Blogging Guide: Why something so seemingly easy can be hard.
New blog-preneurs might have trouble using tech with the blogging process in their existing business. Thankfully, we have great tools to develop a typical blog.
Getting Bogged Down with Difficult Technology
Beginning bloggers can get too focused on what technology to use when developing a blog topic. As somebody who loves technology, I can attest to the fact that it can be fun to try out all the cool stuff that can make your new blog posts look good. The problem is that this is not real blogging.
But tech does have a big part to play in making sure that we can make skillful use of our time and energy to develop a public blog. To give you a better idea on how technology can help you in your quest to become a real blogger, I will give you a quick outline below of the tech you might need based my personal experience to get started on your writing.
Do This First
But first things first: If a blogging newbie wants to make sure they have the confidence and motivation to write a personal blog there is no way around it. They need a writing habit. Without this, you won’t have any sort of content to work on to make a winning blog.
Easy Tools for Content Creation
At first you just need to focus on creating as much content as you can. For those that love tools and tech, we can get our fix, but in a more low-tech way. The more low-tech, the better because it will really focus on the material you need to produce and edit.
You won’t get bogged down by the usual problems you face with tech: syncing, lost data and terrible user interface. All you have is a set of tools that can pull out the ideas in your head and put them out in the “Real World”.
Pencil and Paper: This is the most basic tool you can use to get you started. You can upgrade to a pen if you need. Sit down in a cafe and get your most favorite drink and snack and start writing . Write down anything that comes to mind. If you have forgotten your paper, use a napkin. If you have forgotten your writing tool, ask to borrow one from the server. There are no excuses.
Sit for 15 minutes to an hour and jot stuff down. Do this a few more times to get a sense of how to put things down on paper and then you can upgrade to the next level. Imagine what your blog audience might want to read.
Journal and Gel Pen: My personal favorite tools are a journal (self-made) and gel pens made in Japan. The pens are relatively cheap compared to the fancier type of pens, but not so cheap that it feels like you are scratching on clay like an ancient Babylonian–although that might be a potentially cool new trend for Hipsters…
Once you have started on the habit on getting absolutely anything on paper, you will start putting stuff down that matters. Quantity is key, not quality at this point. I won’t get into the Creative Process right now, because many people have done a better job. I will link to those great writers and their very useful ideas later in future posts, but I want to stay very basic right now.
Now once you have graduated from putting stuff down on paper, how can you transfer those ideas to a blog post? Here is the tech you will need to put things out there. I will keep it as basic as possible and not get into any troubleshooting yet in order to keep it simple.
TEXT EDITOR: This is a program or software that you can use to put what you have written down wholesale in digital form. This can be Word, notepad, Pages (for Mac users) or any such program. There are many programs you might use. It’s something to take what you have written on your napkin, paper or journal and then put it in digital format. It will be easier to edit that way and you can save many versions of what you have written. Just make sure to back up and save every 5 minutes.
KEYWORD CHECKER: When you write professionally, it’s important to make sure you don’t make common blog mistakes with spelling or grammatical errors. Your audience might be a boss, a colleague or a stranger, so you have to maintain a good reputation and make a good impression.
When you write for a blog, your first reader is a machine. This machine comes in the form of a search engine that people use, like Google. What that machine looks for are keywords that a human being types when they are searching for something, and then matches the best variations of those keywords to the vast amounts of writing that exists on the internet. You will be one of those entries that the machine looks for.
The best way to get its attention is to write well, but also use certain words that a potential customer might be looking for. A Keyword checker goes beyond a spell checker, usually found in the TEXT EDITOR, and helps you not just to edit your written ideas in a readable way for humans, but also for the machine that will introduce your writing to the human when they are searching for specific information in a search engine.
I use a web program called TextMetrics after I roughly edit my writing into the structure I like and then copy and paste the writing into TextMetrics. After I’m done following it’s advice it will hopefully attract the attention of the Search Engine.
SOMEWHERE TO PUT THAT WRITING: You need a place to put the final edited blog articles into the internet. It’s where you will “publish”. Thankfully we have many options: WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. There are many others, but the main question should be:
- Can I publish quickly and clearly to get my blogging content out without too much hassle?
- Will I own the material and how I present it?
It’s Best to Have Your Own “Lemonade Stand”
I’m not really focusing on the technical aspects of these tools yet. I just want you to start writing. You can publish on Facebook, and Medium, but they have their limits on how you can present material. Also, they might own your material once it’s on their site.
Better to put up your own “lemonade stand” and sell your own product than to be a “franchise owner” at this stage. If you would like to go that route, it’s important to know how you can create content quickly and what type of content will be more interesting for you to write about in the long term. These tools will help get your writing out to new readers, so make sure not to get too bogged down on too much tech in the beginning.
Stay tuned for Part III of this topic: 6 Reasons Why Blogging Can Be So Difficult to Start. Keep an eye out on www.memorypie.com.