Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I started a blog; now what?

Rajesh Shetty author of Beyond Code gives us pointers of what to do when you start a blog.

This is one of my favorite questions. A few months ago, the question used to be "How do I start a blog?" That's no longer the popular question. Almost everyone knows how to start a blog. In fact, one of the easiest things about the blog is starting one. With so many free blogging services available, it should be a snap to setup one. Of course, if it's easy for you to start a blog, it's easy for several million people out there. So, for obvious reasons, starting a blog is no longer a differentiator. You got to do something more. So, what are those additional things that you can do?

Over the last few months I have a learnt a thing or two about blogging from several of my friends who are my role models in the blogging world.

Here's my $.02 for those of you who are starting to blog (partial list)

1. Focus on providing high ROII (Return on Investment for an Interaction)

Every time a reader visits your blog, remember that you are taking his or her precious time and the only way you can get a reader to return to your blog is if you can ensure that the reader gets the highest return on their investment of interaction time with your blog.

2. Write something worth linking to

Unlinke newspapers, blogosphere is full of conversations. Of course, you will link to something that you find interesting. It's the same with others - they will link to you only if you write something that may be useful to their readers. There are no favors here.. sometimes may be :)

3. Participate in other conversations (Thanks to Dave Taylor for the suggestion)

To make the most out of your blog, you need to participate in conversations outside of your blog too

4. Update your blog frequently

Frequency is subjective and all I can say is work hard to maintain a reasonable frequency. It takes a lot of commitment to write quality content at regular frequency.

5. Provide reasons for why you are the right person to say what you are saying

With the amount of information available on the internet, you can write brilliantly about almost anything.However what you write will gain more credibility if you are qualified to say what you are saying. For example, if you are writing about entrepreneurship, it helps if you are one. This means that

Last but not the least:

6. Blog is not your brand

There is a confusion that you can build a brand through your blog. While in some remote cases it is a possibility, in most cases, you have to work online and offline to build a powerful brand and use your blog to extend it. "Who you are" matters a lot. Think about some of your favorite bloggers and you will see that they are all working on exciting things apart from writing interesting blog entries. They speak at conferences, write books, contribute to other magazines, participate in charitable causes etc.

In summary, starting a blog is the easiest thing to do. Maintaining one is hard. Not because you won't get enough content to write but because while maintaining your blog, you need to invest in yourself to keep growing to continue to enhance credibility for your blog.

Good luck!

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