Bonus Post: How to Blog

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank those who ask me questions about blogging but also I’d like to remind everyone that I am not a professional or an expert on anything – especially dating, blogging or writing. Hahaha. However I do get asked a lot, how to blog, how did I get into it, how do I do it? It’s been a long windy road for me, so here is what I know…

First, I did a little short course in Adelaide at the adult learning centre (WEA) about 5 or 6 years before I started posting which was called blogging for beginners. The trainer said that 90% of blogs will fail in the first 6 months. I was like “pfft, it’s ok dude, I got this – I’m hilarious, I’ll get a million likes each post.” So I set about designing my logo, branding my blog, buying the domain name, setting up social media & getting an email. Little did I know that mine would fail within the first 3 months!

Secondly, I started to write. The stories came out easily, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to write about then started the writing – I am still working through that list! I planned a whole bunch of blogs before I started posting because I wasn’t sure I was ready for this! I also want to make sure of longevity of the blog, what would I do if I get writers block?

Thirdly, I started reading other blogs & started to think about how I wanted my blog to be, what format I would use, who my audience would be & what did I have to say! I saw other dating blogs posting sometimes right after a date, I didn’t want to do that (I like to edit & let the story evolve before I post), but I didn’t see any other blogs doing it like I planned, to post after the fact & not be in real time.

how to blog

If you’re thinking about blogging, google is your friend… I learned so much from my course & so much from google. But here are a few tips from I’ve Been Dating For You:

  • Pick a topic
    • Choose a topic you’re passionate about
    • Write what you know! (It’s true what they say.)
    • Write as you would speak it, don’t try to be fancy, you’re not writing War & Peace, this is your time to be you
    • Be specific, don’t change your topic half way though
  • Pick a blog name
    • Make sure the name will evolve with you, your topic & your readers.
    • Make sure its identifiable & catchy (you know like I’ve Been Dating For You – hahaha)
  • Get a logo, email address, social media & domain name
    • Keep them all the same. This help builds your brand & consistency making your blog easier to find
    • Unless you can make the logo without using word clipart, then pay someone to do it for you
    • I suggest buying your domain so your web address if just your blog name ie: ivebeendatingforyou.com not www.i’vebeendatingforyou.com/wordpress as it looks cleaner & more professional
  • Find a site that can host your blog
    • I use WordPress, but you can use Tumblr, Wix or Blogger, any site for hosting a blog unless you can build your own website
    • Learn the site before you post, you don’t want to change your themes & keep updating your look while posting & confusing readers
  • Keep entries short
    • I suggest no more than 1500 words per blog but no less than about 700 words
    • People are busy, they don’t have time to read a never ending story – that’s what books are for
  • Post blog content regularly
    • At least 2 or 3 times per week on set days
    • People need to know when your going to post, if it’s too random & they haven’t subscribed, they won’t come back to look for new content
    • Don’t post too often, again people are busy & don’t have time to keep checking
  • Don’t start posting too soon
    • I started before I was ready & ended up taking another 2 years to continue to post. I know I have a lot to share, but you have to be ready to share with people you know first because that’s how you build your audience
  • Know your audience
    • You need to keep relevant by knowing your audience, knowing what they want to read & not deviating from your topic
  • Plan, Plan, Plan
    • Depending on your subject, you might not want to post as things are happening, you may prefer to edit, edit, edit before you post.
    • Be prepared for writers block. You need to be consistent so by posting a story you’ve just written you are running the risk of not having content for tomorrows post
  • Schedule your posts
    • I have a set schedule for my posts, so they are automatically posted at the same time every week, this saves time because I am also busy but keeps the consistency
    • I schedule mine a month in advance, that way if anything happens, there is a buffer
  • Don’t post too often
    • People don’t have time to read more than a couple of blog posts a week, don’t be too eager to get it all out there (this is hard for me, because I want to you to read everything I have coming up!)
  • Advertise your blog
    • Be prepared to be out of pocket $$$
    • Don’t expect to make money or be famous, blog because you want too, not because of what it might get you!

Initially when I started posting, I wasn’t getting any readers, why? Was my content not good? Maybe not. Was it because I wasn’t consistent? Yes, it was because I wasn’t prepared for how much time it took me to write content (writers block, over editing & second guessing that I was funny), to post, to keep up to date & to get readers! I wasn’t prepared for the amount of work (& money) it would take to get readers.

It’s been a rewarding experience for me & I can’t wait for you to all read it all. It’s made me more open to new things because I keep thinking that I will get a blog post out of it & I hope that you have all learned something or not felt alone (which was my main purpose for blogging). I can also see my writing evolve & myself as a person since my first blog post to what I am writing now. I hope you all stick with me…

Don’t expect it to happen overnight, I have been online for over 2 years but have only been regularly posting for the last 6 months. It’s been very difficult but fun. I look forward to hearing from you all, it’s so amazing to hear your feedback!

#IBD4U

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