Advice for New Bloggers

No, I am not trying to be ironic with that title, and yes, I do see the incongruity in someone who has done this for only a month giving advice, but here’s the thing: who better than someone for whom the whole experience is so new that they still experiencing the full gamut of emotions?

Actually, I was reading Michele Martin’s The Bamboo Project  blog last night and she asked the following question:

What Advice Would You Have For a New Blogger?

The essence of which was the following questions:

I’d like to hear your advice for new bloggers.

  • What tips do you have for getting into blogging?
  • What should new bloggers be doing to get the most out of the experience?
  • What challenges did you face as a new blogger and what did you do to overcome them?
  • What thoughts do you have on the best ways to ease into blogging?

Read the whole post here   

The following is my reply to her, with some edits 

What tips do you have for getting into blogging?

I’m in two minds here; it’s either don’t, unless you have something to say, or jump in the deep end and see where it takes you. I think I’m leaning to the “don’t” theory. My reasoning here is that unless you feel that there is some value in what you write, that will generally show through.  (“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” Samuel Johnson).  Additionally without some purpose, disillusionment will not be far behind.  I jumped in, thinking it was something that I should try. Thankfully, I had some very supportive people to help me.  My initial posts were written on blog within the eTools and Tips for Educators community  which brings together some very skilled people; people who are willing to try new things, and offer assistance to those who are trying.

What should new bloggers be doing to get the most out of the experience?

When I figure that one out, I’ll let you know – I’m kind of new to this myself. 

What challenges did you face as a new blogger and what did you do to overcome them?

  • Content. I have problems coming to terms with the fact that what I am thinking/writing will be of interest to others. The reality is that sometimes it won’t be – deal with it. But at other times, you will hit on a topic that, for one reason or another, will generate interest.
  • Length. I have had to restrain myself at times to prevent rambling for too long. I was given some good advice by Sue Waters  – break it up into a number of posts (sorry Sue – I know this has gone way over).

What thoughts do you have on the best ways to ease into blogging?

  • Be realistic – you are not going to have a huge reader base when you start. Tenacity is required. Keep at it and ensure that you are writing for yourself, but write as if the world were reading it.
  • Be honest – if you don’t subscribe to a point of view, don’t write it.  Don’t set yourself up as an expert (unless, of course, you are). 

In all honesty, this could go on for pages, but I think in comes down to 3 simple points:

  • believe what you write – it will show
  • write for yourself, but in a manner fit for a world audience
  • don’t write for the sake of writing, have a point or agenda

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