There is no shortage of advice online.  Everywhere you turn, someone’s got advice on how to do X, Y or Z, and blogging is no exception.

Unlike rebuilding an engine, there are lots of different ways to build a blog.  In fact, there are as many ways to build a successful blog as there are successful bloggers, because everyone is different.

Still, it’s nice to have a role model.  Blogging is much more complex than people realize.  Yes, content is king, but there are a lot of moving parts behind the scenes.  Before I got into blogging I had no idea how much there was to it.  I thought a plug-in was an air freshener.

I’ve learned a lot in the last year, most of it from other people who have been through it and are more than happy to help others navigate the ever-changing waters of blogging.

Before you pick a blogging guru – the blogger you want to be like when you grow up – there are a few things to consider.

Find someone who’s been there, done that.  While bloggers like me are offering advice on topics as we learn about them, there are plenty of bloggers with way more experience behind them.  Both can be good sources of information – new bloggers may be up on the newest trends, more established bloggers have a tried and true system – so seek out both.

Content isn’t as important as character.  I recently followed a link to the site of a very successful blogger who also gives advice to others.  He had several articles about various blogging issues like SEO, and site design that were well written and accurate.  But… I couldn’t connect with the personality projected in his writing.  And because of that his advice had less meaning to me.  A good blog guru or mentor will be someone you easily relate to as a person, not just a successful blogger.

Diversify.  No matter what your niche, you can learn something from every successful blogger out there.  You might not have a crafty bone in your body, but you know what craft bloggers do really well?  They take awesome pictures – something that’s helpful for every specialty!  Don’t overlook someone as a potential mentor because they write about a different subject.  You could be missing out on some great advice.

Trial and error.  This goes for both finding a mentor and technology.  Research is great, but when it comes down to it, the only real way to know if something works for you is to give it a try.  Start small, with one post or page, and see how you like it.  Lots of us, myself included, tend to jump in with both feet because we just can’t wait, even though it often results in us having to undo and redo work.

Know your limits.  If your blog guru is a master programmer and you don’t know the first thing about coding, it might not be a good fit.  After all, what good is advice if you don’t understand it?  Find someone who’s a few steps ahead of where you want to be and follow them.  Eventually you’ll catch up with the pros and there will be no stopping you.

What’s the best piece of advice you got about blogging?  Share in the comments.

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