Is Starting a Blog as Hard as they Say?

Get Started BloggingYou’re thinking about starting a blog, or have just started one, so you found the blogs of several blogging experts and read all about how hard it is to be successful online. You’ve read about all the things that you have to do to get it set up properly, and it’s all very overwhelming. There is SEO, plugins, themes, keywords, opt-in lists, squeeze pages, analytics, you name it. There’s just so much to think about. Maybe blogging isn’t for you after all.

It really isn’t anywhere near that hard, and I’m going to prove that to you. Don’t give up before you get started.

Focus on the Writing

Actually, if you are just starting out with blogging, the hardest thing you have to do is to start writing. For some people it can be a big challenge to get the thoughts in their heads down into words on the page and get them arranged into some sort of coherent order. For others it might just be a terrifying thought that they are going to write something that other people are going to read.

The most important thing you can do when you get started in blogging is to forget about all of the other stuff and just write, as much and as often as you can. Your first attempts may be garbage, or you may surprise yourself and it will actually be very good. Either way, the only way to improve is to practice, and that means to write.

Very few people, if any, will see your blog posts at first. That’s just the way it is. It will take time for you to get the word out and for people to notice and then get around to actually visiting your blog. That’s a good thing. It gives you the time to get several posts written and published. It gives you time to get this thing figured out.

It Doesn’t Need to be Perfect at First

A lot of people think that you shouldn’t publish anything until it is perfect. If George Lucas waited until he thought Star Wars was perfect before he released it to the public then it probably would have never been released. We wouldn’t know what “droids” are, we wouldn’t be telling people “may the force be with you”, and he probably wouldn’t be a very wealthy person. Do the best you can with what you know and what you have right now and see what happens. You will learn from it and be able to do better next time.

Mr. Lucas also showed us that you can always go back and fix or change things when you get the chance. There are at least three versions of the original Star Wars movie, probably a couple more, because he kept going back and changing things as technology improved. Likewise, you can always go back and change or update your old blog posts when you want or need to. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to change a blog post than it is to change a movie too.

Revision Helps With SEO

Here’s another reason to go ahead and get your content published before it is “perfect.” There are several factors that Google looks at when indexing and ranking your content for Google search. I have always heard that age and how often it is updated are two of the bigger factors. The sooner you get a new post published, the sooner that Google can begin to index it and it can begin to age. Then every time you go back and update it to fix an error or update it as information changes, Google sees the update and may improve the ranking. This is the beginning of SEO, or search engine optimization.

The whole point is, if you want to start a blog then just go do it. There is only one thing that you need to be concerned with at first, and that is to just start writing. Don’t even think about all of the other stuff. You will learn as you go and you have time to get everything else in place.

 

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14 Responses to Is Starting a Blog as Hard as they Say?

  1. Antoinette says:

    I agree. The most important thing is to get started, and then, be consistent in updating your content. These are great tips.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Hey Ben,

    Blogging can be hard though, there is so much to it that if not told about it can results in problems down the road but the good thing is that none of it will happen overnight and it’s going to take time. So I think that gives anyone the opportunity to learn as you go but you’re right, just start publishing the content because practice does definitely help.

    I’m living proof that I wasn’t that good when I first started either but over time I got much more comfortable and found where I belonged. I also was learning as I was going because we will all make mistakes.

    Your advice is spot on so thank you for sharing this and I hope that anyone eager to start blogging will jump right in. Trust me, it’s SO worth it.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Video Interview SeriesMy Profile

    • Ben says:

      I agree Adrienne. There is a lot to learn about blogging, and the best way to learn anything is to start. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.

  3. Absolutely spot on advice.

    If anyone wishes to start blogging. Just get started period.
    you can perfect and update, revise and add to, curate etc I even republish old blogs as new content.

    I switch out images, I add some new stuff I check the links and add some new links too. Bingo new post with comments already running.

    Blogging is not for everyone though. Its like saying we are all doctors inside so lets go treat some people. B if yo have that pull so strongly. Its time to put on your writer’;s cap and Blog!

    No excuses really!

  4. I love how you brought Star Wars into this post Ben and I totally agree. Starting a blog can be a very overwhelming process and having to learn all the techie things can stop a lot of people in their tracks. Great advice to focus on creating content and actually hitting the publish button!

    • Ben says:

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Emily. I appreciate that. Too many people I have talked to won’t hit the publish button because they are afraid that they might have made a mistake. We used to think of movies as permanent, so if a movie from 1977 can be updated after almost 20 years then a blog post certainly can.

      • Stephen says:

        I think that hitting the Publish button sometimes helps you focus more on what you have written.

        Despite proofreading my copy thoroughly before I publish, 9 times out of 10 as soon as I hit publish I see the glaring typos, and have to rush straight back to edit.
        Stephen recently posted..Traffic Generation – do you know of a sure-fire, free method?My Profile

        • Ben says:

          I do the same thing Stehen. I usually write my content then let it sit a few hours or over night so that I can proofread it with fresh eyes, and I’ll still miss a few things that somehow become very obvious once I click the Publish button.

  5. Stephen says:

    Hey Ben,

    I agree that starting a blog can seem a little daunting and in some respects it is.

    You need a number of things to get anywhere:

    Patience
    Research
    Perseverance
    More Patience
    A Little Creativity
    Observation (What are the big boys doing)

    I also agree that age and fresh content are, or appear to be, significant ranking factors – so start that blog and then figure out how to do it.

    I have an old blog that ranks well despite being very niche: Stephen’s MS Journey It has been around in one form or another for well over 10 years.
    Stephen recently posted..Traffic Generation – do you know of a sure-fire, free method?My Profile

    • Ben says:

      Hello again Stephen. It can be very intimidating to start a blog. 1, there are a lot of things that go into setting up the perfect blog, and a lot of people are perfectionists to some degree so they don’t want to take it live until it is complete. 2, Most people I have worked with have been at least a little nervous to put their content out there for the first time. It could be the perfectionist again, self-doubt, you name it. 3) If you read a very many blogs, especially blogs about blogging, they tell you that it’s hard. Of course, you have to keep in mind that those people sell coaching programs and they wouldn’t get many clients if they told you that it was easy. So, I tell people to go ahead and publish their first few posts before their blog is completely set up and even though the content may not be perfect. Nobody is going to see your first few posts, at least not right away, because nobody knows about you yet. The best way to learn is by doing, so get started now, then go back and fix or delete the old stuff when you know more.

      • Stephen says:

        Hi Ben,

        Thank you for the very detailed and helpful reply.

        As you may have noticed I am not a virgin at the blogging game. That does not mean I am any good.

        No matter how much we learn, there is always something new to be discovered.

        For me, there are 2 key areas to perfect:

        1. The ability to put your thoughts down in words.
        2. Familiarising yourself with the available plugins.

        Plugins are the WordPress toolkit and you will need a well-stocked toolkit to do any job.
        Stephen recently posted..Traffic Generation – do you know of a sure-fire, free method?My Profile

        • Ben says:

          Hi Stephen. Even if you were the most experienced person at whatever your chosen field was, there would still be something new to learn. If there wasn’t, you’d get bored and quit.

          I have a different view about blogging than others that I read (maybe because I don’t sell coaching for bloggers like they do). I don’t worry too much about what others think of my writing. That may sound wrong because the whole point is for other people to read what I have written, but it does free you to be you. It’s the same as going to a party or something and being worried what other people will think of you. You end up worrying about it so much that you end up standing in the corner all night, if you show up at all.

          Another way to look at it is as your target audience. They all say that you need to write to your target audience. Well, I am my target audience, or at least “me” where I was 10 years ago wanting to quit my job and “me” 8 years ago trying to figure out how to be successful with my business. Nobody writes better for me, that I do, so I’m the best writer in the world for my audience. That gives me a lot of confidence to say what I want to say. There are probably thousands of people out there in a similar position to where I was 8 and 10 years ago, so it isn’t really all about me.

          Plugins are another subject. I don’t like plugins for the sake of plugins. I see some functionality on another blog that I like, so I search for a plugin that does that. I do a search and check out the reviews to find one that I like. I’ve read a lot of people who say that you should limit the number of plugins that you use. They can be poorly written and slow your blog’s loading time. They can create back doors for spammers and viruses. A lot of them have way more functionality than you need. As you’ve read on one of my other blogs, I also like to play with writing my own, so if I can’t find what I want, I’ll find something similar and modify it to my needs.

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