10 additional things they didn't tell you about blogging

Here are two previous posts on the same topic

Here is the third edition in the same series.

21. Getting attention may be easy; maintaining it is hard

There are strategies and there are tactics. Tactics may be able to get you a boost in traffic that is fleeting. If you want following, you have no choice but to work on sound strategies. From my viewpoint, the fundamental strategy for success in the blogosphere has two parts:

a. continue to build an identity that is very powerful through your accomplishments outside of blogging
b. continue to provide valuable information that is of high relevance to your audience.

Sounds simple but hard to implement.

22. What you don’t know might hurt you

If you are in the blogosphere, you have to know what is happening. It can be as simple as knowing all the technologies that you should be aware of and be using to take your blog to the next level. There is nobody who is going to tell you about all these things unless you seek out for that knowledge.

You not knowing something does not invalidate the fact that it is valuable. A short list of things that may be interesting to you is available here

Squidoo: Blogging Starter Checklist

The above list is short and incomplete. Dig into the blogosphere and never make lack of basic knowledge hurt you.

23. If you don’t care passionately about your readers, they won’t care for you

Your audience are your customers.
Some of them you may never see in your life. That does not change the fact that they are your customers.
They may not pay for what you write. That still won’t change the fact that they are your customers.

Think about this way. If your blog is your business, customers pay with their time and mindshare. Sometimes time and mindshare are more valuable than money. So care beyond the market standards and then exceed your own standards!

24. What you do outside the blog is equally important

Your blog is not your life and what you do offline has a direct bearing (almost all the time) on the way you are perceived via your blog. If you are a jerk offline but appear to be sophisticated on the blog, chances are that your “true colors” will come out via some channel.

Since blog increases the transparency of your life to the external world, the safest strategy is to keep your offline life in order. There are no other “tricks” that I can think of except “to be” who you want to be portrayed as.

25. You can never stop learning; now you got to learn FAST

If you think change happens fast, in the blogosphere – change happens VERY FAST. So you got to learn to be FAST. You got to respond FAST. If you goof up, you have to apologize FAST. If you are appreciated, you have to thank FAST. Everything has to be FAST.

If speed is something that you are not comfortable with, you will be more uncomfortable blogging.

26. You rarely can take back what you said

If you say something in real life, rarely can you take it back. You can apologize and beg for forgiveness but you can never take back what you said. In the blogosphere, sensitivity is an order of magnitude higher. The reach is far and wide and even if you delete what you wrote, there would be footprints everywhere. So please think twice before you write anything on your personal publishing platform (blog)

27. You have more help than you can ever need

When you are starting out, you need help. The good part is there is help. Lots of it. The works of several smart people are only a click away. If there is only one limitation, that will be your spending of time to get that help. It is never the lack of help. Not only can you read what others have written, you can also reach out to those people for more help. If the request is reasonable and if you can structure the request in a way that will mean something to the other person, chances are that your request will be answered.

There is an abundance of help out there. The old adage “when the student is ready, the teacher arrives” fits brilliantly to the blogosphere.

28. You can make more friends in the blogosphere fast

Blogging makes it easy to get to know people far away in ways that you could have never done before. Where else can learn about a person’s ideas, attitudes, thinking etc. without really meeting that person?

Communicate, collaborate and be nice to people in the blogosphere and you can start to nurture great relationships. I am fortunate to have met a set of really nice people in the blogosphere. I have never met a whole lot of them in person yet but I know that we are close enough that we honor each other’s requests with care.

29. You WILL have critics. So get used to it

Even if you are the most controversial blogger out there, there will be people who won’t like what you write. There are people who are out there who don’t like anything that anybody writes. So having critics for your work is part of life. You getting upset with the critics will not make them go away. You can fight with them if you think that is where your energy is spent wisely (or you have no other work to do)

The better option would be to learn to live with the critics.

30. You have to give back!

You get a lot by actively participating in the blogosphere. You do. Once you do get it, it is your turn to give back. You didn’t get to where you got without the help of other people who were ahead of you. So why not help people who are behind you to reach their potential?