For example, I have way too many categories of stuff I don't write about much anymore, and a few new ones I really should start.
There's no category for Twitter and the other networking sites. But I hate to create another category because the list is way too long. Too many choices for readers is confusing. I may have to do that anyway, instead of lumping everything under Content Marketing.
I read a great post by Adam Singer over on the Future Buzz Blog: 50 lessons for starting a blog. Here's a few key things I've adapted for my own lessons I've learned from my five years of blogging. Maybe they will help you if you're starting a blog, or maybe they will trigger other tips that you can share here…
1. Publishing short pieces frequently is better than long and occasional. Speed and agility win. Publishing on a blog is immediate. It’s not about overly refining content, it’s about freedom to converse and try out new ideas. It's not about writing comprehensive articles. It's about delivering laser sharp tips and trends and things to think about.
2. If you wouldn’t blog for free, don’t do it at all. In other words: do it for passion and for yourself and you can’t lose. The payoffs will come later, so find the pleasure in writing for it's own value.
3. Allow a minimum of one year commitment (posting 3-5x weekly, or even daily) before you start to see compelling results. Be mindful of the fact it may take longer.
4. Branding is vital – your blog requires a strong or unique brand. If the name of your blog isn’t sticky, you’re already at a disadvantage compared to your peers. After enough time, you should notice a decent amount of search engine brand awareness for the name of your blog.
5. It’s not going to be easy – nothing rewarding is.
6. But it is going to be worthwhile – you will develop a voice in your industry and get involved in conversations with smart, interesting people.
7. Embrace being imperfect. Trust me, you’re going to have things like typos and sentences which aren’t grammatically perfect. Make peace with this soon and you’ll have a lot more fun.
8. Speaking of fun – if you don’t find writing about your topic of choice fun, stop and write about something else. If the process isn’t enjoyable, your content will feel contrived – and no one enjoys contrived words.
9. If you’re not learning as part of the process, stop. Blogging should be like going to the gym for your brain.
10. Answer the “so what?” question with every post. If you have no reason that makes sense to your readers, don’t write it.
11. Network, network, network. As few as 10 well-connected, interested people could be your entire growth strategy. But realize people with real influence will never share content that doesn’t add value to their own networks. Give to get.
12. Learn the intersection of social media and SEO. Read about it, learn the basics, use it.
13. Become a web analytics geek – learn to interpret what all the data points mean and how to use this data to help create killer content.
14. If it doesn’t move you emotionally, don’t write it (if it moves you then, it’s going to impact someone else that way too).
15. Realize there are no formalized rules or best practices – just start and find what works for you.
16. If you’re ever stuck, just start to write.
17. Don't mess around with the design too often. Readers like consistency, and consistency builds trust. But make sure you're following best practices, and have an email subscription form up at the top.
18. Read other blogs both in your field and outside. Leave comments. Most bloggers stay home too much.