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Should You Start A Blog?

I’ve received some emails from nurses who would like to start a blog. Some are a bit nervous about starting, others are not sure how to begin. There are a million sites out there on how to start a blog; in fact, I wrote a post specifically on how to be a “nurse blogtitioner”.

But their emails got me thinking about the blogosphere in general and the most important considerations in starting/maintaining a blog.

1.  The blogsosphere can never be saturated.

Think you have nothing to add to the dialog? Think that everything about your topic has been said?  Think again. If you aren’t blogging there is still a voice that needs to be heard. What exactly do you bring to the discussion? You! No one has had your experiences or can express your opinions. More importantly, no one else can bring your voice. And unlike a meeting or an email, there are no time limits or physical boundaries to the blogosphere. There is room for everybody, and that means you!

2. The heart of the blogosphere is interactivity.

If you read blogs, you probably leave comments. Comments are the soul of the blogosphere. With them, the blogosphere is a conversation. Without them, the blogosphere is simply a virtual collection of “articles”. By starting a blog, you bring the dialog to your “home turf”, so-to-speak. You are the host/hostess of a virtual “salon”, providing information on your sphere of expertise, initiating the debate and most importantly, learning from those who comment on your posts.

3.  The blogosphere is the great equalizer.

There is no hierarchy of blogs. Don’t confuse size with importance. Some blogs may have a million readers a day and some may have ten, but in the blogosphere, no one is “better” than anyone else. Your blog, with that first post, is just as important and just as relevant as anything you see on “Instapundit” or the “Huffington Post”.  It’s unique and cannot be replicated, because it is based on your outlook and experiences.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you start your blog:

1. Content is King

Maybe you look at the blogs with the sidebars and the graphics and the ads and the widgets and think, “Man, I don’t know how to do all that!”. You don’t have to do all that!  All you have to do is start posting. One post. Later, if you want, you can add a blogroll or a few widgets. But the way to start is to begin writing, and keep writing. People will come for your content. Everything else takes a back seat to that.

2. Promotion, Ur Doin’ it Right

You’ve just put up your first post. A few folks might stumble on your site by accident, but you need to get out the word that you’re on the web. This is where you start promoting your blog. The best way to do this is find a carnival for your niche and submit a post. For those of us in the medblogging community, examples would be Grand Rounds, Change of Shift, Patients for a Moment and The Handover.  Make your url part of every email signature and blog comment you send. Write it, and they will come…but they need to know you’re there.

3.  Prolific Perfection…Not

Blogging can be addicting, and in a good way.  It can be challenging, therapeutic, frustrating, and energizing – all in one post! But…you do not have to be the “perfect” writer. Just find your style and run with it. And while consistent posting makes it easier for readers to find your blog, you control your posting schedule.  “Prolific” is what you say it is, be it once a week or once a day.  But know this: the more you write, the easier it becomes to write; the more you are interacting with the blogosphere, the more inspiration you will find and the more you will want to write.  It’s the blogosphere “circle of life”!

So…if you ask me, should I blog?

I’ll say YES!!!!

Been there, still doing that, and if I can do it, you can do it.

It will clarify your outlook.

It will recharge your batteries.

It will change your life.

Really, the bottom line?

You’ll never know unless you write…

That first post.

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

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