I was chatting with a friend recently and in the course of 'what are you up to lately' I mentioned I had been doing some reading about how to blog, which resulted in the raised eyebrow and 'how hard can be blogging be' look. You just set up a blog and write, right? Absolutely it's that simple and you don't have to make it any more complicated if you don't want to.
I've been blogging since May and from the start my first goal was to make sure I could post something on a recurring basis, and to try to stick to a technical theme. So far I've managed that (I'll let you decide how well) and so it's time to move forward a step or two - call it my professional development plan for my blogging career. I'm not sure yet what that second phase should look like. So, I go back to one of my long held beliefs; when you start something new; podcasting, blog, stamp collecting, kite flying, etc, subscribe to the magazines and read a couple books before you jump in too hard. It's helped me more than once in unexpected ways, all it takes is effort and some money!
So I'm reading. I've read Secrets of Successful Blogging, What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting: Real-Life Advice from 101 People Who Successfully Leverage the Power of the Blogosphere, and Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World's Top Bloggers. I've no intention of turning this blog into a commercial venture, but still there are some tricks worth learning to make it more effective and I might decide to launch a different blog that would have the goal of making money. It's hard to quantify what I've learned, but I know a lot more about blogging than I did before, and somewhere along the line that will help me do a better job of it.
I'll have a follow up posted in the next week or two with some more specific tips I learned and maybe I'll have fleshed out a larger blog strategy by then as well.