So without any further ado,
If there was a person who was thinking about starting a blog, I'd try as hard as I could to offer them these 10 incredibly useful tips:
1. Outline your goals, short, intermediate, and long term. If you're just writing a blog as a type of diary, and you don't necessarily care about stats or readership, than this is something to keep in mind when you're designing your layout, or piecing together your content. Likewise, if you're looking to get a large army of readers as fast as humanly possible, your approach would be completely different.
2. If your goal IS to get a large army of readers as fast as humanly possible, please - take a breath. Now take a chill pill, and finally, take a reality check. Things don't happen as fast as you'd like. For some people, yes - they can gather a huge amount of people quickly, but you'd be surprised at how much work it is.
3. Comment! No, seriously, comment a lot. Bloggers love to hear feedback from their readers, no matter how positive or negative. It's really how everyone learns to get better, or even how they connect with people. But don't leave crappy comments. A little thought put into them goes a long, long way.
4. Once you get started (assuming you want more readers, of course) you should absolutely get a blog assessment or even a personalized strategy from Eli Rose Social Media. This helped me incredibly, and I think it allows you to be more focused in not only your content, but in your entire blog "brand". Just one suggestion about it, give yourself some time before you go get their help. You need to understand a little bit about how the blog community works in order to reap the most benefit from their suggestions.
5. Try to control your audience. Dependent upon whether you want your blog to be entirely anonymous, or to give your name and address, and invite your whole family to read your blog, this should really be part of your strategy to balance your blog-life and your real-life. This is something I'm still struggling with, and will likely end up being an entire post all on its own.
6. Don't be too hard on yourself. If you write a post that people hate, or have to take some time off so you can get your life back on track, or you're just too busy - it's not the end of the world. Look, in all reality, it's just a blog. The people you're writing to will likely never know who you are, and you'll likely never see them in real life (unless you go to a blog conference). To be honest, what you write is MOSTLY just for you.
7. That said, if it's something you have the time and desire for, put effort into it. You can absolutely tell the difference between those who have nothing to say and are just spinning their wheels, vs. those who are really trying to create a blog that really encompasses who they are, and is really cohesive.
8. In regards to content - don't pigeon-hole yourself. Keeping yourself broad will allow you to be whatever kind of blogger you want to be. I admit that I'm a "daddy blogger", but I try to distance myself from that term so that I don't get stuck writing solely about being a dad. I enjoy blogging about other things too, like anything from the clashing russian/american cultures, to literature, to linguistics.
9. Write ahead of time. I can't stress how important this is. Some times you just don't feel like writing. You're tired, hungover, and missing a couple teeth. The last thing you want to do is sit down and churn out something for the blog. Other times, you're manic and need to get out the four or five posts on gigantic topics. That natural instability (everyone's got it) should be balanced out by blogging ahead. Added bonus: you can re-read stuff you've already written so you don't make a mistake by hitting the publish button.
10. Have fun with it. No, seriously - have a crap-load of fun. I've met so many amazing people already, and shared great experiences with them even though we've never actually seen each other in real life. I've read some great blogs, and written some of my favorite posts ever. These couple of months that I've been blogging have been extraordinary and even if blogger were to seize up and die, and my account were to be lost, I'd never regret a moment.
So there you go, young padowan. Run free, and grow into the amazing blogger I know you were destined to be.
Also - because it's monday, and this is a list, I'm linking up with Stasha as well at the Good Life for Monday Listicles. She has asked me to come up with a topic for next week, so if you want to join us for that next monday, create a list about food. That's right - any food. Food you like, don't like, wish you liked, etc. See you next monday!