Ever watch chickadees at a bird feeder?
One bird lands, looks around to see if there are any cats or predators lurking, then he quickly pecks at the seeds. He might fly away, but the easy food lures him back. Then a friend happens by too, and pretty soon there’s a whole flock of chickadees chowing down.
A successful blog is like that bird feeder: fill it up with tasty stuff and your readers will return repeatedly. That’s what I’m hoping.
I’m a blogging newbie. I spent two years agonizing over what this blog would be, its purpose, and who would read it. I’ve learned a lot in the three weeks since I got it going, thanks to How to Make a Living Writing, Copyblogger, my writers’ group, and Scott Graham of True Azimuth (my business coach).
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1) Blogging is for the birds (i.e., your readers). Identify your audience before you start writing. Initially, I couldn’t figure out who my audience was. Write2engage is about how successful businesses, non-profits and people connect with their customers. That’s also my audience.
2) What’s your blog’s goal? There are a lot of aimless blogs out there. Which is fine, if you’re blogging as a form of diary-keeping. I’m blogging because I want to showcase my writing skills and showcase smart marketers and communicators. Carol Tice at Make A Living Writing recommends developing 52 potential blog posts — one for each week of the year — before you start writing. Do that and you’ll know pretty quickly if you have something to say.
3) Ask questions. It’s difficult to admit that I’m a technophobe. Scott Graham encouraged me to ask questions on LinkedIn and elsewhere on the Web. People online are amazingly helpful. There are also many people out there with the same questions you have.
4) Learn enough to get going. SEO, keywords, tags, it’s alphabet soup to me and was enough to stop me from starting my blog. Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources to help. MediaBistro offers seminars on SEO and blogging; SEOmoz has a great online tutorial about SEO; and LinkedIn has a great, supportive group of writers and editors, LinkEds & Writers. Many local business groups and chambers of commerce also offer in expensive continuing education sessions on blogging and social media.
No doubt this blogging experience is an enlightening journey. For me, it’s an exciting ride.
What do you think? Is blogging for the birds?