But for the serious writer who has something to say, it must be more than a hobby. It must be a discipline.
He says that he writes, not because he's passionate about it, but rather because he feels a sense of obligation to the community to provide useful content for his readers. I like that.
I feel an obligation to make a few caveats before jumping into Brogan's advice on blogging.
First of all, blogging is fun for me. I wouldn't do it if I weren't passionate about it, and I can't make a good case for someone to blog who can't learn to enjoy it. (There are probably better ways to spend your time, connecting with people.)
Second, I've had numerous blogs in the past six years, and I'm realizing this time around that a really successful blog is about more than the person writing it (i.e. me). It's about the community that supports it (i.e. you guys).
This means that when I'm not feeling particularly passionate about blogging or could be doing other things with my time, I discipline myself to blog, because you're counting on me.
Because it's not just about me.
So, for those wanting to take their blogging to the next level, Brogan shares the following tips for success:
Show up – First, just be there. By writing a blog post on a regular schedule, your audience knows to expect you. They come to accept the flow of your efforts. Farmers have this relationship with their systems. It shows stewardship.
Deliver value – Bring your best game as often as possible. We all have “barely functional” days, but more often than not, if we’re earning people’s respect, our efforts must be something of value to our reader. Writing about ourselves doesn’t cut it.
Improve – Your great post from a week ago doesn’t give you a hall pass. Learn from those posts that don’t hit. Experiment. Read other great writers in your vertical and outside of it. Deconstruct what they’re doing and try to improve your game.
Clarify your desire – If you’re seeking a specific result from a post, guide your audience to that result. If you’re seeking sales, make the call to action obvious. If you’re looking for comments, invite a dialogue at the end of your post. It’s yours to win.
Do your part – Blogging isn’t all about your blog. Have you commented lately on others’ blogs? Are you sharing using the various social sharing tools? Be a good neighbor and help other bloggers by sharing, commenting, and adding value to the ecosystem.
What tips would you add to this list? How do you stay committed to blogging?
*Photo credit: Chris Brogan