The Lost Art of Blogging
“Blogging is dead,” they said.
“You can’t make money blogging anymore,” they said.
“No one reads blogs anymore, ” they said.
But “they” are wrong.
Blogging isn’t dead at all. “They” just aren’t doing it right.
Blogging is a lost art.
Usually, when you think of lost arts, you think of things from older days, like spinning wool into yarn or building your own log cabin from hand-hewn logs. In comparison, blogging is fairly recent, with the advent of freebie places like WordPress and Blogger. Folks who got started in the early 2000s are laughing all the way to the bank now, and for some reason, people who are newer to the game don’t even think there IS a game anymore.
I’m here to tell you, there’s a game. I’ve been doing this for a while now, and I want to share with you the things I have learned.
There’s a difference between blogs and websites.
The new trend is glossy websites that don’t have a lot of content and are just there to get the reader to purchase something: some kind of coaching, some kind of information product, or some kind of membership.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these websites, but blogs they are not.
A blog provides content and information for free to anyone who happens to stumble across it. That isn’t to say that there are no sales on a blog – that can be an essential part of it. But it isn’t the focus of it. The focus is content and information.
You’re the star of your blog.
Blogging is very personality based, even if you are providing very factual information. You are putting your spin, personality, and philosophy into everything you write.
That’s why it’s important with a blog to give those glimpses of the “real” you.
Here are some ways to let your personality shine through:
- Be funny. If you have a good sense of humor, you can nearly always find some way to get readers chuckling.
- Tell real stories. I’ve told stories about falling 40 feet down a ravine, dealing with a long-lasting chronic illness, and stories about my politically incorrect childhood. Now, by telling real stories, you might want to limit talking about dropping your keys down a drain at the store on a post about the recipe because seriously…most people HATE that.
- Let them know about your failures as well as your successes. I’m supposed to be this superstar homesteader and survival chick, but one year, I decided to grow everything for a Thanksgiving dinner along with a friend. It didn’t go very well, but I post the story of my homegrown Thanksgiving that went horribly wrong every year to this day and the readers love it.
- Mention your family. Talk about events going on with your family, like sick kids, moving across the country, going to your child’s graduation or school play, and visiting the beach. This makes you REAL – the readers feel like they know you. You can do this while still maintaining your privacy if you’re careful. When my kids were little, I called them by nicknames on the blog so that they had the option when they got older of tying themselves to my brand or not.
It’s about content first, money later.
I’m not saying that starting a blog means that you are making a vow of poverty and you’re just gonna wear burlap pajamas and homemade sandals. But…don’t expect to make money right off the bat.
If you create a strong base of content, you’ll gain trust, followers, and recognition for that. Then, if you later create products/services that are for sale, you’ll already have your audience in place.
Blogging is about building a relationship. It’s taking people on a few non-threatening dates first before you ask them to sell all their worldly possessions and move to a deserted island 100 miles off the coast of Tahiti with you.
Again, I’m not saying that making money is evil. (Definitely not, because you’ll find loads of posts on this site about how to make money!) But money isn’t the first priority. The first priority has always got to be your desire to share your story or knowledge to help other people. Always. Always. ALWAYS.
Expect that it will take at least a year before you start seeing any real money coming from a blog. If it happens earlier, that’s totally awesome – but it probably won’t. You’re playing the long game here.
Do you still want to start a blog?
Start out with the Blogging 101 category to get the basics in place. You’re in for an awesome ride!