Running your own blog can be a bit daunting.
It’s similar to running a race – there’s a lot of prep involved to maintain your endurance.
There’s also a rush of hopes and doubts as you navigate your way through the crowd.
But if you put the work in, log the miles and prepare, you can accomplish your goals and reap big rewards.
So in the spirit of running, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re ready to write:
Do your homework. Consider your road map. Have you given yourself time to train? The weather and time of year also are important to work out. Similarly, the beginning phases of a blog can be mapped out, including defining your strategy and planning for milestones. Before you get started, check out other blogs and pay attention to what resonates. It’s good to replicate trends that work, but remember you must embrace an individual style and pace for your readers.
Get the right gear. Any runner can tell you the right pair of running shoes makes all the difference. As a blogger, it’s important to find the right tools to get you going. Explore what’s available and find the right blog platform. Invest time (and money, if you can) in good design to help engage readers and show your credibility. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some of our favorite design tools for blogging.
Pace yourself. Don’t do too much at once. Start off a little at a time, and build stamina by adding more each day. It’s OK to have an off day or admit you didn’t get enough sleep. Try again and you’ll find your stride – you also find you’re exactly where you need to be. To keep you on track, work up an editorial calendar for your blog. It’ll keep you accountable to your goals, while tracking your ideas and logging past content.
Stick with it. Fight those ruts and stay flexible. Sometimes, changing things up or finding a new route is the best medicine. For runners, a support group can be key to sticking with your training. Blogging, like running, can be isolating at times, so make blogger friends. Join a club or participate in Twitter chats.
Get inspired. It takes only time and practice to build an audience for your blog. Need a little pick me up? Put on some tunes and fuel the drive to keep going. You may be on the last stretch of your race, but sometimes listening to someone else’s creative work can boost your ability to finish the job. If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to blogs via RSS feed. Reading other writing that you enjoy can be inspiring and help keep you in your groove.
Reflect back on your hard work. It’s a great feeling when your hard work pays off. But, it’s always good to look back at how you accomplished your goal (or what went wrong if you didn’t). As a runner, you might ask yourself: Are you happy with your final time and is there anything you could change to make your next race better? As a blogger, once you’ve published your thoughts, you’re similarly wondering the impact that was made. Pay attention to what works for you and capitalize on the trends. Like running, the more you blog, the better you’ll get at it.
Once you accomplish a goal, reward yourself. Take a break, but don’t stop for too long – there are many milestones ahead.
Stephanie Donovan is a Senior Customer Content Specialist at PR Newswire and an avid runner. In her free time, she likes discovering new music, keeping up to date on the best new TV shows, and traveling.