One primary question to ask yourself before you start blogging is this: Why do you want to write a blog and what are you going to write about?
It’s deep in the psyche, this need to communicate and express yourself but bloggers blog for a number of reasons. One is that we have a particular interest or passion that we just have to talk about. It might be a sporting interest or a hobby that we love. It could be a love of poetry or books. If you spend a lot of your free time cycling for instance you might want to indulge your love of this hobby by writing about it and discussing cycling issues or sharing information and tips about cycles. I subscribe to a lot of blogs about my favourite sport, F1 racing, as well as blogs about writing and my favourite movie directors for instance.
Another reason for blogging is to promote a business. There are many photographer blogs on the web, some are from amateurs who want others to see and comment on their work, some are by professionals who are actively promoting themselves and their business.
Authors are frequent bloggers, perhaps because publishing has been turned on it’s head by the internet and the digital revolution. No longer must we writers wait for the publisher to find us, we can get our work out there straight away and build up an internet presence which in turn benefits our self published works. Whether self publishing is a good thing I’m not so sure. I feel that personally I’ve rushed a little too quickly down the self publishing route but the experience has been good for me. I originally thought I had a pretty good manuscript but self publishing showed me very quickly that this wasn’t the case and I had to do a lot of work to update my grammatical errors and sort out problems with page breaks and other bits and pieces. The process I’ve gone through at createspace has been a big learning curve but as a result my manuscript has been well and truly re-hashed and edited. I personally love paperback books but it’s the Kindle version and it’s user friendly instant download facility that, in the case of my book, is much more popular.
Blogging for me is primarily to promote my work but I do love writing and I do love writing my little blog. One good thing about blogging is that it gets the creative juices flowing. It gets you thinking, what can I write about? What can I write about next time? So far the ideas have kept on coming and I’ve got six or seven draft blogs in the pipeline although I have to say two have them have been there so long I think they may be heading for the trash file shortly. Many people ask me how do I do it, how do I come up with a new post every week? Well, good job I don’t have to write a daily blog, I’d be pretty pushed to do that I can tell you! Anyway what I do is this, I keep an eye and an ear out for a blog idea all the time. I read a lot and one of my great loves is trolling round for second hand books so if I’m stuck I’ll write about books or writers. I’ve already done posts about James Hilton and Dylan Thomas, two of my favourite writers, and I recently wrote a second post about my finds in second hand bookshops. If ever I see something on TV that might inspire a blog post, I jot it down in my notebook or even sometimes on my mobile. In my car, which believe it or not, is a prime creative space for me, I have a small hand held tape recorder and I can be seen frequently jabbering into it as I drive to and from work.
Recently I switched on the television and an old James Bond movie was showing. Now, I’ve read all of Ian Fleming’s Bond books and seen all the films so that looked to me to be a prime target for a blog. A little research on the internet will tell you that a lot of popular posts will have a number in the title, things like ’10 different ways to promote your blog’ or ’20 ways to get more blog traffic.’ Ok I thought, how about ‘8 Things you didn’t know about James Bond!‘
Now, once you get an idea like that, a factual idea, you need to do a little research. I quickly jotted down the few things I knew about Bond and then researched the rest on the internet. I put together my facts and figures, made sure it all made sense, added a little graphic and there’s the next blog post ready. Of course, if you write something, it stands to reason you will want someone to read it so make sure you promote your posts on Google+, Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else you can think of. Have a look at the infographic below:
It’s quite easy to make your own infographic, just as I did on http://www.canva.com
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