My son was born in January. I remember there was snow lying on the ground and the short cut I was taking to the hospital was pretty hazardous in the snow.
We’ll soon be approaching his fifth birthday and all of a sudden today I thought back to some classes my wife and I attended shortly before his birth.
We were both nervously anticipating meeting our first-born and we wanted to get everything right. So we signed up for some ante-natal classes to make sure we were going to be well-prepared.
Several weeks of learning the theory before the big event and a steep learning curve.
Nothing was left to chance; we covered everything from what was going to happen at the birth right through to a mock-up of changing a nappy (or a diaper if you’re in the US).
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want to be there and I’m sure neither did most of the other men but we all went along to support our expectant partners.
But was it all worth it in the end? Did learning the theory mean we could be confident in practice? You’d like to think so wouldn’t you.
Well, in our case unfortunately not. Nothing could prepare us for the experience we had with the birth of our son. I don’t want to go into details here, other than that it was a difficult birth and nothing went smoothly.
Instead, what I do want to say is that theory is often no substitute for experience. But at that stage we had no experience and the theory did us no good. Theory was just that, theory.
Until you actually go through something, experience it and figure it out for yourself, theory isn’t always worth a great deal and if there’s anything I’ve learnt from blogging, that is also the case.
You can read all the books about blogging you want, watch tonnes of videos on the subject but the best thing to do is get out there and do it.
Yes, you need to decide on a niche and write about that subject but there really is no substitute for your life skills and your life experience.
Sure, there’s definitely going to be a learning curve but don’t be afraid to draw on things that have happened in your life and are happening now and write about them.
The most enjoyable blogs I find to read do this very thing. They speak to you; have a conversation with you even.
You can read books upon books about blogging but until you experience blogging and put it into practice, those books really aren’t much good to you.
I had a crisis of confidence a couple of weeks ago. Where was my blog going? What on earth is my brand? Should I be concerned that I’m not making any money?
Actually, the crisis came about because I read other blogs that covered these very subjects. But the thing is, I do know where my blog is going, my brand is developing and making money will come or it won’t.
The thing is, I enjoy researching the topics I write about and I really enjoy helping people. That’s the reason I blog so nothing else really matters at this stage in my blogging career.
And don’t forget, one of the best places to learn about blogging is other blogs. You still need to find your own way though.
Do you need to be passionate to blog about a particular subject? I’m sure it helps but I don’t think that passion is the only thing that will make a good blog.
You need to be able to do research for each post, write a good story and pass on what you’ve learnt. Above all though, you need to enjoy doing it. Without enjoyment, you’re not going to last too long writing a blog.
So what do you think? Do you need to be passionate about blogging to be successful in it? Should you spend time learning the theory before you begin or dive straight in? Maybe a bit of both? Do you buy the latest books on blogging or internet marketing? If so, how good are you at following the instructions or do you give up half way through?
Now, one of the best places to start if you’re looking for a book about blogging is Dan Sumner’s Bloggers Roadmap. While it’s a great place to start, remember to put the theory into practice!