This is a guest post by Keith Wilcox
Okay, I admit it. Some of the details can be a little challenging. I still have to look up a bunch of HTML that I’m sure other bloggers know by heart. I don’t know exactly how Google PR works, and I’ll be damned if Alexa rankings make any sense to me. What I do know is that none of that would matter to me if I had never written my first article 6 months ago. Even tentative steps are steps. Blogging really is nothing more than having something to say and saying it. Indeed, there are some basic rules to follow, none of which are complicated. First, have a theme. Second, be consistent. Third, don’t give up. That, in a nut shell, are the rules by which people, whether they be athletes, politicians or actors, become successful. When you execute on those three principals then you can start worrying about the details. Excuses don’t pay the bills, and good intentions are good for shit. The only thing that matters is taking one step forward – then another.
My blog is all about being a homeschooling Stay at home Dad (SAHD). Every article I write has some connection to parenting, fatherhood, children or education. Of course, themed blogs are not necessary if all you’re doing is updating friends and families on your daily routine. However, for the purpose of becoming a web presence, a theme is vital. You must find a niche and become an expert. Butterflies, massage therapy, speaker technology, fertilizer – just pick something and go with it.
One sure fired way to fail is to be flaky. Nobody likes a quitter, and nobody likes to be kept waiting. Readers will read your content if you have something interesting to say, but they won’t keep coming back without fresh news and insights. There are certain blogs I read every day. There are others that I read once a week. I know when to come back because I know the update pattern to expect. People who aren’t consistent get forgotten.
When the Going gets Tough:
My blog spent 2 months at 20 visitors a day. It spent another two at about 100. Then it suddenly shot up to 1200 visits a day for a month. Now it’s back down to between 300 and 400. By successful blogger standards my traffic numbers are somewhat pathetic. But, the trend says I’m going in the right direction. Sure I had a month over 1000 visitors per day. Then I bombed. I could spend my time fretting about that dip, or I could focus on the fact that I started at 20 and I’m still trending up. I’m a long way from where I want to be, but I’m not giving up just because I bombed this month. That’s the story of life. Quitters never prosper.
You’re not technically minded? Neither am I. I have a double major in History and Spanish. What do I know about computers and the world of online advertising? Well, I didn’t know anything before I started, that’s for sure. Now I know a little, and thats the most I can say. But, look at my blog. I’ve asked a ton of questions to people who are experts at this stuff. They’ve helped me, and I’ve learned. Did I know who Shawn Collins was before I Started? Nope. And, I’ll bet he doesn’t know who the heck I am. I read his blog though and listen to what he’s saying, and I’ve learned some things. Dennis here has been an invaluable resource for SEO advice. You don’t have to be technical, you just have to be curious.
So, you want to be a blogger, but you haven’t started yet. You’re probably more qualified than me; but, I’ve done something and you haven’t. I might never be comfortable with my expertise or I might be worried about what people will say. I might even be concerned that I’ll get badmouthed and threatened because of the things I say. You can’t live your life in fear. One step at a time, that’s all I’m asking.