Kevin recently posted a great article about blogging, Grab the Bull by the Horns.
The first two quotes struck me because I felt like he was talking directly to me. This post wasn’t for anyone else in the blogging world, it was for me personally. I’m sure some of you felt the exact same way.
My blog, The Stafford Scribe (aka pattistafford dot com), is a prime example of a blog that gets infrequent updates. I love my blog, but at this time it’s more of a personal playground and an online portfolio. And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s fulfilling its purpose at the moment.
Here’s what he said:
He stated, “I can usually tell if a blogger is going to be successful just by their online habits i.e. how they manage their time online.”
“I frequently come across people who actively comment on several high profile blogs every week yet their blog is only updated every other week.”
and. . .
“Though if you do enjoy blogging and want to be successful at it, you need to knuckle down, get a plan of action and start heading towards your goal. You will be surprised at how different you work online once you have some drive.”
His last quote that struck me “. . . to knuckle down,” is the one that really relates to this post and why it’s important to begin building a blog offline before taking it public.
Over the years, I’ve built blogs on a certain niche topic, either on free sites or decided the domain name was all wrong. These have all been left in the dust, of course. I recently decided that I do want a good blog on this topic, but I want to do it right this time. So, I’ve started building it locally on my computer and when I feel it has ample amounts of content and it’s within the scope of what I want—I will release it to the public. If it happens that this topic runs thin for me (as they sometimes do for many people) you can say, “No harm, no foul.”
This leads to the first important reason of building a blog locally; you may think you love the topic of choice and discover that it’s just not your thing. It may not be something you want to stick to in the long run. If it’s built locally and you lose interest, you don’t upset the public when/if you abandon it.
The second reason is, of course, content. If you build locally you have plenty of time to create awesome content that you can be proud of, as opposed to rushing the content just to have something there.
The third reason is a budget issue. If you aren’t making great money right now and need to build a business or online presence on a budget; building it locally is the answer. Maybe you don’t have the funds to purchase a new domain name, hosting, or a professional template. Building locally allows you to acquire these things as funds become available. Many pro bloggers recommend using a professional template—and that’s a great idea if your budget allows, but there are tons of nice, professional looking templates available that are free as well.
The forth reason is so you can get the look you want. When your blog is local, you can tweak it as many times as you want and no one has their head spinning from all the changes.
The fifth reason is to make sure you’ll stick to a routine and posting schedule. If you don’t stick to some semblance of “regular,” chances are you won’t do it when the blog is live. If the blog is just a personal playground for you, then it doesn’t matter. But if it’s something you really want to work on and grow readership—you need to treat it more like a career than just a hobby.
That’s my Top Five Reasons to Build a Blog Locally. Do you have any you’d like to add to the list?