Posted June 29, 2011
What's the best way to start a blog?
That's a really important question for someone who wants to start blogging.
A lot of people want to start a blog, but they just don't know how to get started. Not only do they not know how to get started, but they don't know what the best way to start is.
The honest answer is that there are many ways to start a blog. You can start by posting once a week or once a month. You can start by writing about your pets, the weather, or the food you're eating.
That's all good, but is it the best way to start a blog?
The answer is no.
The best way to start is this:
The absolute best way to start a blog is to treat it like an experiment.
It's as simple as that.
When you first get started, there's no way you're going to be a pro. Instead of trying to be one, you should just start experimenting.
The good thing about experiments is that they're low pressure. You're not expected to get everything right the first time. It's also ok to make mistakes.
With blogging, you won't get everything right the first time; you'll also make some mistakes.
That's entirely ok.
Instead of trying to be a pro when you first get started, treat your blog like an experiment with the internet being your lab. You're starting a blog because you want to learn about blogging. The internet will be the lab where you do that.
It's important to realize that nobody starts out as a pro in anything, but for some unknown reason, writers (including bloggers) often expect themselves to be pros when they first get started.
They think that before writing a single book (or post), they need to write as well as William Shakespeare and Jane Austin (or Brian Clark and Sonia Simone).
That's just not the case. It's not possible.
Nobody starts out as a best selling author. Or as a tennis champion. Or as a world famous blogger. Nobody.
Instead, people start out as learners. They start by experimenting.
The best thing about treating a blog like an experiment is that it takes pressure off of you, the blogger. Instead of thinking that you're first post has to be amazing, you realize that it's just an experiment. You don't know what you're doing yet, so it's possible that you'll make a mistake.
Don't worry, it's ok to make mistakes.
With an experiment, you don't know what the outcome will be. That's why you're experimenting. You put two chemicals together to see what happens. It's good if you know a little bit about each beforehand, but an experiment means you don't know what the outcome will be.
That's the case with a blog. Each blog post is an experiment. Until you write a post, you don't know how people will react. You also don't know how many people will read or share the post.
But once you write a post, you'll start to learn. You'll learn that readers are interested in certain topics and respond to well-written headlines. You'll learn that traffic doesn't matter that much, and that conversion matters much more. You'll also learn that you need to set goals and learn who your target audience is.
There's a lot to learn.
That's why you need to treat your blog like an experiment. Instead of trying to learn about everything and then blogging, you should start a blog to begin learning. You'll learn a lot more from starting a blog than you will by just reading about blogging.
Consider this quote from John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach:
"If you're not making any mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm convinced that doers make mistakes"
If you want to be a blogger, you need to be a doer, and to be a doer, you're going to make some mistakes. That's ok, you're just experimenting anyway.
So what do you think? Are you ready to start your blog experiment?
This post is the first in a series of ten posts on the best way to start a blog.