Starting a blog can be a ridiculous challenge when all the little things start to cloud your mind. In this entry 3 amazing big bloggers stopped by to help us cut through the fluff and start a blog that actually helps people. I hope it makes launching a blog easier!
Which bloggers should be reading this?
Just to be sure I’m not wasting my time on any of you phonies 😉 let me be clear in that I’m writing this one for:
For some reason I get at least one email per week from a mommy blogger who has isn’t sure the best route to go and has a lot on her plate.
As a how-to blogger myself I totally love you guys and understand your passion to truly help. And it’s the worst when it doesn’t work.
People full o’ ideas:
I think most up and coming bloggers would fall into the category of people bursting with good ideas but not quite sure the blueprint to set them off. This is the blogger’s dilemma and the sad result is often too much clutter (which we’ll talk about below).
Yep, that means you
As I said most up-and-comers are full of good ideas. You have a knack for thrifty travel or a way with the camera, but aren’t sure if you should talk about both or just one. Well, good news, this post will help you choose.
And there’s an awesome silver lining at the bottom, too.
How to help people
First off, if your blog is going to help people then you should make choices on Day 1.
Not just choices like “I’ll blog at least one a week,” but choices on what topics you’ll cover and which points you want to drive home.
The internet is a crowded place and you simply can’t land all your points at once.
So, where do you start?
Write about your expertise, and that’s it
How brutal, right? Who am I to say you can write about this and can’t write about that. Well, you’re right, I can’t make this call.
But someone has to.
If you write a blog about multiple expertises and even come close to blending niches, you will not help people. You won’t help people because people don’t want to read about too many things at once and don’t have the time.
Be specific with a welcome post and even more specific with an eBook. Really, there is no limit to the benefits of being specific.
Choose a topic you can write 3 posts on
I’ve always believed in writing 3 posts to launch a new blog. These consist of one cornerstone piece, one controversial piece and a welcome piece. If you can write 3 solid posts on a topic and be darn proud of them, you can write the 100 more that will follow.
Make your design practically naked
You’d be pretty shocked to see what Dear Blogger looked like onDay 1. It was gross.
Delete everything. Delete the near-empty Facebook box. Delete the Google ad. Delete the silly social icons and the badge for this app or that. Delete it all and make people focus on your content.
Love every comment
Like it’s your last.
Ask a friend if things look OK
You need to ask someone like a friend or a family member or anyone who knows you can take their harsh feedback on how things really look. This is to idiot-proof your blog. If your good friend tells you your blog isn’t structured in a way that will help people, then you had better listen.
Use numbers wherever possible
Numbers don’t lie.
Try to help 10 people in the same way
If you can help one person do one thing, there are probably ten more people who need that very thing. Don’t move on and up quite yet.
Write out of your comfort zone
Because it’s the only way to really find out how far your comfort zone can go.
Say things you shouldn’t
Because if you don’t, who will? It’s your knowledge that’s going to change the world via blogging, so if you don’t start off and say it, then what’s the point?
I guess I should provide an example here to back up what I’m saying, because saying things you shouldn’t is not easy. Here’s a video I spent four weeks filming, editing, then creating a Part 2 for. It’s one of my favorites in terms of content, but Google certainly doesn’t think so – they won’t even index it in YouTube for how much I bash YouTube search results right at the beginning.
Make your work seamless
The last thing I can say is that if you really want to help people your work has to be seamless. I don’t mean this in reference to seamless.com though I often do order from the computer on long sessions. I mean you have to be thinking blogging 24/7.
You have to wake up stoked on blogging and go to sleep chewing on a new idea.
It’s not rare for me to borrow my friend’s Air to answer a blog comment or fully leave a concert because I finally figured out why a certain plugin isn’t working. It’s something necessary and it’s your focus and you need to guard it.
Do not underestimate your ability to help people. If you are meant to go far in this blogging thing you might, or you might not. It’s up to you.
Just wanting to help people, however, if you don’t do any of the above, isn’t nearly enough.
Expert blog tips: 3 renowned bloggers help clear things up
At this point I figured I should back up my ideas with some proof. So I asked 3 top bloggers their thoughts on helping people, how to do it, and what’s really important.
This is what they said
Well that blew me away, but what about you? Save it for the comments 🙂
Sticking to your strengths
The silver lining I mentioned above is that if you stick to your guns early on and decide what to focus on, you can definitely open up a bit later.
All the bloggers who started as SEO or tech or fitness nuts at first will divulge their hobbies now – post-success. This makes them more human.
You can post vacation photos to Twitter or start side blogs that become virally popular.
But at first, it’s stick to your strengths, and that’s it.
From the community
Who are you helping? Has this post given you ideas on how to help more people? I’d love if you dropped a comment, or even better, a real example on where you’ve been able to help the world through blogging.
Remember, helping just one person makes your blog big enough…
Go for it!