I’ve been asked on a few occasions why I write a blog and how easy it is. The truth is, it happens to be a very subjective thing and unless you’ve tried it yourself, you may not understand what it requires. In a lot of ways, writing a blog is just like the martial arts. I’ve often written that everyone has a reason for joining the martial arts and that there usually isn’t a BAD reason, unless it involves wanting to harm someone else.
Blogging falls very much under the same category. Most people have different reasons for why they write a blog, and there isn’t really a BAD reason. To a point. There are some unfortunate exceptions, and my fellow bloggers are welcome to expand on this at their leisure. For example, there’s a blog out there that is a “blog about how to blog.” Although that’s a cute concept, eventually you need to post more content than just repetitively posting that you’ll teach someone everything they need to know to successfully blog if you send the writer money through PayPal.
There are some points you should bear in mind, if you intend on drafting your own blog. These are just my perspective, of course. But that makes them no less important.
- It’s not a diary! This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. A blog is not intended to be a diary or a journal of your daily activities. If this is your intention, go buy yourself a paper journal at a stationary store or, better yet, write a digital journal that you can save on an external media;
- You need a topic. If you expect to draw and attract readers, you need to have a topic in which you base your blog. For example, this blog focuses on Buddhism, Martial Arts and Diabetes. Even if I stray from those three, whatever I’m writing about usually falls under the realm of those three main topics. If you write about anything and everything that crosses your mind, you spread yourself a little too thin and readers may become confused as to what you’re writing about;
- Make sure you love what you’re writing about. You have to be passionate about what you’re writing about. Not only does this make it easy to come up with pertinent blog posts, but it also shows in your writing. The reader can sense whether you’re writing for the sake of writing or if you’re passionate about your topic. I’ve spent my life studying and practicing the martial arts and I’ve had Type-1 Diabetes since the age of 4. This makes it exceptionally easy to come up with aspects to write about and be passionate about it. For most posts, I have to forcibly cut my writing short, otherwise it would be WAY too long for a blog;
- Post to your blog daily. I can’t stress this enough. It’s all well and good that you create a blog, but you need to add content daily. Yes, DAILY! If you only throw something up there once every few weeks, your blog will have difficulty getting off the ground and propagating to multiple readers; and
- Advertise yourself! I’m one of those few, rare individuals of my generation who doesn’t use social media. This makes it all the more difficult to advertise and spread the word about my blog. Luckily, I have some friends who have taken care of this aspect for me. But if you have the ability to spread your posts through your Twitter, FaceBook and other popular social media platforms, it will go a LONG way towards increasing your readership. What I did for the first six months that I was writing this blog, was create business cards at home with my web address and email and I would post them to bulletin boards at local grocery stores and coffee shops. I would also provide them to folks, since most of the time, even when you say, “Hey, I have a blog. You should check it out” people usually won’t. With that business card in their back pocket, they’re far more likely to look up the web address.
So, there you have it. At the end of the day, even if you’re doing the opposite of all five points I wrote out above, you’re not hurting anybody and your blog is ultimately meant to be an expression of yourself. As long as you keep pumping out that content and you enjoy doing it, you can’t go wrong. ☯