I have been writing for as long as I can remember although active blogging only began a few years ago. I always wrote and threw my writes on the different whatsapp groups I was a part of. For a very long time, my friends encouraged me to open up a blog although I felt I was way below average for me to qualify to be a blogger.
Day 12 of the #UgBlogMonth has got me writing 10 things I wish I knew before I started blogging. So in here I have mixed what I wish I knew and tips to go round this blogging craft.
1. It is for everyone
Blogging as I later came to discover is for everyone. For some reason I always perceived bloggers to be for ‘slayers’ for lack of a better word. I came to learn that the term blogger is just a fancy word for a writer. As long as you have views to put across and would like the public to know, behold you qualify to be one. There is no special person curved out of clay to be a blogger.
2. Get ready to stumble
As you begin to blog, you are bound to stumble here and there. Like it is said,no one starts out perfect, so is the case for blogging. When I finally swallowed my pride and decided to blog, I had to figure out where this would be. I stumbled and began by opening up on blogpost, then moved to medium until I settled for opening up my own website. I do not know what I had against WordPress but I did not even what to hear about it. The downside to this though, is that each time I migrated, there are some pieces that I did not move along with. I can comfortably say I have over 100 pieces but they are all sprinkled in the ‘homes’ that gave me shelter once.
3. Requires hard work
Blogging will not come on a silver platter. When you decide to come to this part of the world, you are like a person building a house that will have occupants, and these you will have to fend for. The occupants are your followers. You do not want to leave them unfed. So you have to put in work to see that the ‘food’ you serve them is of quality. I will say this though that, some of what you serve will be welcomed and some times it will not. Other times you will be judged for it. It is all part of the game. Do not be discouraged. You will sometimes sleep late trying to put out something or editing it to perfection.
4. The internet does not forget
Each time you put your work out there, know that a foot print is being marked. How terrible it will be for you to portray something that is not you or false. It is only prudent that put out something that you live by, or at least proud to defend. If it is something you have imagined, be sure to tell your readers lest you mislead them.
5. Wear your reader’s shoes
While blogging the length of your write is important. You do not want to write something very short that leaves the reader yearning for more, or something too long that is going to leave the reader too tired to finish. As you write, you need to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. That will be the best way to gauge the length that is enough depending on what you are writing about.
6. Passion before Profit
Blogging is better off if done for fun than for money. In other words passion should precede the money. Each time you begin writing with the intention of money other than passion, it is more than likely that your gas will run out before you realise your goal. You need to know that the world will have to appreciate your work before they can pay for it. Trust the process.
7. Consistency is the glue
Consistency is the glue that cements blogging. Blogging is a situation of ‘out of sight out of mind’. Each time you are not consistent with feeding people with your work, they soon or later forget about you. All successful bloggers have learnt that consistency is one of the most important things, so they blog even when they do not feel like it.
8. Share your work
Share, share and share your work. Luke 8:16 reads; “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” It is the same case with blogging. You do not want to write and leave your work on your blog site. Put word out there. Share your work to anyone and everyone. Social media platforms are the quickest and easiest way to put out your work. Even when someone does not say it, they are secretly reading your work. So do not get discouraged when you share your post to a whatsapp group and everyone is quiet about it. Believe you me someone has read your work.
9. Be your own editor.
Reading a blog post with grammatical and spelling errors is like eating rice with stones in them. The trick to this is to read through your work out loud. As you edit your work, try to listen to how different words feel in context to what you have written about. If it sounds vague to you, it is more than certain that it will be the same thing to the reader too. Incase you can find someone to look through what you have written, the better but this may not be the case all the time.
10. Keep it simple
There is no need to use ‘big’ words through out your write. The rule is less is always more. If your piece is one that needs someone to frown to every word that you have written, or run for a dictionary, they will soon abandon it. Write in such a way that even someone who has not seen so many black boards will enjoy what you have written.
With that said, blogging is a learning on job situation. No one can ever prepare you enough. You perfect your craft as you do it more and more often.