I’ve been thinking a lot lately about blogging, in fact, I’ve been teaching a lot lately about blogging. This weekend, my boyfriend came to me with the idea of starting a blog (which you can find here) – and asked me what the benefits were for him as a musician.
This really got me talking (and then thinking) about how beneficial it could be for him, as long as he found his platform. I’ve decided to share this advice with you, because I think it could really benefit anyone looking to start a blog –
1. Ask Yourself: Why do it?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself before starting a blog. What will you get out of it? What will other people get out of it? What do you have to say to the world, and why would they care? The reason this is so important because it helps you to discover your platform. You need to know why this venue of self-expression is important for you to do – and where you want/wish it to take you.
2. Find a Platform
Finding a platform is probably the most difficult thing when deciding to start a blog. Your platform is the reason you will (or won’t) maintain your blog, but should be why you’re inspired to write. It doesn’t necessarily always need to be the topic of your posts, but it definitely gives you a baseline so that you can maintain a certain frequency of posts to keep your blog a healthy one. For example, my boyfriends platform ended up being music. This could include album reviews, song lyrics, technical posts, concert reviews – but he can also branch out on occasion to write a personal series on life (he’s really good at giving advice). My platform is social media, and because that’s what I live & breathe at work everyday – it’s easy for me to find inspiration to write a compelling post. I should note that I’ve tried to blog before (on the more personal side) but it never worked out because it wasn’t something I was passionate about, and I didn’t have enough inspiration to write more frequently than once a year (oops!)
3. What’s going to make you different?
Now that you have your platform – you need to find a point of differentiation from other people. For my boyfriend – it was the language (french). There is not a surplus of french-music bloggers out there, especially those that blog in french. Not only that, but he is a french hip-hop artist – which widens the gap even more. For people in the “social space” it’s a lot harder, because there are a billion social media experts, and 90% of them are blogging. What’s going to make you stand out? Well that’s something you have to figure out. For me, it’s the “ninja” part, the sarcasm, and the critical look at my own industry, and the people I’m surrounded by. I get my wit from my mother, whom is also a blogger. That, however, is what sets me apart – just like writing in French makes my boyfriend stand out in the blogosphere.
4. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all
This is critical. Every blogger, upon beginning a blog, becomes media. Maybe not media in the traditional sense, but your content is living, searchable, news. You have to know that you need variety, you need credibility, and you need to prove yourself. To ensure this, ensure your layout, your widgets, your theme, and most importantly your content is perfect to your standards. There is nothing more discrediting than starting a blog and abandoning it. There is nothing wrong with creating your own schedule (it can be once a month, if it suits you), but if you can’t maintain it – don’t start it.
5. Enjoy it!
While blogging can sometimes be stressful, there are often small fixes to make even the seemingly impossible, possible. Write out your themes in advance, scratch down ideas on napkins, get inspiration from everyday – or from other bloggers! Foster the conversation and watch the enjoyment and pride that comes with being an accomplished blogger. Remember, nothing happens overnight – it is an investment. Content will come, just relax. And most importantly, remember:
‘Amateurs’ built the ark, professionals built the titanic.