If you’ve ever thought of starting your own blog, here’s an amazing stat to consider: There are over 27 million WordPress publishers as of September 2010: 13.9 million blogs hosted on WordPress.com plus 13.8 million active installations of the WordPress.org software.
Did you notice the stat is only for WordPress blogs (I publish this site through WordPress with the Standard Theme). There’s also Blogger, Typepad, and a whole host of other blogging platforms out there. In other words, millions and millions of blogs. The numbers can be daunting for anyone wanting to throw their hat into the blogging ring.
So why are there so many people doing this?
I think it’s easier than ever to start a blog. Blogging sites can get you up and running in a matter of minutes with limited or no coding knowledge necessary. It’s free or extremely cheap. People have a lot to say (or sell) and it’s easy to do it with a blog. Platforms like WordPress can help you create a full-blown website on your own as opposed to requiring the assistance of a web design guru.
But what’s difficult is maintaining a blog. I discovered this simple principle early on: the Internet is a black hole for information. Whatever you’re doing needs to be constantly updated or it will get lost in the overwhelming amount of news, pictures, media, and stream of data that is piled on each and every minute.
While there are some folks who create and write blogs for their own personal benefit (and for their mom to read), I tend to write with a reader (other than me) in mind. I think most people self-publish on the web to get their writing, their art out there. Sometimes I’ll write a post or offer something that helps others who write their own blog. But not today.
This post isn’t for the writers out there…it’s for the readers. It’s for my readers.
First off, thank you. Thank you for taking some of your precious time to spend a moment and read what I’m writing. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of speaking into your life. As my favorite JulianSmith.tv video on youtube says…“I made this for you!”
Second, I’d like to ask for your input. I’d like to get your feedback. I want to invite you to get involved in the conversation on this site. Here are just a few of the ways you can do that (both here and on other blogs that you read)…
Every blog post has an opportunity for you to comment. I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible without you having to jump through a bunch of sign-in, log-in, or captcha hoops. Your comments are an encouragement to me. When you comment on my site (or someone else’s) you affirm your presence, you let me know you were here. Your comment doesn’t need to be long or drawn out. Tell me you agree/disagree or add another point to a list I’ve created. I always try to end with some type of challenge or question which you can quickly answer. Plus, when you comment, it creates a link back to your blog or site. There’s love on both sides.
I inserted a Facebook “Like” button at the bottom of each post. This is by far the easiest and quickest way to give me a thumbs up for writing the post. When you click the “like” button it also tells other people that you gave your vote of confidence and they might like it as well. I’ve learned that “liking” is easy and encouraging to the people who posted something.
I’ve also added a “ReTweet” button to the side of each post. When you click this, it will create a tweet from your twitter account that includes the title and link to this post. Lots of people find helpful and useful articles to read from the twitter recommendations of others. Plus, if people look at a post and see that someone has retweeted it, they are more likely to read it and retweet it themselves.
Not only can you “like” a post, but you can “share” it on Facebook as well. When you click on the share button, it will add a snippet of the post and the link to your wall on Facebook. I always learned that the best kind of sharing is a when I find something of value someone else created and point others toward it (by sharing, tweeting, linking, digging, stumbling, liking, or posting about it). One other way you can share is by adding a link to this post or site on your own blog. You’ll often see that I include links to other sites in my writing as additional reading for the topic I’m writing about.
I’d like to invite you to subscribe to this site. You can subscribe in a couple different ways:
- Email Subscription: If you click on the “mail” icon above, you can subscribe to receive the posts I write on this site by email. The posts are sent to you rather than you having to come to visit this site everytime you want to see if I’ve written something new.
- RSS Subscription: I subscribe to around 60-70 blogs that I read on a regular basis. I subscribe to their RSS feeds and read all of the posts in Google Reader. If you do that, I’d like to ask you to subscribe and add me to your RSS reader. Just click on the RSS icon above and it will guide you through the process. It’s the quickest way I know to get through all of the new posts without actually having to visit each and every site.
Once again, thank you for stopping by or taking the time to read this. I am grateful and I am humbled when I hear from people who have found something I’ve contributed to be useful in their own life.
Also, offer these types of responses (gifts!) back to the writers of all the sites you read on a regular basis. It will make a difference in their enthusiasm and motivation to keep feeding their site. Millions may start blogs, but I bet over half of them die quickly because they don’t develop a following or simply burn out on what they thought would be a good idea.
Thank you for your comments, tweets, likes, sharing, and subscriptions. It means a lot.