Friday, July 9, 2010

Blogging tips & tools to get you started – Step Two

   How do you like blogging so far? It can be very interesting to see blogging from a readers point of view. It gives you a glimpse into what readers might be like once you get your blog started. On to the next step.

Step Two: What do you want to blog about?

   Now you will need to decide what you want to blog about. Although you might already know, topics are endless and you want to make sure you pick a topic or topics that you are interested in and have some knowledge of. Trust me when I say you do

n’t want to go around posting articles about something you know little about; readers can be pretty tough on people who don’t have facts or proof to back up their statements. Step one was meant to also help figure out what topics you might be interested in blogging about. You would have most likely joined blogs where the topics were of interest to you.

   Here are some examples of topics I tend to blog most about: politics, technology, movies and current events. Make sure to be consistent in your opinions in the topics; people will notice when you jump from one side of a topic to the other and may lose interest as they will see you as, what many call, a flip-flop. In other words, stand by your opini

ons, unless you feel you may have been wrong in which you should admit it. I consider this very honorable regardless if others may think you are just weak. It’s not weakness to admit you are wrong, if you actually are that is.

   Judging from experience, dealing with more than 1 topic on a single blog is not always easy since people will become return readers based on the topics they are interested in reading. This can make it difficult to maintain a readership if every time a potential follower checks the site and finds an article on a topic they are not interested in. Still, some people can be successful at this since it can sometimes take more than the topic to get people to read, comment and hopefully follow your blog. It also takes character, feeling and also the ability to express yourself in word with only a profile to link the words to the person. Sounding like a robot should be the one thing you don’t want to express to potential readers. Be yourself, blog as if you were having a conversation, as if you were telling your side to someone face to face. Keep in mind that since you are posting words on the Internet, expressions can not be seen so writing your words in a way that can also give the reader an idea of how you are reacting as you write these words, an image as if they were looking at you and listening to what you have to see, seeing all the expressions you make as you talk.

   Topics are a dime a dozen but you want to make sure you pick the ones you are most passionate and educated about. This will help you focus on writing about the topic you selected, making it easier to come up with ideas for each article you plan to write. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak your mind about the topic; you may find yourself being contradicted, rebutted and maybe even  insulted for you opinions on the topic, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. This is just another form of getting people interested in reading and commenting. The trick is to reply as often as possible to these comments to keep the debate going; well, with the exception of those that insult. Here you can pick to reply or delete the comment if you do not wish to deal with comments that don’t actually add any substance to the debate.

Tools to help find and bookmark topics for your blog

Evernote – A website that helps you keep notes, bookmark sites and save information from many sources so that you can go back to them later. Kinda like a notepad where you write ideas down,  but online.

News sites – Sites like Foxnews, MSNBC, Gizmodo, Maximum PC and even and are just some of the great sites you can find for topics for your blog. Find sites and bookmark them, follow them, check them often. You never know when the next great story gets posted and you get to have a first say on it.

Yourself – Your own daily life can also be a topic. Talk about your day, about your job, about your pets, the adventures you endure when cooking or shopping, the people you come across that are interesting enough to share with the rest of the Internet community. Everything is bloggable, it all depends on how you tell the story on it.

Always remember to bookmark websites of interest that can provide great ideas for future articles.

Have you found other tools that can help keep track of topics and sites of interest? Did you pick what topics you want to blog about? What are you most passionate about? Tell us what you have found so far so other may share in you finding.