This week, Laura Crum, a guest blogger at MusicSparks, issued a challenge to the music therapy blogging community to write a blog post inspired by the word “blue.”
It seemed like fun, so thought I’d jump on board
And somehow I found a way to fit “blue” into the topic I wanted to talk about today: how to get off your butt already and launch your blog. I’m not talking about the technical aspect of starting your blog. I’m talking about the fearless aspect of it.
You’ve already got the idea. Perhaps you’ve even purchased hosting, installed WordPress, and bought a domain name.
But now you’re stuck. How do you fit all your wonderful ideas into a single blog post? Who’s going to read your blog? But your blog’s not really ready to go…it still doesn’t look quite right, does it?
If you find yourself in this place, then this post is for you. Below is a mnemonic based on the word–you guessed it–“blue” that will hopefully inspire you to start sharing your knowledge, wisdom, and experience with the world (or at least with your intended audience).
B – Be a Blog Reader
One of the easiest and quickest ways for you to start figuring out what you do and do not want your blog to do is to start reading other blogs. Read blogs that are part of your community (for me, that would be other music therapy blogs) and…more importantly…read blogs that are outside your online community (for a fresh perspective and new ideas).
You should be doing 2 things while reading these other blogs:
- Note what you do and do not like in terms of the blogger’s voice, the blog layout, and features and incorporate those into your own blog.
- Engage these bloggers by commenting on their blog posts. But only if you have something valuable to say or something that will further the conversation. Saying “Thanks for a great blog post!” on dozens of blogs is kind of…well, inauthentic and pointless.
L – Limit Yourself to 1 Idea Per Post
You don’t have to share all your secrets in a single blog entry. For one, it’s a waste of your time and energy and, two, why would people come back to learn more if you’ve given them everything you know already?
In general, plan to share one main idea per blog post. Take this post. Yes, I’m share four tips, but it’s all related to the one idea of taking the plunge and starting your blog.
Too many ideas = too much time you spend writing and your reader spends reading.
U – Use your Unique and Authentic Voice
My writing style is different than any other music therapy blogger out there. The style of my posts, the length, my posting frequency…it’s my blog and it gels with my personality and the type of information I share.
It’s up to you to find your own authentic voice. This will be built over time (I cringe when reading my earliest blog posts) and you will fine-tune it as you delve deeper into this blogging world, read other blogs, and get feedback from your readers (which, yes, does inform what you do and how you do it).
Don’t try to be anyone else. Find your own authentic and unique voice.
E -Expect Non-Perfection
Your blog will never be perfect. Over time, you will be fine-tuning, adding elements, deleting things, and tweaking your blog. It’s therefore pointless to wait to launch your blog until everything is “perfect.”
It won’t be. Embrace that fact: your blog will never be perfect. Own it…then go forth and launch.
P.S. The title for this post is inspired by Tina Fey, who’s book, Bossypants, I just finished last week. I hope you enjoyed this temporary change in tone. I promise to be back to my boring-blog-title self next week.