Beginners know what it’s like to be a beginner … experts forget!
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t listen to experts. After all, they’re experts because they have been practicing for a long time and they know stuff!
More importantly, they know stuff that you don’t know.
When experts show and tell, they already know everything about what they are showing you and telling you. They are experts … they can concentrate their focus on the subject matter because they already know all the bits that they aren’t telling you about.
It’s not that they don’t want to tell you.
It’s not that they are keeping it a secret.
It’s not that they don’t think that it’s important.
The reason they aren’t telling you everything is that it would …
- make the presentation much more complicated
- put you off because there is too much to get to grips with
- add time and effort to the development of the resource
- not really add any value to them
It’s also because they don’t always recognise the bits that are important to you … because the bits that are important to you are not always central to the plot.
You should also remember that Bloggers and YouTubers make most of their money out of you visiting their sites and watching their videos, they don’t usually make any more money by teaching you how to avoid the tricky bits that could catch you out. That may be true for them, but not for me … I’ll tell you about the tricky bits as they reveal themselves. Can’t say fairer than that!
This is the difference between a teller and a teacher.
When I was at school, towards the latter part of the last century, I was in a school where I was one of around 1600 pupils. It was quite a large school and we were divided into houses. The HouseMaster used to say:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for life.”
I think it’s relevant. It’s certainly a lot more relevant than some of the other things that were said at my school. Happy Days.
How to do Blogging
It can be easy, but often, setting everything up is not as straightforward as you might think.
Are you one of those people who wants to know how everything works, or do you just want to get on and “fish”?
It’s not a trick question, and it’s no reflection on your abilities, your attitude or your endgame.
If you haven’t thought about it, here are 5-thinks that you might want to consider.
There’s a case for joining the dots and there’s a case for learning where the dots go, and why.
Whichever direction you head off in, if you are a beginner and you try and do too much too soon, you are going to be frustrated. This is to be expected. There is a lot to learn and a lot to put into practice.
As a blogger, or prospective blogger, you have needs … or you are going to have needs.
As a resource for bloggers, and prospective bloggers, we need to present the stuff you need to know in a way that reflects your needs.
A long time ago, not quite as far back as the Jurassic Period but certainly last century, I was working for a company that was strong on collective personal development. I was particularly impressed with Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model and its principles have stayed with me ever since.
The Situational Leadership® Model is a timeless, repeatable framework for leaders to match their behaviors with the performance needs of the individual or group that they are attempting to influence.The Center for leadership Studies
The ideas behind BloogerMe and The Blogging Beginner follow similar principles to those that I adopted after learning the Situational Leadership Model. I’m not selling the Situational Leadership Model but I think it’s useful in helping us to understand that at the beginning of any endeavour we need to be heavily directed in just about everything that we do. As we learn and develop the necessary skills, we can move on … we don’t need direction as much as we need support.
The Blogging Beginner provides explicit direction for beginners. It’s straight and to the point, whereas BloogerMe provides a similar level of support and a little bit more background. It also considers the different consumer-facing services we can build and deliver:
- e-commerce sites
and variations on those services.
What Lurks Beneath the Blogging Waterline
The Blog, the Website and the e-commerce platform (there are others) are all above the Waterline, perhaps the graphic should be laid on its side, rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise and some waves added.
These services are above the Waterline because they are seen by customers and visitors.
The work that we do to make this all happen goes on below the Waterline. All of these things must come together if we are to build something that people want to visit. You need Ideas, but ideas on their own are not enough. You need a Plan, and you need to do the Research, you need to ask the people who have done it before for their Advice and then you need to build your Platform.
Blogging Hierarchy of Needs
This section is based loosely on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, an established motivational theory in psychology depicting a five-layer representation of human needs from basic human physiological requirements at the base, rising through a range of psychological needs to the potential for achieving our full potential at the top. The relationship between the needs are usually represented as a pyramid, and the needs associated with one layer must be complete and fulfilled before we can attend to needs higher up. Simplistically, the needs are physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and finally, self-actualisation. I shall say no more but for a quick read about Maslow and his Hierarchy, check out what they have to say on the Simple Psychology web site.
Everything that you will read across the two sites (Blooger.Me and TheBloggingBeginner.com) will be based on the Bloggers Hierarchy of Needs.
If we are assuming that we would all like to Monetise our blogs or our e-shops, then we are probably also aware that we need to be reaching a large audience … and that reaching larger audiences is linked directly to various approaches to marketing and promotions.
It may be obvious, but you can’t Grow your Audience until you have a platform and you have started to reach out to people, and beginning to Establish a Web Presence is the precursor.
It doesn’t stop there. You will need to have Set up your Site. This is the technical stuff and you have multiple options available to you. A set of click-by-click instructions is provided by The Blogging Beginner if you just want to get the job done.
Before you get going, you should have done yourself some research. Just as you would with any new venture, you should Develop yourself a Plan. It doesn’t need to be complicated or particularly detailed, although a bit of detail will never hurt. What it should include is a vision, a description of where you want to get to. You don’t need to fix it in concrete but it should be fixed clearly in your mind. You can always change it later if you need to, but having a clear vision means that if you get knocked off course, you can recover … because you can always see where you are going!
To my way of thinking, this is by far the most important bit of creating any new product or service. You need to hold on to your vision … because there are always people who seem to want to knock projects off course, whatever the project. I’m not saying that they are doing it through any sort of internal malice but they are doing it.
I have led the development and delivery of quite a lot of very interesting consumer-facing services – if you live in the UK, I can almost guarantee that you will have used one or more of them. If you would like to check, there’s a section hanging off the About page that describes each one and a little bit about how it was delivered. I have not yet failed to deliver what I set out to deliver, but very few projects that were delivered without trauma! So I am just saying … be aware.
If you are going to Develop yourself a Plan, you need to know something about where you are now, what you want to do and how you want to go about doing it. You need to build your plan on a firm foundation of Research and Understanding.
But first you need to Generate some Ideas.
The Blogging Hierarchy of Needs illiustrates that there is a process. You start from a position of knowing very little to becoming an expert in your field. The so-called technical layer appears half-way up the pyramid, and in the big scheme of things, isn’t particularly significant.
If you’re going to make and sell coffee, you are going to need a trolley. You can’t deliver the service without a trolley, but there are loads more processes that need to be understood and completed before serving your first drink. The real skill is not in designing, building and manufacturing the trolley, it’s in the care and attention, the know-how and the dedication that goes into each and every cup.
For coffee trolley designers, desiging coffee trolleys is second nature. For the people who make the coffee, it’s a diffrent matter. They just want to buy the coffee make and make the coffee.
Step-by-step Blogging guides
The BloogerMe and The blogging Beginner step-by-step blogging guides are not written from memory, they are written as a direct result of doing and completing the headline task!
The Step-by-Step Blogging Guide does what it says on the tin!
If you have your sights set on getting a Blog Site up and running without having to go bouncing around the Internet on the back of the Google Spacehopper to work out what the geezer was talking about, click on the button above.
If you have established your physical presence and you are now developing your craft, but you still don’t want to go bouncing around the Internet on the back of the Google Spacehopper, click on the button below.
The Step-by-Step Blogging Guides are spread across two sites. The Blogging Beginner is for blogging beginners and is focussed on the basic requirements, essentially the fourth tier of the Blogging Hierarchy of Needs. The BloogerMe Step-by-Step Blogging guides are focussed on everything else, including tier four.
If you are only interested in the basics, check out The Blogging Beginner. If you’re interested in more than the basics, check out the BloogerMe Think Tank.