Top Five Absolute Musts for First Time Bloggers

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Myths about bloggingThere is no shortage of tips on how to make your blog successful. In fact, just about every blog post in existence seems to one way or another tell you how to better yours. Guilty as charged. But what’s different about this post is that it’s going to outline how to get your blog started, not how to make it successful.

To be successful requires a recipe that no existing blogger is going to be able to provide. Every blogger’s journey is different, and even if it were true that there was some sort of magic cure-all for fixing an unsuccessful blog, these so-called experts are telling you something so many people already know that any sort of edge is lost in the fray. Instead, focus on the first few steps. It’s upon a strong foundation that you will prop up the “magic” pillars necessary for success.

First Must: Secure SEO Basics

Those among you learned in the basics of Internet marketing are probably wondering why you’re still reading an article about blogging written by someone who just called you a phony. It’s for our mutual best interest that it be made clear that search engine optimization is incredibly important and that by no means does the aforementioned suggest that SEO experts are con artists. They just don’t mean much for those just starting out.

Instead, newbie bloggers need to focus on buying up their name.com (JoePublic.com), creating profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and consistently updating them with links to their blogs. This keeps the top search results for specific names and keywords in your control. The rest of SEO “science” is simply taking this initial steam and using it to go farther. For starters, just worry about claiming those search engine “freebies”.

Second Must: Find Your Voice

Are you savvy, sassy, philosophical, nihilistic, authoritative, brazen, or bashful? Whatever “it” is, you must find it, and no it doesn’t have to necessarily be a label nor does it have to be in accordance to the real you. But your writing voice is the character your readers hear speak in their head when they’re reading, and is as unique to a writer as a fingerprint. Writers of all types must learn to be masters of their voice, but bloggers especially, because successful blogs are those that carry an authentic voice for an extended period of time. It is only through a strong voice, and a resulting strong character, that you can ever hope to capture a wide online audience.

Third Must: Be Original

There is endless blog content out there that does nothing but mirror existing online material. Whether word-for-word or a general re-hash, plenty of bloggers looking to use the medium to make a quick buck are eager to replicate another writer’s work. In order to be someone who’s writing draws thousands of readers, you have to write something that’s original. Otherwise, those looking for the information you seek get diluted among the countless repeating sites, and the rest fail to ever find you at all. But more importantly, being original is key to being a good writer. This is something you must value from the very beginning.

Fourth Must: Be Consistent

Over 175 million publicly registered blogs exist on the Internet. But among the many millions, many never get past the 10th, 20th, or 50th post. This is incompatible with dreams of garnering a wide audience, as a blog that ever expects to attract a high volume of visitors is going to have to post on a weekly basis for more than a year at least. Unless you’re already famous, no one is going to care what you have to say right off the bat. It takes many posts, all of them top-notch writing full of insight, until bloggers start to see steady and growing traffic to their site.

Fifth Must: Be Patient

Success is not going to come quickly. You will not establish a million-person readership within 24 hours, or even 24 months. Be ready for many months of feeling like you’re wasting your time writing great content for no one except your friends and family to read. Know this going into it: an inability to accept arduous months of nothing in return for all the hard work means you shouldn’t even bother. Bloggers must possess an extraordinary amount of patience, or else they will never stick around long enough to see the following they always wanted.

Take this as a genuine favor, or believe it to be just another bohunk blogger writing about how to blog. But know this: within this post are not promises of quick and easy success. Blogging to the point of success is a difficult task, with no shortage of pitfalls that make even the most ambitious and talented of writers want to give up and get back to that screenplay or biography they were working on.

The only good advice that can be given to you is to make sure you get involved for the right reasons, and stick to it no matter what. It’s not easy, but it’s the only way to get the readership results you want.