Following yesterday’s post, here is part 2 with some quick thoughts and tips for those considering blogging. In no particular order:
- Blog if you want to. Don’t if you don’t. There are people with strong views on the matter. Some will tell you that if you work in particular contexts then you need to blog. Others will tell you that there are far too many blogs already and so you shouldn’t add to them. The truth is that there are no right or wrong answers here.
- Know your limits though. If blogging is an indifferent matter, this means it can be positive but it can be negative. It could take up too much time and become addictive. Make sre it’s right for you and know your boundaries.
- This means that you will want to think about why you intend to blog/vlog etc, what is your purpose. Is it purely for pleasure, it is absolutely 100% okay for that to be the case. Some people blog because they find it relaxing, others because they find it mentally stimulating, especially external processes. However, it might be that you intend to blog because you wish to educate people about a topic, campaign on issue or engage in debate. Blogging may be a means to promote and advertise a service you offer or (in Christian circles) a ministry you want to encourage others to support and get involved in.
- Know your intended audience. Who are you trying to reach and why. This includes numbers and types of people. Some people are writing just for themselves and don’t mind if others read – a kind of public but personal journal. Others are seeking to reach a mass audience. If the latter, then you will want to consider how you are going to communicate and build up a following. Social media is a big help in this, share links via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Try word of mouth, tell friends and colleagues about your blog, email links. Finally, bloggers often help each other out, they are allies not rivals so many established blogs will include regular or occasional posts with lists of articles worth a read that week. Also, we tend to link to each other’s articles in order to endorse and build on what someone is saying or to debate them.
- Decide how and where you want to engage and interact with others. You don’t have to but I do think it is helpful to find a forum for feedback and discussion. Personally, however, I decided a long time back that allowing comments on my blog wasn’t the most helpful way of doing this for me. So, I switched them off.
- Decide the best platform/format for what you want to do. This will depend both on your own skills/attributes and the nature of your intended audience. As mentioned before, I tend to find that podcast audio talks are my best format for reaching people but plenty of people read my articles. I get a lot less engagement via YouTube videos but each person’s experience is different. Don’t be scared to try something and then stop or change.
- Decide what level of output is possible for you. As I mentioned the other day, I can usually provide 2 or 3 articles a day and a weekly podcast but that’s partly because of how I think/process and primarily because this links into my specific ministry aims. Most people are probably best off aiming to provide one article or podcast each week. Some are able to provide a daily blog or vlog.
Whatever you decide to do, commit to do it for the glory of God.