Want to Start Blogging? Here’s What I’ve Learnt…Part 1

April 29, 2011Sectorby Andrea Edwards

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Want to Start Blogging? Here’s What I’ve Learnt…Part 1

29 April 2011.

Something very strange has been happening to me recently. People have been asking for my advice on blogging, like I’m some sort of expert! The first time I wondered why are they asking me? However, as time has gone on, I’ve realised that having 12 months blogging experience seems to really count as something these days – especially in Asia Pacific. It’s all been a bit baffling, but quite motivating as well.

And then last week I had a meeting with a serious digital marketing professional – 15+ years of experience – and told him what had been happening and he said absolutely: your experience is really valuable, share it, that’s what people want to know about, especially as you’ve been doing it long enough to learn a lot, but also not so long you forget the earlier challenges.

So it’s gotten me thinking about all of the things I’ve learnt, as well as the aspects I’ve found challenging, and you know what, he’s right, there is a lot to share and maybe I could help someone? It’s important to mention that I am not for a minute suggesting I “know it all,” however perhaps what I’ve learnt can help you move quickly into blogging, if that is something you want to do? Because that is the question people are asking me – how do you even get started?

It would be GREAT if others more experienced than I reading this would be willing to share what they’ve learnt as well? We all know that blogging is only going to grow and become a fundamental part of the marketing arsenal for business, so it would be great if we pooled our experience and expertise. I definitely see professional blogging as a teaching and sharing best practise platform, so let’s use this blog as a teaching and sharing conduit to support this growing community? Let’s face it, one of the first learning experiences of blogging is getting people to support and promote what you do!

My story

I started blogging officially about 12 months ago and now have two blogs. My first blog is a personal blog with a goal to build my profile to get books published one day. I haven’t achieved that goal yet, but when a publisher comes knocking, I’ll have 12+ months of content to show them and a platform to “launch my personality.” Therefore, the goal of that blog was to create a platform to support my publishing ambitions. I’m not going to put a link to it here, because it’s a very different message to the SAJE blog, and I’m planning to keep them separate – as much as you can keep things separate online. Both blogs are just designed for completely different audiences and it focuses on things like cosmetic surgery, social issues, motherhood, and the like. It’s very different.

When I started that blog, I didn’t launch it officially for the first few months. I wanted to populate it before I went public, and I only shared it with a handful of great friends to get their feedback. Therefore, it’s only officially been out in the world for more than six months and in that time, I’ve had more than 6,000 hits. I reckon that’s pretty good considering it’s just the thoughts rattling around in my head. Suffice to say, I’ve been really happy with how it’s grown and evolved, plus people have been extremely positive about what I’ve written – great. But the experience has definitely taught me some amazing lessons.

Then in December I officially launched our SAJE blog on the corporate Website. The problem is I am not technical at all, and I didn’t know how to add the tools and widgets to push people on to the site – things like Tweet buttons, LinkedIn buttons, Facebook “Like” buttons etc… so it was practically impossible to drive traffic to the site. I posted up a few blogs, but as time went on, I realised I either needed to get the technical skills VERY quickly, or look for another blogging platform to launch the blog. And that is where you are right now. It’s a WordPress platform, and I am very happy with the functionality it offers me. I’ll speak about blogging platforms later.

I officially “launched” the blog on the new platform last week and got over 300 hits in the first couple of days, as well as a blog published on Economywatch.com – an online publication with over one million global readers. That is a really great result for someone like me, launching it essentially from scratch. One thing I know is that I got great support for my “new” blog because I’ve already been building my profile as a blogger with my other blog. This is something else I’ll talk about, being patient as your audience grows.

Now I have two blogs on the go, but the SAJE blog is not just going to be me. It will include blogs from my business partner, Steve Johnson, and guest blogs from people we admire around the world. Our goal with this blog is to speak about things from a communication perspective and get companies and business professionals focused on being better communicators in all that they do. We will do this by sharing our experiences, profiling best and “it could be better” practises, featuring interviews with people who have something worthwhile to say, and we’ll include guests who can further build out the communication story in relation to their area of expertise.

That’s my/our story, but how can we help get you started and focused on the best steps to take for blogging success?

Tune in next week to find out how to start, pick a theme and structure your blogging efforts from:

Andrea Edwards is managing director of SAJE, a Singapore-based strategic communications consultancy focused on professional writing and content development, messaging and positioning, and high class boutique events. You can check out SAJE’s blog at http://sajeideas.wordpress.com