Some Tips for Beginning Bloggers

I'm no expert here at all. I've had a few one-night stands with blogs, and I'm certainly not proud of it. But maybe that makes me experienced enough to offer a few tips on how to not ruin, for yourself or anyone else, a blog you're just starting. Maybe non-bloggers will even find something of use somewhere in here. We'll try. 1. Don't Write Someone Else's Blog Depending on how long you've been following my writing, you might remember my first blog. I updated it fairly regularly, but stole my format almost exactly from one of my favorite blogs, Stuff Christians Like. Anything I wrote was based on something I had seen there, and after a while, that just got exhausting. I wasn't writing anything I wanted to write, I was writing things I thought others would want to see. Which leads me directly into my next tip...

2. Don't Install Any Type of Stat Counter You're not going to get hundreds of readers a day. Not for a long time. If your blog is, in some way, an attempt to stroke your ego, you're going into the wrong business, kid. You'll get friends who'll read it, sure, and some days, you'll see a lot of readers, but the days after that when your visit count drops back into the single digits will just be harder.

And what happens after that will probably kill your blog entirely. You'll start writing desperately, hoping to hit another topic others will read and pass on to their friends, instead of writing passionately, hoping to hit a topic that resonates with your own soul. You'll miss the days when blogging was something you wanted to do, and so you'll start forgetting to blog. Or being too busy for it. Or telling your "readers" (I put them in quotes since mine were always mostly imaginary) that you're going to take a break to plan something big for the blog.

And that's how the end of the blog begins, my friends. Just skip the stat counter for a while. Your sanity will be better for it. I promise.

3. Don't Get Defensive Once you start getting to the point where you get comments (and it could take a while), don't let the negative ones get you down. I don't know if I'd delete them, but you definitely don't have to to respond to them either. Some people like to tear down, but it's still your choice whether you allow yourself to be torn down.

To illustrate my point, here are a few words from a modern day philosopher - "Never mind what haters say/Ignore 'em 'til they fade away." And just because the words are from T.I.'s hit "Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna)" doesn't make it any less true, I don't think. As long as you're doing your work, what other people say will be, at best, inconsequential. And that, too, leads me into my last point.

4. Just Write That's all that really matters. A lot of comments would be nice, but in the end, a lot of posts will always be nicer. A lot of comments doesn't mean you wrote as much as you could, or explored yourself, or struggled to put your silent thoughts into tangible words. A lot of posts means all of those things.

And any blog, even the technical ones about a craft or a specific topic, should mean more to the person who's writing it than it does to the person who's reading it.