money in blogging, certainly not at first and certainly not for most. Don’t start one of those blogs that’s left to whither and die on the Interwebs. And your blog WILL die unless its driven by deep passion for the topic that you’re blogging about.The only way I know to sustain your desire to come up with yet another post is to be truly passionate about your topic.
Hey Dino. Can you give me an example of a blogger who is passionate?
I sure can Gary Vaynerchuck. The perennial archetype of someone who is passionate about his topic of choice and IT SHOWS. He also wrote an excellent book on passion and Social Media. The book is Crush It (affiliate Amazon link). Visit Gary at http://garyvaynerchuk.com/
2. Discover Your Format
Blogging is not just writing. Blogging can be done in audio (podcasts), video format (video blogs or vlogs) or, if you are visual-artistic, why not illustrate your thoughts.
Traditionally, and for most bloggers, the format of choice is the written word but that certainly doesn’t have to be the case for you. Options abound.
- If you prefer to riff into the microphone set up your very own podcast or simply upload audio tracks to your blog.
- If you prefer the visual medium, record yourself speaking in front of the camera.
You can certainly start in one format and switch to another. Or deliver your posts in multiple formats (text and audio, or text and video, or any combination there of).Use your preferred medium but also take your audience into consideration. Your potential audience WILL have a preference, we can’t know what that preference is, so it is wise to hedge your bets and offer them a choice of text, audio OR video.
Become a Purple Cow
In other words…STAND OUT.
Taking the preference of your audience into consideration and offering them multiple ways of consuming your content is certainly one way to stand out.
3. Choose Your Weapon
There are sooo many great AND free blogging platforms that the obstacle here is knowing which to choose. Here is a brief list of options
To name just a few.
So which one is the best???
Ahhh…who can tell such things…
My recommendation is to set up test accounts on each and spend an hour or two playing around with all these platforms. After you do this you will develop a natural affinity for one of these…go with your gut. They all have pros and cons and this topic has been written about extensively so I will not rehash it here.
So Dino…whats your favorite? Glad you asked
My site (http://dogandogs.com) is hosted on posterous and I couldn’t be happier with the platform and the options. Posterous also has the benefit of being able to auto-post your article(s) to most other platforms as well.
This means that once I write a post and publish it on posterous I can then “replicate” that post to all of these (and more) above mentioned platforms.
Eventually, you will most likely have to migrate to a self-hosted WordPress platform since it provides industrial-grade options but until then, enjoy the simplicity (and $0.00 cost) of the above-mentioned platforms.
4. Start Blogging
Wait…whaddaya mean “start blogging”? That was only 3 steps so far…there’s got to be more to it…no?
Sure but it doesn’t matter. You will never know what you’re doing. Embrace the mystery and the jungle that is blogging (and Social Media in general) and just get going. You will learn as you go I promise. In other words, I dont want you to use your lack of “knowing” as an excuse to procrastinate. Sure…there is plenty you need to know. Sure…there is a lot you will have to learn. But you will hash this out as you go and learn “on the job”. No worries.
Importante: Use dogandogs25 discount code to receive a 25% off the book price (total after discount is $14.95)
5. Start Reading
Listen. You cant be an effective content-creator unless you are a voracious content-consumer.
Stephen King reads approximately 75 books per year. SEVENTY FIVE. But he’s not alone.
Most great authors/writers/bloggers are thirsty for knowledge. Its a great way to have an endless supply of ideas and the only way I know of avoiding a writer’s block.
Read, read, read.
Read blogs, books, bumper stickers, license plates, T-shirts…whatever you can get your hands on…but keep reading.
6. Join the Discussion, Leave a comment, Share.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you publish an article and no one is there to read it, did you really write it? Since most bloggers are starting from scratch, you will have to “get known” before someone cares enough to come and visit your blog, reads your post and ….fingers crossed…leaves a comment.
How do you “get known”? Well…thats easy
- Find other blogs in your niche
- Find LinkedIn and Facebook groups pertaining to your blog-topic
- Find virtual watter coolers -where ever they may be- around which people in your area of interest are gathering and start participating in the discussions.
And how do you participate in a discussion?
By leaving a comment.
The ephemeral nature of the online world means that unless you leave a comment no one will know you were there. Leaving a trail of crumbs behind you will help you have an impact on the virtual world and it will help you to find your way back to the blog. Others can use those same crumbs (comments) to follow YOU to your house…I mean blog. Bloggers KNOW when someone leaves a comment. We like it, we feed on it, we take our comments to local playgrounds and amusement parks.
Your comments will be seen by other visitors and if you are insightful, interesting, unique, etc., people will notice and they will come to see your forest.
Note: DONT leave links back to your website. If someone wants to find you they WILL be able to find you. Leave a link ONLY if its super-relevant. If you are leaving more than 1 link for every 10 comments you make, you are being a scourge. Stop it.
Whenever you leave a comment, share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Let them know about this awesome post you’ve discovered and decided to leave a comment on. Yes…what I’m saying is this. Promote the blog which you just visited. Promote it like its your own. Share it with the world.
Karma is a bitch. But Karma is also a sweet, caring grandmother that will make sure good deeds are rewarded.
Web 2.0 and Social Media in general is designed to reward those with good Karma. So be good.
Side note: A great way to get attention is to be an asshole. Argue and belittle everyone you “meet”, disparage their views and attack their opinions. But be warned. Being an asshole is a short-term strategy and everything you do online is preserved until someone shots-off the lights on the Internet. And that may take a while.
7. BE USEFUL
Do you want to stand out from everybody else? Do you want to be unique? Do you want people to take notice of you? Its easy.
- Be useful. Be indispensable. Focus on the needs of others. Find and solve problems people in your niche are encountering on daily basis.
- Promote others (12:1 rule; promote others 12 times more than you promote yoursef)
- Be a connector. When you know of two people who share something in common or can benefit from knowing each other, introduce them. Dont wait for this to happen haphazardly. Whenever you meet someone new ask yourself “who do I know that could benefit from knowing this new person?”
- Be an expert. Bring a twist to your niche.
If you’ll allow me for a brief moment of self-promotion, the twist I brought into the Dog Trainer and Dog Blogger niche is Social Media expertise.
By sharing my knowledge of Social Media channels (like Twitter), I’ve attracted the attention of some heavy-hitters. Dog Bloggers who are long established in their niche and known world-wide regard me as their go-to guy when it comes to Social Media matters. And I’m happy to help however I can.
And let me tell you something. Grandma Karma has been good to me.
8. Make a Cameo on Another Blog
The cat is out of the bag.
Guest blogging just might be the most effective way of becoming known in your niche. It’s an effective way of getting to the first page of google and it confirms the Karmic principle we discussed earlier. Some bloggers do several guest posts per week so don’t hold back.
Bloggers struggle to come up with content. And even if we do have plenty to share sometimes life gets in the way.
People like Darren Rowse have published at least one article per day for over 5 years. Do you think that’s possible to do if you are doing it all by your lonesome?
- What if you get sick?
- What if you would like to take a vacation?
- What if…
Guest blogging is a win-win-win for everyone.
It’s a good thing for the host (I get to take a little break), it’s a good thing for the guest (you gain exposure, Karmic points and google rank) and readers get a new and perhaps different point of view.
See? Told ya it would be win-win-win.
9. Plan Your Next Step
There is a ton of other things you will have to do and learn in order to run a successful blog. Here are few to consider.