How I Am Building My Blogging Platform, prt 1: Getting Started
Many people are familiar with, and have purchased, Michael Hyatt’s best-selling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. The purpose of this post is to tell you how I am building my platform. The reason this series may be valuable to you is because I am still “small” enough that you may see your journey in mine, but I have made enough progress, and recently enough, that you may be encouraged that you can make progress too. That is my hope.
My journey into blogging was like a lot of other people’s. I started my blog almost ten years ago with the mistaken notion that a lot of people would care to read my random musings about mundane things in life. When people didn’t flock to read it, I was frustrated. For several years my daily readership hovered between four and eleven (people, not thousand!). The truth is, people care not about your life but about their own. As long as you treat your blog like a personal journal/diary, chances are very high you’ll be the only one who reads it.
It’s not that no one cares about you. Your friends and family care about you, but when you write you will have to find ways to connect your material to their lives. If you want to be a successful blogger you will have to find a connecting point. If you cannot do this you will never attract readers. Start by connecting your material to the lives of your friends and family, since they will almost certainly be your first readers.
When I got serious about blogging a little over a year ago, I realized the first thing I needed to do was post more regularly. When I wasn’t serious, I would sometimes go weeks or even months between posts. People who are serious about what they’re doing, do it. When you don’t post regularly you tell your readers loudly and clearly that you’re not serious. If you’re not serious about your blog, why should anyone else be? I now aim to post three times a week. To be honest, sometimes I still don’t make it, but I usually do. Some weeks I post more.
Without a doubt, the place to start is content. A lot of would-be bloggers ask me questions about whether to use WordPress.com, WordPress on their own server, Typepad, Blogger, etc. I would say pick any of those platforms, decide how often you will post, and then post that often for six to eight months. If you can’t post regularly, there is no sense investing time and energy into the technical details.