You’re kicking around the idea of starting a blog. There are some questions that require answers. The answers will give you a foundation to build on and give you have a good grasp of the scope and scale of your blog and the topics you will be presenting.
What the heck is a blog in the first place?
blog | bläg/noun
- a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
More and more they are being used in building authority and interactions around the topics that are covered for business sites.
There are three things you’re going to think about before you even start thinking about doing a blog:
- this is ALL in the public spotlight
- not everyone is going to agree with your story
- you’re going to have trolls, haters, people who weren’t hugged enough or angry for whatever reason/s
If you think you can handle these, by all means forge ahead! Just keep them in mind and don’t let anyone discourage you.
The rest of the answers will have to come from you and your vision for your blog:
- What is it’s purpose?
- What will it be about?
- Who will it be for?
- How often will you publish?
- What media will it cover?
- Are you willing to commit the time?
- What platform seems to lend itself to everything above?
We’ll answer some of these in the context of Memdump.exe so you have a reference.
What's the purpose?
What are your intentions for the blog, a blog of a topic on a personal blog will necessarily be a different beast from a business blog on the same subject. Blog Tyrant has a really good article on all the different personal reasons to blog.
On the other hand if it’s a business blog then you really need to put more thought into this and be honest about how this will all work for the blog and your business. There’s way more than I can cover here, but a good article that I found when starting out 4 years ago was this one over at SERPs.com
Memdump's purpose is multifaceted and the potential is meteoric.
What will it be about?
This is the one question that will require the most thought and detail in answering. It is the foundational question that will underlie all the other answers. Regardless of whether or not this is for a business or personal hobby, you have to think of how your going to relate the subject to your audience.
Memdump.exe is a DOS program that was used to dump the contents of memory into a text readable format, what programs and drivers sat where etc.
I decided it would be the name of a personal blog for dumping my thoughts out in the ether online. It’s a way of immortalizing what I’ve learned and continue to learn, in life and business, and electronic diary of sorts telling my story.
I’ve chosen different methods from the start, to drive Digital Dr from basically a small local business, into what is now blossoming into a much larger, global but more focused scope. The blog will cover this transition and hopefully inspire others along the way. It will cover the different tools and tease at ideas that I’ve learned and am learning for use in running and promoting my businesses online ;)
I want to fill Memdump.exe up with all the experiences and document all the things that happen along the way. Maybe that might inspire someone else to chase their dreams.
Who will it be for?
Figure out right away who the blog is for and write it the way you want, for them. Always keep that group’s perspective in mind because that’s who you want following and participating!
Memdump.exe is for:
- those who want to use technology to communicate, to create, to tell their story, to sing their song
- those who want to build their own dream, their own following but share in the wealth of ideas that networking minds enable!
How often will you publish?
This will determine how much time you will have to spend on each post and will ultimately affect the overall quality. If you choose to publish daily and do not have a team to handle that, your blog will suck. Publish too little and you won’t gain any traction. Inconsistent publishing is equally a traffic killer. Poorly researched, grammatically incorrect, wrong facts, and rushed writing won’t get you far either.
You have to strike a balance, how much time do you have to commit and how large the posts are going to be will factor into how often you can publish. Get an idea of how long it takes YOU to write the length of article, with the depth and precision to the tastes of who it’s for (always remember your audience). Better yet, write a couple of them. They don’t have to be published, just pick something and write till you’re content with it. It’s not only good practice, but also gives you valuable information to consider.
For Memdump.exe there will be ONE large main post per week on a particular subject.
There may be smaller ones or updates to the main as information and other ideas roll in from readers.
This kind of schedule is maintainable and I would be looking at roughly 8 hours of research, 8 in writing and editing and 2 making each post perfect. An hour per day for updating articles, social media and analytics.
What kind of media will it cover?
This may seem like an out of place question, but important to answer. It will affect what platforms you have available to consider. Media like:
- Flash/HTML5 (please just say no to flash)
It used to be that you would have to pay for a hosted account and a domain to do everything. The variations and solutions are too varied to get into here, but if you have a question about platforms or anything else : blog @ digitaldr (dot) ca
More on all this in future posts!
What platform does this lend itself to?
Memdump.exe works perfectly well as a print and image blog. For this purpose I have chosen to publish, at least for now, directly on
Facebook Notes ghost.io self holsted blog engine. This platform seems to be giving over to some blog like features. It allows me easy access to my target markets in many areas all in one place!
This engine, hosted on a Digital Ocean droplet, has my inner nerd beside himself.
I can imbed pieces on my website if I wish for a more traditional blog look and there are rumors that there are more features coming to the platform. Its powerful, yet simple markup language style of writing makes putting out and formatting content the easiest I've seen to date. Doing it this way also allows me to set it up as a subdomain of digitaldr.ca. This is important for Search Engine Optimization.
In closing: starting a blog is a process, it is work if you want awesome and for it to gain momentum, regardless of its purpose. If the subject is something you’re passionate about and you have your foundation set, then your genuine enthusiasm is going to shine and attract people like moths to a streetlight. From this the ideas will flow and it will seemingly take on a life of it’s own.
This is the only magic I believe in, that which exists in the human mind and in human interactions. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to able to contribute and share ideas amongst others who are interested in the same things!
If you have any questions or ideas, tough shit!
I'm kidding!! Email: blog @ digitaldr (dot) ca
Maybe a friend is thinking about blogging, share this and inspire them to try!