5 Reasons You Will Never Start A Blog

Ever wanted to know why you won’t start a blog? Here is a short list of reasons that stop most people from being successful in this venue. Do you fit any of these descriptions??

  1. You are way too lazy – Most people have a deep desire to make more money, get a different job, change their lives, etc. That’s why these topics are so popular. The problem is that most people won’t come anywhere close to doing anything about it. They complain about not having time or not knowing how to start one but the truth is they are just too lazy to learn how to do this stuff (which is very easy BTW) and everyone has SOMETHING to write about.
  2. You don’t think you can learn how to set up a website – MY MOM CAN SET UP A WEBSITE!!! She decided one day she wanted to learn, so we went through the steps and a few days later she was cranking out wordpress installations on her own. There is a ton of information out there on how to do it. It can be frustrating when you first get started but the documentation is very good and steps are accurate (at least from WordPress). Just stay calm and follow the steps. If you have any issues, look it up. In no time you will be setting up sites and blogging your heart out.
  3. You don’t have time – Nobody has time!! You have to make it. In all honesty, it doesn’t take all that much time to bang out a post. It’s usually the research that gets you. In order to write useful content you have to know what you are talking about. right? In order to avoid all the extra research time just write about what you know. Trust me there are plenty of people who will want to read what you have to say.
  4. You aren’t Committed enough – You just want to start a blog to make some quick money (not happening). you are just going to get bored of the little to no traffic and lack of results. Stick with it and gain some peoples trust. The traffic will follow!
  5. You have nothing to say – EVERYBODY has something interesting to talk about. The dumb stuff your kids do, the fact that you hate your job, how to change your oil, why you vote republican. Anything!! Somebody wants to know your opinion or the stuff you know!!

These are all limiting beliefs, and the truth is these reasons and the millions of other reasons you can think of are all in your head. The point is whether it’s starting a blog or quitting your job to become a bobsledder, it’s all in your head. You can do ANYTHING you THINK you can and if you don’t believe me, send me an email and we can talk..

Enjoy life!

Blog Humor – Ensure Your Reader’s Enjoyment by Keeping it Fun

Keeping a blog updated can be hard work. Keeping it entertaining is even harder. When you focus too much on getting content on your site, you may overlook the fact that people actually have to read your posts. If they don’t like what they are reading, or if they find that they are entertained more by another blog, they may leave you behind like yesterday’s news. It doesn’t have to be hard to add humor to your blog. You just have to keep a few key points in mind:

Be yourself. Blog readers can smell a phony a mile away. If you try to be someone you’re not, you’ll eventually get found out and people will stop viewing you as an authority. You have your own sense of style, so let it show in your posts. Don’t try to be Adam Sandler or Conan O’Brien. Their blog posts reflect their own comedic style, and yours should too. If you think it is funny, then people that have the same kind of personality as you will also find it funny. Those that don’t will either appreciate you for being genuine, or will move on to another blog that fits them better.

Consider your audience. If you are in a specific niche you will want to cater to that niche as much as possible. Take into consideration the typical demographics of people that would be reading your blog. Are they younger than you, older than you, the same age as you? Are they Democrats or Republicans? Conservative or Liberal. You shouldn’t bend over backwards to keep your core audience happy, but you don’t want to consistently upset them either. Remember the first rule to always be yourself, and never break that rule to pander to your audience.

Keep it consistent. If you are consistent with your style and sense of humor on your blog you will develop loyal followers. Think about David Letterman. His shows contain lots of humor that only loyal fans to his show would appreciate. If you watch his shows daily, you start to “tap in” to how his mind works, how he delivers his jokes, and what his inside jokes and references mean. He does this by being consistent and following the first two rules. If you do the same thing, your readers will eventually get used to your style, and will understand you more and more.

Read it out loud. Before you push the Post button you’ll want to read your update out loud. This helps to catch any mistakes in your phrasing, and it also lets you know if you’ve achieved humor or not. If it sounds funny when you hear it spoken, it should translate to a chuckle when your audience reads it.

Blogging Tips – Breaking Down The Big Picture Blog

The Wall Street Journal calls it “The Economics Blog Insiders Read to Stay Current.” Stock Trader’s Almanac calls its author “One of the brightest minds and irreverent voices on Wall Street today.” Barry Ritholtz has been doing a lot right since he launched The Big Picture blog in 2003. 20,000+ blog posts, 343,000 comments and 89 million page views later, what is Barry doing right? I take a look at the specifics of how Barry has attracted almost 60,000 subscribers and pass on some important blogging tips that anyone can use in their own blog.

Blogging Tip 1 – Publish Regularly

Barry typically publishes 4-6 times a day on weekdays, 2-3 times a day on weekends. He begins the day with a longer, thoughtful piece about whatever is on his mind, followed by an article mid-morning about something he’s read in the media, followed by a chart mid-day, an infographic or link to a web site he finds interesting in the afternoon, and then something humorous towards the end of the day. Barry also has a number of regular features: a summary of the week’s events on Friday of each week, Daily Reads, a gift ideas post in December of every year.

Blogging Tip 2 – Speak Human

Barry writes like he’s speaking to a friend – and not a friend who’s an economist, works on Wall Street or spends 8 hours a day buying and selling obscure derivatives. As he says, he writes to make economics “understandable to my right brain art teacher wife and my 74 year old retired real estate agent mom.” He’s not afraid to use the occasional expletive, and if you don’t like it, he’ll tell you to go away. Barry very much values his privacy, but if you follow his blog over time, he reveals much about his personality. He doesn’t suffer fools (“Asshats”, in his colorful phrase), he loves music (70’s rock and roll, jazz, female vocals) and cuban cigars and he’s a dog guy.

Blogging Tip 3 – Take A Stand

If you listen to Fox News or to mainstream Republican talking points, you’d think that the housing bubble and subsequent collapse was due to the Community Re-investment Act (CRA) and government policies encouraging home ownership, but Barry will have none of that. He takes an unequivocal stand, citing facts, marshaling his arguments, and making a very convincing case that this is all nonsense. The housing bubble/collapse was caused by a number of factors (mostly greed and a failure to heed basic mortgage lending laws and guidelines), but CRA was not one of them.

Blogging Tip 4 – Interact With Your Readers

Barry frequently asks his readers for advice or for their opinions, and they respond. Mostly, he just lets the comments fly, but occasionally he jumps in to comment on a comment. He has no problem with someone disagreeing with him, as long as they’re not “demonstrating their own ignorance.”

Blogging Tip 5 – Produce Quality Content (And Lots of It)

Almost every day Barry produces something that is original, interesting and of high quality. Think about doing this when you’re posting 4-6 times per day, day in and day out, while continuing to run the firm you founded. This is hard work. He’s earned those accolades from the Wall Street Journal and Stock Trader’s Almanac.

None of these blogging tips are new, but all of them are important, and the manner in which Barry implements them is unique. It’s that unique combination of voice, personality, deep commitment to the facts and hard work that keep me coming back to The Big Picture Blog every day.