It’s going to take more like 4.5 million steps for you to be a blog ninja. I’m sorry for the fake lead-in, but I needed to get you to read my blog. Oh, and I do have four and a half simple tips that will at least get you started towards ninja-hood.
1. Recognize blogging is hard and do it anyway. I know. I sound like your 8th grade health teacher with all of this recognize-your-limitations-and-then-blow-past-them talk. But it’s true when it comes to blogging. Blogging is hard. It is not simply buying a domain and setting up shop. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “well, I like to write so I figured why not?” Blogging is so much more than writing or designing or even social media-ing. It takes finesse and strategy and time and energy and even sweat and tears. But it’s worth it. So, my first piece of advice to you is to go in with your eyes wide open, but to do it anyway.
2. Monetize as a second priority. I know people who make six figures on their blogs. And that’s six figures in dollars, not in cents. But, I also know many bloggers who entered the blogosphere trying to earn a billion dollars and ended up failing. Why? Because no one wants to read a blog that’s trying to sell them things. They like to read good content and may buy something because of it. So start your blog as a way to share your passion, your inspiration, your heart with others. And if you end up monetizing a little bit in the process, then so be it.
3. Do fun stuff. This may seem obvious, but one of the keys to blogging is to make your blog fun. Make your blog a destination site for your readers. Host a contest. Have a recipe-a-thon. Do a pin-off. Invite guest bloggers. Take a stand on a big issue. Refuse to take a stand on a big issue. Write a mini-novel. Write nothing and only take pictures. Do something to make yourself stand out and to make your blog rock.
4. Pay attention to other people. People want to be heard, not just talked to. So one of the best ways to build readership on your own blog is to spend time getting to know other bloggers and readers and commenters in the blog-o-sphere. I used to make it my goal to read 10 new blog posts every day and comment on each one. I confess I’ve backed off on that number a little– it was getting daunting– but I still do my best to visit a new blog or two every day.
1/2. Be yourself. I’m counting this as a half tip because I think you already know it but you can always use a reminder. People want to hear from YOU. Which means if you are the girl who would rather crawl into a hole than clip coupons, then don’t talk about couponing. Make your blog a living, breathing reflection of who you are and what you are thinking. Let you shine. And the rest will come.