Tips For Successful Blogging

Too many writers are always in search of inspiration. They think that for them to write, something needs to happen to them worth writing about. They get moody, they walk around aimlessly and they try something new in hopes they’ll find material. These people are worthless.

Any good blogger, writer, photographer or podcaster is, above all, a great storyteller. They weave together bits and pieces from their everyday lives into a sort of narrative that’s relatable to their target audience. The most successful usually don’t rely on unique events to find material, but rather see stories in just about everything around them.

Regardless of SEO work, choice of URL or even blogging platform, there are a few universal rules that should help anyone who’s looking to share their stories.

1. Use software that makes sense to you
Some may be happy with Blogspot, hipsters love Tumblr and lifestreamers think Posterous is all the rage. For us here at Pagely, we’re strictly a WordPress setup. For us, WordPress offers the perfect blend between ease of use and custom options, but it’s more important that you use a platform that YOU understand.

2. Set deadlines. Stick to them.
Elizabeth Newlin posts three times a week. Pagely shoots for two to three. I publish haphazardly (not recommended). Whatever schedule you choose, stick to it. It’s amazing what we’re able to write while on a deadline, and the more anyone practices, the better and easier the process will get. Hopefully.

3. Don’t get smart
I made this mistake when I first started. I wrote about big, grandiose subjects, philosophized on everything and made generalizations that sounded more like me showing off that I knew the subject rather than providing any sort of actual value to the people reading. If you are super smart, that’s great, but work on showing that by telling us a great story that somehow pertains to our lives rather than getting all preachy and talking down to everyone. If you need tips on what NOT to do, I can help.

4. Pick a topic
I’d rather read a blog by the biggest quilting fan in the world than a general sports blog, and I love reading about sports far more than I will ever care about quilting. When you write about something you a) know really well and b) really seem to like, readers will be attracted to that.

5. Be you, whoever that is
VerySmartBrothas is a blog by two blacks about pop culture, dating and love. They don’t talk much about anything they don’t have personal experience with, they don’t try to correct widely used slang in an attempt to “clean up” their content and they don’t try to do any more than tell great stories about whatever they are thinking at the time.

(Guest author Tyler Hurst started a storyteller support group because the man in the mirror wasn’t going to change his ways.)