It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you were born, or if you have a college degree. Anybody can gain personal power on the web. Anybody can have a voice. Influence has been democratised. We are all born to blog.
This book by Mark W. Schaefer and Stanford A. Smith was a ‘steal’ from the streets of Nairobi. I didn’t even plan to buy it, but it called my name in full and persuaded me to buy it.
At this year’s Social Media Marketing World conference one of the themes was blogging. For some time, blogging has been overridden by the growth of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter where people now create stories. This conference noted that blogging was back. People know written content is not going anywhere. So how do you start a blog that is able to leave an impact not only to you but to others?
You may think blogging or writing requires talent. Well, Hard work beats talent where talent does not work hard. Even if you didn’t get all the A’s in your compositions and essays does not mean you cannot write. In fact, you are in the best position since you are willing to learn. The key is practice. Once you begin, everything becomes much clear and easy to follow through. It’s not about talent. It is developing the skills required.
It’s also about understanding your skills. Are you more of a dreamer or a storyteller? Can you be able to persuade a group of people? Are you a good teacher? How well can you be able to curate? These are the skills required. You can have more of one than another. Understand yourself and you will get to know your skills.
If your why is to make money blogging, think again. Even pro bloggers have taken a while to make it in the blogging realm. When you are blogging in a special niche such as Medicine, Environment, Agriculture or Law among other highly specific niches, it will take more time to even earn from your blog. This needs skilled and knowledge-based content. For such blogs, you are showcasing what you know, even to future employers. Be sure to do a good job while at it, the money aside.
Your why should be strong enough for you to even work on your blog when everything is not going as planned. It will become your driving force. You will become unstoppable regardless of any life’s situation. Trust your instincts to lead you to your why.
Your why should link to your passion and what you want to share zealously. When you unlock your passion, you will unlock your purpose – your why.
“You find yourself when you lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Starting a blog requires a lot of courage. Blogging comes with its own terms regardless of whatever niche you are writing about. Remember, you are sharing your thoughts on an online platform. The inline space in Kenya is over 45 million people. If you want to write a controversial piece, do it without fear. Share your opinion since it’s your platform anyway. Remember to get all the facts right before you choose to share your opinions.
Have the courage to also be imperfect. When you seek perfection, you will never write anything. Avoid the perfect moment, the perfect sentence, the perfect image. In the end, when you seek perfection nothing will ever be published. Perfection is the enemy of the good. Always remember not all your posts will get the hits. There will be the ones you keep wondering whether you should delete them. The posts which make you smile because of the positive reviews you received. All these amounts to your blog content. Be proud of them all.
No one wants to read a machine. Your content should be relatable. Even if you write on a specific niche, remember you are a human being. When nothing is going right, rant. Say what you want on a personal level. Maybe the government is accepting a bill you do not agree with. Write about it. The later do another post on the logic and why it is very wrong. There you go, two posts in one event. Getting personal will grow your readership. Your readers will want to know who you are, your personality and your honest opinion. It does get personal.
One blog per month won’t do. You do not want to keep your readers waiting for an entire month for your content. This is not a monthly magazine. When you publish more than once a week, your readers increase and so does your brand awareness and Search Engine Optimization. When I moved from writing once a month to once a week and now to three times a week, the growth has improved both my writing skills and following. Writing as many times as you can be even easier compared to writing once a month. I constantly get ideas of content I can write on. It is easier to maintain a daily writing schedule than a monthly or weekly schedule.
What is the point of doing anything if you do not enjoy it!
Would you like more blogging tips and tricks? You can find some of my content and more from others at bake.co.ke.
Every organisation should have a blog. A consistent blog, not a press release type blog. A blog that can inform and educate the public. These blogs could even have staff contributions.