My friend and coworker Christopher recently decided to follow his passion and start blogging about honey at http://honeyfiend.com/.
He asked a handful of us what we thought, which already proves that he is far smarter than I was when I started blogging oh-so-many (ok, 3) years ago. Another friend is thinking about blogging as well, so I decided to share the message I sent him here…
Christopher, well, I’m finally back in Seattle and have waded through my email and work.
I love this Christopher. What a great idea. I can’t wait to share it. Keep it up!
P.S. Eight ideas from my experience…
- Allow yourself to be part of the story. I’ve experienced blogging the past three years as primarily a way to find my people, my community, and through them, my truer self and my own voice. That’s not what I intended it to be (you can see how technical Collective Self was in the beginning if you look in the archive), but that’s what it has become. My long-time blogger buddies and I have this in common. What you yourself are doing—leaving work behind that no longer suits you, listening to your deeper calling, starting to create on a subject you care about—is part of the story too. People who already know you will come to the blog to hear your story, not just for honey details. Strangers will come to the blog via their shared passion for honey. Those who stay long term will come to experience you as a friend and will stay as much for you, and your story, as for the details about the honey.
- Be yourself and trust others to be ok with that. Be the truest self you know how to be in each of your blog posts. This truest self will change over time. Stay true to yourself each time and those who were with you at the beginning will stay with you no matter where that self goes. Those worth travelling with will themselves change over time and so will not just be ok with you doing so, they will help you, inspire you, and push you when you need it.
- Write for yourself and for the most wonderful, fun, smart people you know. Like I’m doing now.
- Create only when you’re feeling deeply inspired to do so—and don’t bother with worry the rest of the time. I’ve noticed this has the benefit of ensuring that every post is worthwhile for you and for those who read it now and in the future. When you find yourself worrying, go do something outside and physical, for an hour or a week or a month. Worry does not leave enough space for creating great blog posts.
- Look for friends and colleagues, not a crowd of followers. In my experience, what you’re looking for at this point is the few people who love this subject (and you) as much as you do. People who will read every word because almost every word resonates or because you yourself deeply matter to them. People who are or will become friends and colleagues and family. People who will help you figure out who you’re becoming and what you’ll be doing next. Readership numbers don’t matter. Less is more at the beginning anyway. There can be more true community among 10 people than ten thousand. And it’s those 10 people who will best spread word of your blog anyway. I think we know this in our hearts. It’s our hearts we should be listening to on this matter. I’m not certain of much, but I’m certain of this.
- Allow ample time for those drawn to you and the subject to find you. I’m talking years, not days. Ours is a world of abundance, and there really is plenty of time for this and everything else you’re drawn to do. Rushing is the old, machine-model, humans-as-cogs world of work. You’ve stepped away from that world. You’re now in the world where humans author their own story lines and honor their own souls. Be yourself, be patient, and eventually people will be drawn to you like, um, bees to honey. 🙂
- Over time, find blogging peer mentors who are different from you and read their work. I keep a rotating list of my current mentors on my blog itself – that’s the blog roll. It’s not just people I recommend. It’s my teachers. My inspirations. My community. People I’m drawn to for our differences as much as our similarities. These are my teachers. Most of them know it, because they’ve become my friends. A few of them don’t. Yet.
- Bloggers blog. If you find that blogging is something you’re meant to be doing, it’ll eventually seem as habitual and easy as brushing your teeth in the morning. If it starts to feel more like pulling teeth, stop pushing yourself to produce, forget about it, and begin to create again only when you feel inspired. If it continues to feel like pulling teeth over time, then you’re not a blogger. I have plenty of friends who have decided blogging wasn’t for them. I did the same with traditional business consulting. Bleh. Like pulling teeth. Not for me. But blogging, for me, is piece of cake. For example, it just occurred to me that this list could be my next blog post. And it’s already done. Damn that was easy.