By Brandon Yanofsky
I began blogging just as a way to keep a journal. But after one of my first blog posts received a comment from Chris Brogan, one of my long time idols, I knew I was on to something.
I then started a small business marketing blog, which got me many business consulting gigs. And lately, I’ve been helping startups launch and manage their own blogs.
All in all, my blogging has grown into quite a business.
If you want all this, you need to set yourself up for success. Here are the five lessons I’ve learned as I built my successful blogging business:
1. Write first, design later
While your blog’s design is important, it’s not nearly as important as your writing. Think about it: A horribly designed yet well written blog will always have more readers than a gorgeously designed yet poorly written blog.
So in the initial stages of beginning your blog, concentrate on writing articles. Once you have a healthy inventory of articles, you can begin concentrating on the design.
2. Read…all the time
Whenever you’re not writing, you should be reading. Read magazines, books, blogs, newspapers, newspaper ads, the backs of cereal boxes.
Not only will reading expand your knowledge, but it will improve your writing skills.
3. The only rule is: There are no rules
I get many questions along these lines:
“How long should my posts be?”
“How many images should I include?”
“Should I write in first or third person?”
There really is no answer. Some experts will say that a 500-word article is optimal, while others say it’s 750 words. To be honest, I’ve seen great posts as short as only three words and others as long as 5,000 words.
In blogging, there are no solid rules.
4. Perfection will kill your blog
Perfection is a myth. You could spend your entire life writing one blog post and it still won’t be perfect.
So don’t try and make every one of your posts perfect. Set a limit to the number of drafts you do. For me, I limit myself to three drafts. After that, I publish.
5. Know who you’re writing for
Keep your reader in mind as you write. Most writers will create an imaginary person they envision reading their work. As they write, they think, “How will she react to this?” Doing so helps writers write much better.
Do the same with your blog. Create your own imaginary reader.
Got any questions about how to get started blogging? Leave them in the comments below.