That’s what I titled a quick presentation I put together for this past Barcamp Tampa Bay. I thought I’d publish the slides here.
I’ll also summarize:
- Never title things like that. It’s sensationalist, poor English, and doesn’t say much about what lies ahead.
- Of course you have to be passionate about what you blog about it. In other words, your life should already be about what you are blogging about, and the blog is an extension of that.
- Don’t blog about something because you feel it could theoretically be successful. Only a topic you actually care about will give you the fuel for the long haul.
- Many (most) people don’t have a “thing” that would be well suited for blogging. If you think you might be one of those people, but you are jealous of people that do, work on that (your life) first.
- You should never have any shortage of ideas. After all, since your life is already about this topic, whatever you did that day it likely a worthy blog post. The best technique for me has been to start writing a draft of an idea immediately. More than just a title, write why that idea seemed so great at the time.
- Great design is like cheating. Average blog posts inside of great design will lend them credibility and excitement. Great design for a blog is the cheapest investment you can make into it’s success.
- All presentations that mention design need to have at least one slide about Jason Santa Maria.
- Unless you can figure out some ways to create actionable tasks from your analytic data, don’t spend any more than 10 minutes a month looking at them. With over three years of analytic data on CSS-Tricks the only actionable I’ve ever come up with is “people like the freebies” and I should work on that area more.
- If your blog isn’t doing well, it’s because you haven’t given it enough time. Time means time since you’ve started as well as time spent on each article. If you spend a lot of time and write a great article, it will do well. Great articles don’t gather dust.
- Don’t worry about people stealing content, you have more important things to do.
- Don’t allow mindless comments. Promote people that leave great ones.
- Align your expectations with successful blogging with being a good guitar player. Everybody knows learning the guitar takes loads of practice, effort, and time.
Wufoo helped sponsor the event and most of us were there. Kevin gave a couple of amazing talks, as usual. We tweet about this kinda stuff, including this one where you can download Kevin’s talk about running a startup like Genghis Khan.
Brilliant post/slideshow, the headline worried me a bit though, but luckily that first slide cleared it up :)
Any advices on using disqus.com comments instead of the regular ones? Thanks
Yeah, don’t use it. Keep your comment form simple (name, email, website, comment textarea and maybe a checkbox for subscribing to new comments on that specific post).
Just my opinion…
Thanks Chris, for your passion and hard work.
Was the Jason Santa Maria slide tongue-in-cheek? :)
Thanks Cris, for all of your hard work and great information that you share.
I have two blogs of my own that I work on, I understand how much time and effort it takes.
Wow Chris, I gotta say: You kind of threw me for a loop there with that title, but the article really proved to be worth the read. Inspiring stuff, sir!
Thanks Chris, I have had a number of attempts at starting a blog, but it never really went anywhere, this inspires me to try again :)
“Unless you can figure out some ways to create actionable tasks from your analytic data, don’t spend any more than 10 minutes a month looking at them. With over three years of analytic data on CSS-Tricks the only actionable I’ve ever come up with is “people like the freebies” and I should work on that area more.”
True that. It’s so easy to get lost in analytics data the same way sport fans get lost in stats. No matter what your site, there is so much interesting data it can be hard to stop looking, even if the data won’t really help you improve your site.
When you are selling something, however, pouring over analytics data is vital to growth (and even more addictive!).
I have to say, sadly, that nowadays many blogs arent there for passion, but for business; The good content has become merely a way to get more traffic, but the goal is the traffic… once was the content itself.
Thanks Chris, this made me not want to start a blog until other work and life things are in order. Thanks for the realism check.
Yet another great post full of blogging wisdom. Allow me to reiterate that the success of your blog depends on your passion about the topic and the time you invest in to pour your heart into writing great content. Most people just see $$$igns and try to blog about something they do not deeply care about but just drawn by the moolah.
Good stuff Chris. I was reluctant to click on this title, I’m glad you addressed that though. I’m officially swearing off and unsubscribing from blogs using a number and adjective in the title. I’m so tired of seeing “50 Awesome, 22 Spectacular, 77 Inspiring, 10 Essential, etc”. It’s worse on RSS than the magazines at the checkout counter – no more! :)
Good stuff Chris. I was reluctant to click on this title, I’m glad you addressed that though. Forthwith I am officially swearing off and unsubscribing from blogs using a number and adjective in the title. I’m so tired of seeing “50 Awesome, 22 Spectacular, 77 Inspiring, 10 Essential, etc”. It’s worse on RSS than the magazines at the checkout counter – no more! :)
For some reason the slideshow continues to say “loading” and its been more than 10 minutes.
never mind, once I refreshed the page it loaded.
Great post as always.
“If you think you might be one of those people, but you are jealous of people that do, work on that (your life) first.”
Thanks man,nice post,pretty inspiring !
Excellent advice about blogging and totally agree with the excerpt “Time = time since you’ve started blogging. Has it been a year?” I think this would be a minimum to see if you can make a success of it, blogging is a long term endeavour. LT
Nice post you done very well work
and Im also do on it daily WEBDESIGNING & BLOGGING
I particularly agree about keeping the comment form simple. Sadly, I’ve had clients who think its a good idea to approve spam comments. Their reasoning is “The more comments I have the better my blog looks… right?” I guess if you really like promoting Viagra and free lottery money, why the heck not?
I love the dive slate in the shower idea! Awesome :)
You’ve given me a lot of inspiration for writing my blog, cheers.
Spot on!!! Thanks for the effort in both BLOGGING and PRESENTATION!!!
Really a nice post. Some useful information for new blogger, i hope it will helpful to me. I love your blog, really great css stuff and content. Keep it up. Thanx
Great advice. I tried for years to do a web design/development blog, and just never really got into it, even though that’s my career… Started a Portland food blog, and I’m loving it. Have several drafts going, and the blog’s only been up a couple weeks. After my 40 (or 50) hours at the office, my time and energy just doesn’t go into more programming.
I’ve just started up a magazine style blog and am in the process of migrating the ‘good’ stuff from my old blog and merging with a few friends. This is exactly the kind of process I would like to get to, but that’s not always practical. The blog has and, for me, will always be a side project so I can’t commit to making it be the best thing around editorial wise. Hopefully with a few contributors, we’ll get some interesting topics and articles up soon!
Excellent tips to start up a blog. These are effective way to communicate with the users.
Thanks for sharing with us.