The importance of researching all the blogs about blogs
Blog tips and why I would read them all
If there is one thing I did before starting a blog, it was reading a lot of blogs about blogging
And trust me, there are a lot of blogs about blogging. Bloggers have become a phenomenon that has swept the internet and has changed the business model forever. Originating in 1997, the word “blog” was first used by Jorn Barger. But what started as a weblog in which people kept an online journal, it has now changed into marketing gold. No product or subject is safe from the scrutiny of bloggers. And with the coming of monetisation of blogs, the rise of the blogging world has skyrocketed, making it even harder to set up a profitable blog yourself. If you did find my blog with the intention of getting information on how you can monetise your blog and start getting rich, then this is the wrong post to be reading. I myself have no experience with the subject, nor any real interest getting rich with blogging. I like to be helpful instead. So, if you want tips on how to start, how to find your motivation and how to filter out the bull* that’s out there, then this is where I can help a little.
Why I read up about blogging
Same reason you are probably reading this post now; You want to become a blogger, but don’t know how to make a blog or don’t know where to start. There I can help, you’ve already started! Simple by having typed in the search “How to start a blog.” it already signifies you’ve already begun your endeavours in the blogging world. Congratulations! It took me awhile to understand this little fact myself. I’ve been researching about blogs for almost 2 years before I started to publish my writings. This was due to the fact that I didn’t understand a few things about myself yet. I love writing and have particular views and essays i would wish to share. But the moment I read up about blogging, I discovered this was a pitfall for disaster. To be read, means to write something people want to read. I didn't specifically know what I wanted to write about or knew if the people would like what I wrote. Honestly, I still don’t. And this hurdle is probably the other reason you are reading this post. You are also considering if blogging really is for you. My experience is little, but I can tell you this. Blogging takes a lot of time, dedication and concentration. Things you might not have. The difference between setting up your blog and being a blogger is to be found in one word ‘Perseverance’. You must truly consider; “Is this for me?” “Do I really want to do this?” and “Do I have something to write about?”
After all this research, I discovered my raison d'être for blogging lies within my wanting to help people in my industry and to share my philosophical views on society and mental health. The first is easy, the second is hard. But we do it with every little publishing at a time. By researching all those blogs about blogging, this is what I have been able to in point.
Why doing a lot of research will help you to become a better blogger
Finding so many blogs about blogging can become very daunting… and that’s normal. But it is also very enlightening. Many bloggers have different opinions and experiences with setting up their blogs and all have different views on which you can develop your own opinion in what will work best for you (the latter is something very important). And let's be honest. There are way too many bloggers now who are all doing the same thing. Getting noticed in a sea of blog sites is a very tricky business. Just writing isn’t enough anymore. And those known bloggers all agree on that and all say the same thing. You have to think about a domain name, niche, appearances, lay outs, social media and tone of voice (Do a little research here on these topics, cause other bloggers have done field work).
And don’t get me wrong, reading other bloggers work is doing research! It’s very much part of it and I highly incurious it to read as much as you can. Especially those blogs who write in the same niche you are interested in and those who blog about blogging. By searching for bloggers who have the same niche as you, you can pinpoint their similarities and differences. You can make connections by leaving comments and subscribe to their blog to stay posted and most of all, informed. While finding big blogs, you can ask yourself, are they popular? Why are they popular? Are they a stand alone business blogger? Or do they blog on the side? Do they have the same audience/readers your want? Does their working model fit my working model? For instance, as an example, I am a side blogger. By trade I am a 2D artist and give advice to other 2D artists, such as illustrators and animators. Writing and researching certain topics are things I do on the side to keep me on top of my game.
The big NONO
Now, a big NO NO when researching bloggers who write about the same topics as yourself is to Copy/Paste. It’s downright awful and shameful to copy someone's work without permission or even acknowledgment. With the internet being so big and fast, it’s hard to keep track of all the copied works out there. Doesn’t mean you won’t get caught or be made redundant. Or maybe you’ll tweak the text into your own words, not adding anything new to the subject. That’s the same and even worse then Copy/Pasting a post. And trust me, it won’t lead to more subscribers or SEO traffic (Look up SEO traffic, if you don’t know what that is). With so many copy cats out there, it’s hard to find anything original. I’ve found myself many times finding a post and clicking away the entire blog site after reading the same sentence I’ve read in 20 blogpost before it.
However! Many bloggers will write on the same topics. And that’s great! It gives many different insight on the same topic. But what makes it really great, is that it will be written from their own perspective. Not someone else’s. The information given is then also more reliable and something to keep an eye out for when conducting your own research. And for instance, when 15 blogpost on the same subject have one tip in common told in 15 different ways, then that tip is absolutely the best one to try out. Keep note on those discoveries and those bloggers. The information gathered will be very helpful.
Those other bloggers
Now the bloggers that have inspired me are probably not the bloggers that will inspire you. And that’s good. It is your search to becoming a better blogger with your own inspirations. These are examples of bloggers who wrote about their experiences and expertise with having a blog and treating it as a business and have taught/inspired me to become a better blogger;
These bloggers have honestly helped me. Both for being a good example and giving me the information I needed. The thing they have in common is that they all focus on business and how to develop your business through blogging. Hence, the posts about blogging. And this is something you should not forget when starting out as a blogger; You are your own business(Paid or not). Side blogger or full-time blogger. You are a business!
When researching your own tone-of-voice (look it up if you don’t know the term), by reading a lot of blogs, you become accustomed to their tone of voice and in-so-doing develop your own voice. Maybe they are very formal, very casual, direct of avoiding the subject directly. Whatever the case, it leaves an impression on you. Which can be positive or negative, as it will influence your writing. Figure out why you have a positive feeling with their tone of voice or why you are annoyed by every syllable they’ve written down. Reading bad blogs, also gives you an edge. You learn what NOT to do.
The many misleading clickbaits full of bull****
This might be just my opinion, but some people just write meaningless information for the clicks and the traffic. They haven’t written from experience, but have literally copy/past their text from other bloggers without honouring the bloggers. The big NO NO. These clickbaits are always full of pop-ups and affiliated commercials (nothing against affiliates when done right), and have a short post listing the tips that tell you how to make a blog. The same post your probably read 10 minutes ago. Like I mentioned before. These kinds of blogpost exist because of the need for traffic to their site. And the reason why they’re are so many blogpost about starting a blog?
Well, if you go to the most popular keyword topic on blogs, it will be “How to start a blog”. It’s strange to think about, but the most traffic every blogger has on their posts is the post about blogging. It's almost considered a right of passage it seems to blogging. And yes, I also have posts about blogging (hell, you are reading one). However, what I’ve tried is to implement my views and took my own advice on researching the topic. And so came to understand the importance of understanding your own words and opinions. To prevent you for going in the same direction, I give you this advice again; The topic may not be original, but you will be original by having your own voice and opinion on the topic. Don’t copy what other people say, copy what they do and then say it better.
When researching, your notebook is your best friend
Taking notes is very important for any creator. So having a notebook to carry around is essential! It gives you the possibility to note down any idea that comes to mind. whether it is a good or bad idea is something you can figure out later when you sit down behind your laptop and start working on the next blogpost.
Whenever you find tips and tricks that you think might help you, note them down in your notebook! Many blogs also post the same list of the do's and don'ts, making it easier to pinpoint what everybody agrees on and disagrees on to help you along. You read how many bloggers have different opinions on the same subject. Either derived from their experiences or due to the variations they have in audiences. By taking notes you discover these similarities more clearly and frequently.
When to stop researching and just start blogging
It’s a good thing to research, but you can get lost and eventually give up. Please don’t. But maybe you feel like you don’t know when to begin? Well, I have a short list here where you can start. You are ready to start blogging and posting if you have these few little things:
- A title
- A niche/subject to write about
- A website/blogging platform
- A logo
- An image library
- Time/schedule to write
- Any social media platform
Truth be told, you might never feel ready for it. Even if you are 10 blogpost and many more ideas in the running, you still will feel like you barely started. Don’t be discouraged in the beginning if you don’t see much audience coming to your blog. It takes awhile to build a steady following. And if that insecurity stays after having started writing you posts, then of course you can go back to researching on the blogging subject. Even if you are not doing anything wrong, it can be validating to read you are on the right path or help you back on the path when you are really are doing something wrong. Just don’t get stuck on it. And focus more on the work, then on the research. Even if you made a mistake, you can always correct it later. That’s the magic of blogging.
Hi, My name is Suze Gil and I write to help women in the creative industry through reading, share my love for art and tell stories.