To start a blog, don’t start blogging…

catchy headline?  I hope so… I’m in Austin, Texas this morning.  Had an incredible dinner last night which I’ll blog on next week, got a few hours of sleep, and now I’m in a Starbucks waiting to meet with the founder of an association to see how JibberJobber might help her goals for 2007 and beyond.  Thanks for keeping the blog alive with comments, I’ll be back to my “vacation” tonight (headed back to Houston where I have 2 more meetings), so sorry for not replying to e-mails as quick as usual!

At breakfast with Kent Blumberg we got on the subject of helping others start a blog (as part of the strategy to substantiate their personal brand).  Kent said something intriguing that I hadn’t thought of but it makes a ton of sense.

I had been telling people to start blogging, and “here’s how…”

Kent tells people, don’t start writing, just go read lots of blogs.  After checking out different styles, passions, themes, etc. you will have a much better idea of where you would fit in, and hopefully understand how easy it would be to do!

That’s it for today!  If you have thought about blogging, and still aren’t sure what that means, then go read lots of blogs (with the question “how can I do this in a way that it builds/reinforces my personal brand?”).

8 thoughts on “To start a blog, don’t start blogging…”

  1. I would add another tip Jason, practice first. Blogging is much harder and more time consuming than one would imagine, it is optimal to start a “practice” blog and give it a whirl for a few weeks and get the “hang” of it and validate that it is something you really want to do. Then dive into the ocean and enjoy the cold water (it really is a lot of fun).

    -Avinash.
    PS: My blog is about Web Research & Analytics (web decision making) but I did write two posts that might potentially be helpful to your readers:

    Top Ten Blogging Tips & Insights from a Novice Blogger
    http://tinyurl.com/ym6or4

    Blogging: How-to’s, Technical Tips and Best WordPress Plugins
    http://tinyurl.com/ymy99a

  2. My other tip is: after you have been reading blogs for awhile, start commenting on them. That will give you practice with the tone of blogs and comments, and it will start to visibly build your brand on-line. Once you have been reading and commenting on blogs for awhile, and practicing off-line as Avinash suggests, you will be ready to start writing on your own.

  3. Great idea and I agree, however, I didn’t even know what a blog was when I started, I had only read Paul Allen’s http://www.paulallen.net and then I decided to do it…maybe I wouldn’t have been so brave to start my blog if I had realized how many blogs were out there…? Sometimes its better to dig in before you realize what you’re getting into and who else is writing in your industry, etc.

    I would say that blogging is the #1 way that I meet people now, weird. I met Jason because he had read my blog and introduced himself to me at one of the few networking events I’ve attended lately. I used to get out and meet tons of people all the time, but I just can’t do that now (3 kids), so I meet people when I can in person, but not as often as I want to…so, blogging helps immensely for networking! Over 19,000 views in 6 months isn’t bad.

    Blogging is great! Enjoy!

  4. Jason,

    I think newbie bloggers should at least familiarize themselves with some basic do’s and don’ts of blogging to understand the purpose & culture of the blogosphere. (Not that they’d be required to adhere to that necessarily).

    The reasons being:

    1. Whatever you write is out there permanently.
    2. Bloggers can be sensitive, so if you step on toes prematurely, it can be adverse to building your brand.
    3. It will make you feel more confident in what to do instead of approaching blogging in a slapdash manner.

    I’m not saying new bloggers– or bloggers in general!– should feel cowed by the “rules” or culture of blogging at large. However, it’s a very social thing, best attempted by knowing what to expect 😉

  5. Good points, Carolynn! 🙂 There are definitely Blogging etiquette…but most business savvy people will catch on quick. I would also add that I never mention my kids names or ages or put their photos up…I see bloggers doing that all the time and it makes me nervous.

  6. I’m going to have to do another post on this because I kind of agree and kind of disagree with various comments here.

    I don’t think there is any right/wrong answer – some will need to “lurk” before they get into it… I took about 3 weeks to answer some questions and figure out my strategy, but I post every day with the idea that I get better as I go… and I never would have gotten better if I didn’t start out with that first post.

    Thanks to all for the thoughts – very valuable!

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