This is the beginning of a series of posts that will share my entire book, The Elements of Blogging, on my blog. One chapter at a time. Each chapter post will be accompanied with text as well as the audio version of the chapter. The entire audio book will be completed in this manner, when all the posts are done, the entire audio book will then be available for free as well.
This is technically chapter 2 in my book, but the first chapter is just a short and funny PSA about what this book is not about… Which is SEO, traffic and gaining a huge online following. This book is about how blogging can make your a better person and enhance your life. You will hear many stories of success along they way from both me as well as 15 other bloggers from across the world.
You can download the audio file of this chapter, Introduction, by clicking here.
If you would like to read the entire book, click here.
I want to talk about something quick before diving in. Getting advice from other people can be a great thing. Well, you are reading this book right? Advice just needs to applicable to you. That’s an important part of getting advice. Application. Everything you read in this book, you can take it or leave it. That’s fine. I’m ok with that. There’s nothing wrong with hearing what I or anyone else has to say about blogging, writing and creating content, but there is someone you should listen to more than anyone else.
So what do I mean by listen to yourself? You might be thinking….. “Why should I listen to myself? I don’t know what I’m doing and or the best route to take with my blog.” The truth is, none of us know “the best” route. We can take an educated guess through research, but most of the time what we do with our blogs is out of pure personal necessity. Blogging should be filling a void in your life. Something that needs comfort, satisfaction, a boost or a nice kick in the ass.
Make sure that you stay true to yourself when you blog. Don’t write what you think people want to read. Don’t create things that are popular and trending. I’ve tried that. It’s just more noise in a world of people already making noise. If you are blogging to make noise for the sake of noise, you are doing it wrong.
You should be blogging for the sake of yourself. Write because you want to. Write for humans. Write for people. Don’t write for glory. Real people will thank you later.
Eventually, you will thank yourself.
Alright … got that off my chest.
Here we go.
We all have stories to tell, experiences to share and something to say. The question is how can you share your thoughts with the world?
The answer is simple. Start a blog.
Your blog can say more about you or your organization than a standard resume or basic website. Just that fact that you have a blog says something. That is especially true if you blog on a weekly basis. Your blog can even be considered an online portfolio. It is a true voice of who you are. It tells people a lot about you. Not just in the “about me” or “my work” sections, but in every post you publish. Every paragraph you present reveals a part of you that no other medium could bring forth. Your blog is a deep reflection of you, your work, your character, what you believe in and what you are truly passionate about.
Not only does it show who you really are, but it’s a chance for you to be interesting and differentiate yourself from everyone else. There are a lot of people out there, but I will tell you right now, only a small fraction of people in every single field blog consistently. Sure, blogging is growing and more people are doing it, but if you are relevant, current and sharing progress it makes you interesting more often than not. That’s when people start to talk about you. Not only on the internet, but in the real world. Believe me. It’s happened to me and it still does.
The struggle we all face is figuring out how to go about doing it and even more importantly, committing to it. There are so many platforms out there. So many blog sites to choose from. To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t matter what you use to share your ideas and stories with. Just pick one that you feel suits you best for now. You can always change it later. What matters is that you are writing, creating and publishing.
We tend to forget that is the most important part. For thousands of years ideas have been shared on so many different formats. The great ideas spread because they were great ideas, not because they were in a magazine instead of a newspaper. They were heard and they were shared in so many different ways.
We are constantly bombarded with ads, deals and tips all over the internet on how we should design our site or why we should use one platform over another. You can argue all day about what platform is best suited for your needs, but if you have a super cool website with nothing written or published, no one is going to care.
No content = No one cares
You can’t expect anyone to go to your site if there is hardly anything to look at. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just being honest. This book is honest, so get used to it. I’m a nice guy though. I promise! At least that’s what I’m told. I’d rather read a plain website with great story or article to see and read. White background, black text, and nothing fancy. If it’s great, I am going to read it. Just because the site is pretty doesn’t mean it’s worth reading. The content should be better than the design of the site.
I mean that makes sense right? Down the road your site look might change, but the content will always remain. The effort in your design is so temporary, so why put so much focus into it before focusing on creating? This book is going to guide you on your journey to become a better blogger by focusing on what’s really important. The content. I am not trying to say that great site design is useless, but if you have nothing to show and share with others, then why do you even have a blog?
So what do I mean by better blogging?
This book is a tool to aid you in your journey as a blogger. Blogging has a foundation of writing and even visual in some way. There are “elements’ that are essential to making your communicate your thoughts and ideas in a better way. With that in mind, much of this book will be about healthy writing habits, forming ideas, presentation of ideas as well as creative brainstorming.
Each section of this book describes an element either formally or abstractly. The sections are here to help you focus on parts of the process, not all of them at once. Sometimes foundations of things are better described as an idea, than in one single form. Elements in science can come in many forms, just like the elements of blogging can be presented. So keep an open mind and take notes along the way, just like in science class. Consider each section to be a learning experience for each element, what they do, what are their forms and more importantly how they can interact with the other elements. That is how blogs are formed. Blogs are multiple elements brought together to form something tangible. Something we have created.
We are all creators on our blogs. It is up to you to create things and the elements will help make that all possible. The coolest part? There are more ways than one to create. I love that and I think you will too.
I also want you to learn how to be yourself when you write and define your style. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Show others something new and something that is totally you. Don’t worry we can dig into each part a little more later in this book.
Be yourself and this will be a great adventure for you both as a writer and as well as your character. I hope that blogging can be a great way for you to progress on both personal and professional levels. It has done that for me in more ways than I could share in this book. You will even hear some stories from some great and talented people. Even some folks that are in the same shoes as you are. We all start from such different places. It’s really amazing to read them all.
I hope you enjoy this book, share it with a friend and encourage others to start blogging with you.
Note: I will be referencing personal blogs more often than not in this book because I have the most experience in that area. That does not mean that this information is not relevant to organizations and businesses. Please consider all of the points in this book for your organization or business. Many of the principles are the same for personal and organizational blogs. There is a voice, there is a message and there is much to earn from all of it.
My plan is to post at least one chapter per week. So follow me on twitter or join my newsletter to get updates on more audio chapters of the book!