Joshua Porter writes "9 Lessons for Would-be Bloggers: A few lessons learned in 7 years of blogging" -- and I disagree with every one of his lessons, based on the experience that comes with 20+ years of writing and editing, and running three blogs and two e-newsletters and 30+ ebooks and ...
It’s only an initial fear. The problem with blogging isn’t just the writing part, writes Mr Porter. It’s also the putting-myself-on-public-display part. If you have fear of writing, then don't write. Blogging is just a fad, so why force yourself into wearing that pair of white bellbottom pants?
You have something valuable to say. One of the biggest problems is that some people don’t think they have anything useful to say. The bigger problem is people who don't have anything to say that's useful. Too many bloggers are Me-too'ers, who parrot other news items, and so provide no value to the reader who happened upon their blog. As an editor, I have found that most people have exactly one story inside of them.
When in doubt, post. You can always un-publish it if you need to. When in doubt, don't post. That's your conscience nagging at you, and it nags because something's wrong. In the age of Google caches and Internet time machines, un-publishing doesn't work. Why open yourself to lawsuits needlessly. Change your blogging software's default from Publish Now to Draft.
Use the comments for refining your point. Lots of times I’ll post and my point won’t be crystal clear. Someone will read it and leave a comment saying so. The mark of a good writer is one who makes his point clearly the first time. It takes editors and practice. It's not the role of commentators to edit you, so don't rely on it.
Everything is beta. That lets me stop worrying about publishing end-all, be-all pieces that set the world on fire. Just because Google popularized the always-in-beta concept doesn't mean it's valid. The attitude reminds me of "Dauerstudenten," German for perma-students, those who are always in school and never graduate -- thus never become useful to society. In contrast, I only post when I have pieces that I think might set the world on fire.
Have a schtick....it helps me keep a focus for the blog. Useful, but don't let the schtick (German for "piece") constrain your desire to set the world on fire. This blog is supposed to be about technology (gizmos), but at times I diverge to commenting on other blogger's notions.
Correct English be-damned. People don’t care very much whether you write in complete sentences, use correct grammar, or are copy-edited. Actually, they do. They are especially picky over spelling errors.
Show your greatest hits. Create a greatest hits module for your blog and display it on all pages. The problem with greatest hits is that they are self-perpetuating. They are popular because they are showcased as popular. Young people phone into radio stations to request songs that they hear on the radio station that would play those songs anyhow.
People are listening. For every person who posts a comment on your blog, you have 10 (or 100) readers who won’t. Or maybe you don't. Your site statistics will tell you the truth. In any case, they're not listening; they're reading. Or skimming. Or maybe it's just the Google spiders hitting your site.