One of the obstacles that a potential blogger faces is the sheer intimidation of numbers. There are thousands of blogs about any topic that you could personally write about, and they’ve got the headstart. You can easily get discouraged by thinking that you just have no place to compete, but that’s more of a fallacy than a truth; as long as there is a demand for the product, there will be someone who is going to read what you write.
For hobbyist bloggers, the obstacle turns from one of intimidation to incredulity; how could you take what you’ve been doing as a hobby and turn it into a profession? 40% of people who blog are professionals, which is actually a sizable portion, all things considered. Does that mean that they are all doing it as their primary source of income? Most likely not, but it does mean that they are in a career where they can do what they love, which is writing. If you love to write, and you feel that you have what it takes, then you may want to consider taking the next step into the world of professional blogging.
Whether you’re the hobbyist or the complete amateur, you need a presence to attract readers. That means you need to have the right domain name, a clear product for readers to consume, and the right attitude to stick with it. Even if you start low, aim high; believe it or not, all it takes is one influential reader to share your work for you to start turning out higher numbers for your traffic.
As a writer, you’ve got a topic that you already know something about. Whether that’s your every day life, certain products that you’re interested in, sports, television, politics, or culture, you have something that you know how to write about. Use your strengths to make your blog rich with content. Exhaust your knowledge, and then refresh it by reading up on topics. Not all of your ideas are going to be original, but the vessel that expresses them, which is yourself, is 100% unique.
This is where a lot of bloggers run into trouble. If you want to be a professional, you need to take the job like it is; a job. If you take a day off, it will weaken your product unless you’ve earned that time. If you take a week off, you’re probably in trouble, and any longer than that can mean losing a huge amount of your loyal readership. If you want to be well received, you need to provide consistent levels of content.
Updates are absolutely vital for this. It’s not just true of blogging, either. Anyone who provides a product online for readers, which can include web comic artists, commentators, and more, needs to do so consistently to retain their readers. More importantly, consistency helps you gain more frequent visitors more often. Why? Because there are so many people who simply do not turn out a consistent product. If you can do it, you’re already well ahead of the pack.