“Credibility is something most blogs lack”
So what you ask and who the hell is John Chow? Well, the reality is you are likely reading this to learn about blogging and possibly have visions of earning some extra income from your new blog. That probably means you haven’t met all of the big players in the blogging for dollars end of the blogosphere. John is one of the biggest. He’s also Canadian, which is a big deal for me, as I love to promote Canadian talent whenever I can.
When I wrote about choosing a blog topic recently, I pointed out that you should write about something you know and are passionate about. That will build credibility for your blog. Without that credibility, nobody will want to read your work. If you’ve been collecting and selling garden gnomes for 10 years, you would be foolish to start a blog about fairies because you think that’s where the readers are.
As Mr. Chow points out, there are many people writing blogs about making money blogging but only a handful of those are truly earning substantial income as a result of their blogging. My primary work over at The Garage is the result of a lifetime spent around cars and 20 years in the car industry. The team of writers that I’ve assembled all have similar backgrounds, from working in the industry to taking part in motorsports. Here at Blogtater, I’m attempting to collate the knowledge I’ve gained from blogging for the past few years and pass those lessons on to the new blogger.
I’ll leave the fairie blogging to someone else, I encourage you to do the same. Unless of course you have an intimate knowledge of the fairie world.
Post frequency is quite the topic. Some folks believe that too few posts will kill a blog, while others feel that too many will actually drive away traffic. The golden rule used to be something like Thou shalt post as many times a day as possible. These days though, it seems that many blogging experts believe that consistency is key. It really is one of those topics where personal experience hugely influences ones’ opinion.
Let’s take the automotive corner of the blogosphere as an example. The large, corporate owned automotive blogs typically have teams of bloggers. Together these teams typically churn out anywhere from 10 posts a day on the weekend, to close to 30 during the week. That is some serious quantity. Most of the B List car blogs are written by 1 or 2 bloggers and might post 5-7 posts a day, while the C Listers are usually flying solo with posts coming in at under 2 or 3 a day. Below the C List are the occasional bloggers who love cars, but don’t have the time or inclination to write more than every few days.
Whether you are blogging for yourself, or for the audience that you hope to build, the key is to blog about something you are passionate about. While you may think you know a thing or two about garden gnomes, are you truly passionate about them? Can you write daily or weekly about garden gnomes for months on end without growing bored or running out of ideas?
When I began blogging, it made complete sense for me to blog about cars. I was 37 years old and my obsession with cars began when I was just a wee baby. No kidding, I had been going to one race track or another since my parents dragged me to Mosport when I was a newborn. That love of things on wheels followed me into my career in the auto industry. In other words, I’m passionate about cars and I now have 40 years of experience with them. That means I could even be considered an automotive expert.
So let’s see, passion and expertise. Do you see a trend here?
As I’ve mentioned before, my first exposure to the world of blogging was through Google’s free blog service, Blogger. Sign up was easy, the software was intuitive and super easy to follow. To get a Blogger blog up and running requires no more skill than it takes to send an e-mail and within minutes you can be writing your most intimate thoughts about the day’s trash and uploading pictures of your kitty.
As I learned my way around the blogosphere, I learned that Blogger isn’t the only game in town. There are tons of free blogging services out there like WordPress, Typepad, LiveJournal and many more. It really is easy to get started with a free blog. Blogger is dead easy for the neophyte, while WordPress takes a little bit of getting used to. I’ve never used any of the others, so I can’t really judge them.
Sometimes it can be pretty easy for an experienced blogger to forget that blogging is a foreign concept to a lot of people. They probably read blogs every day and don’t even know it.
So, what is a blog?
Wikipedia calls a blog: A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.
My name is Gary and I’m an addict.
A blogging addict.
Way back in September 2004, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I first ventured online to learn about these things called blogs. I Googled the word blog. Of course one of the first links to turn up was Google’s own free blogging service, Blogger. I was intrigued, but also intimidated. There was discussion of designing your own blog and that terrified me. I needn’t have worried, as I was publishing my own brain farts in minutes.
Brain farts only keep one’s interest for so long, and rarely attract the interest of anybody else. I needed something to blog about. The obvious choice for me was cars, so I began blogging about cars.