After blogging for some time, here are six blogging tips and lessons learned for anyone seriously considering starting a new blog. There’s no shortage of web articles on blogging tips, but these lessons have been learned directly from my own blogging experience:

1. Know why you’re doing this

Before starting your new blog, determine your reasons for blogging. Knowing that blogging is for the discipline of creating content to write a book sustains me while building a blogging audience.

2. Establish blogging guidelines for yourself

Guiding principles simplify blogging decisions and your effort. I knew early I’d cover general work-related topics without mentioning my employer specifically. Additional blogging guidelines include the number of words (generally under 300), how often to publish (daily except holidays), and blog topic categories (limiting content to 20 topic areas).

3. Write for a month before publishing your new blog

After deciding how often to publish, write a month’s worth of blog posts before publishing something online. This blog publishing strategy provides three advantages:

  • You’ll discover how much effort blogging will take and can adjust your blog publishing frequency to ensure you’ll sustain it.
  • It will help refine your blog writing skills.
  • You’ll have a backlog of blog posts for when you hit a creative block.

4. Create a blog editorial calendar

Get a big desk calendar, some small post-it notes, and plan out a few months worth of blog topics. Knowing where you’re headed with your new blog is helpful and the flexibility of modifying where you’re headed (by moving the post-its around) is essential. Another hint – after 6 months, throw out any still-unwritten topic to freshen future content.

5. Capture potential blog topic ideas all the time

Always have something to write down potential blog topic ideas. Never lose a potentially viable blog idea. Ask yourself daily what happened that might have potential. It’s a great relief later to thumb through a notebook of starter blog idea fragments.

6. Keep a hidden blog for experimenting

After setting up your new blog, establish a hidden blog for experimenting where you can test graphics, pre-publish posts to see how they’ll look, and work out bugs as you experiment with your new blog. – Mike Brown

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