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How to get started blogging (and eventually guest blogging)

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September 8, 2010

Getting past blogger’s block

Do you blog regularly?  If not, you probably should. It can really help your career by positioning you as a thought leader (however modestly at first), and open doors you may not have even realized were there.

Then again, you probably realize this already – you ARE reading Accounting Tomorrow, after all!  

So if you’re not blogging regularly – whether it’s for your own site, or for somebody else’s, it’s probably because you just haven’t gotten started yet. I know, I know – you’re swamped, you’ve got a million things on your plate, and worst of all – you’re not sure what to write about!  

That’s OK – perfectly normal – I went through the same thing in my “formative blogging years.”  Here’s how I got past that initial case of blogger’s block – hopefully it can help you get rolling as well.

Setup a blog – right now

The secret to getting started is this – to get started right now.  Not tomorrow, not next week – you’ve got to take action right now. Otherwise, you know what happens – you put “Starting My Blog” on your “To Do” list – and then you get busy.  And this gets pushed back, and pushed back, and so on.

Your best course of action would be to navigate over to www.WordPress.com right now – do not pass Go, do not collect $200 – just go there now.  Setup a free blog using their hosting platform – it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes.  Don’t fret too much about your blog name, or your domain – you can always change that afterwards.  Not worth spending time on it now.

Alright now that you’ve got it setup, it’s time to start writing.  

But What Should I Write About?

Anything you want, really - provided:
1.    You really like the subject, and you’re very passionate about it
2.    You can picture another enthusiast wanting to read about this topic

As long as you dig your topic – and you believe somebody else might too – that’s good enough to get started.  Just start typing, and don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, or anything else.  Just get going.

How often should I write?

You should write at least once a week, but I’d recommend every day.  There’s nothing like doing something every single day to become proficient at it.  You’ve got to put in a certain number of hours before you can become good at any skill – the sooner you can put in those hours, the better.

Between you and me – don’t worry if you think your writing is not very good when you get started.  Mine wasn’t either.  Nobody’s reading your blog anyway yet, so you’ve got nothing to worry about!  Just keep working at it, and eventually, you’ll start to develop your writing voice a bit.  Slowly but surely, things will start to come together.

Wow, I like this post!  what’s next?

Congratulations!  You’ve written something that you’re proud of.  Now, you’re starting to get your legs under you, and it’s time to start sharing your content.  You can do this in one of two ways:

1.    Point people to the link on your blog (use social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to drive friendly traffic)
2.    Approach sites that may be interested in carrying your article as a guest post
After you’ve got friends reading your posts on your site, I’d highly encourage you to look for sites that may be interested in carrying your content.  The internet is a very big place, with an unlimited appetite for unique content – see where you can get your articles placed, and you’ll be amazed at the new exposure you’ll gain.

Onwards

Blogging is a great way to establish your thought leadership – and guest blogging is a fantastic way to get in front of new, large audiences.  But again, you already knew that…so use the steps we outlined here to get started – today.

Brett Owens is chief executive and co-founder of Chrometa, a Sacramento, Calif.-based provider of time-tracking software that records activity in real time.  Brett can be reached at 916-254-0260 and brett@chrometa.com.


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