After blogging for just a little over two years now, I have finally caught the Blogging Virus. This may be a little hard to understand for those of you who don't blog yourselves so I will explain it to you. Compared to the other bloggers who grace the screen here at The Whacko Blogs, I am relatively inexperienced. I think that makes me the best candidate to explain this Blogging Virus issue because I have recently caught it.
There are hundreds of reasons that one may choose to start a blog. Generating a reader base is probably the biggest reason. Whether you're an author or a business owner, it's nice to generate a large following to promote whatever it is you're selling. Maybe you're an "expert" in your field and you want to share your knowledge and grow your own through research, writing and feedback. Or, if you're like me, you just like to ramble on about stuff and it's fun to see it online.
Whatever the reason for starting a blog, we all start out at the bottom with nobody looking. That is of course assuming you start your own from scratch rather than joining another established blog. It's not a bad thing to start with few followers because it gives you a chance to get the hang of it without thousands of eyes watching your every fumble in the early days. (FYI- Fumbles still happen in the Pros too....or so I'm told since I'm not there yet.)
So where does the Blogging Virus kick in? It's different for everyone. For me it was around the two year mark. At that point I suddenly went from a relatively unknown blog hidden on the internet to having my views shoot up and the comments started rolling in. That writer-reader interaction spike is what did it for me. I can say that I write for myself all day long, but in reality - it's a lot more fun when your readers are interacting with what you do. I've made a number of new friends along the way too!
I found Google+ to be the driving force on my personal blog. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have their place, but I have found Google+ to be the most beneficial when it comes to blogging. It seems to be a more effective and productive platform for blog and blogger interaction than the others. That doesn't mean I gave up on the other platforms though. (This was my #fixtheplus plug.)
Ok. Back to the virus thing.... Blogging is a passion for whatever reason you find drives you, but it doesn't start out as contagious. In the early days you may struggle to find your niche and generate content to write. Once that Blogging Virus kicks in though, there's no turning back.
I have people ask me all the time how I come up with ideas for blogs. Well, first of all, they're not all great ideas and I admit that. What I have learned though is that the more blogs I write, the faster the content seems to come to me. If I set a schedule to write one post a week, I would probably struggle for an idea because I couldn't narrow it down. I have found that writing closer to one a day seems to generate more ideas that I have the time to write out.
When the Blogging Virus hit me, I started branching out to other blogs like Life Explained and The Whacko Blogs as alternate platforms to ramble on for a new group of readers. Blog sharing (or whatever the "real" term is) has kicked my Blogging Virus into full gear. It gave me multiple platforms with slightly different themes to fit my blogging ideas. Sure, I could have just created more offshoot blogs of my own, but I would have been missing the best part of the Blogging Virus - Collaboration.
Working with other bloggers, sharing ideas and playing off each others' posts is a blast. It gets the creative juices flowing. In an instant your head full of ideas just explodes. It's contagious. The good thing is that this Blogging Virus isn't something to be afraid of. It's something you want to nurture and grow.
I am now surrounded by amazing bloggers and continue to learn from them on a daily basis. I also have a new group of readers I get to interact with. All in all, I am having a blast and I don't see it slowing down any time soon. I am thankful to all the bloggers who let me write on their blogs (like Jeremy here on The Whacko Blogs) and for all the readers who provide feedback and comments that stimulate new ideas. If you're blogging already - keep it up. If you're not - give it a shot. The Blogging Virus is easy to catch and it spreads quickly. Until next time....