If you’re interested in pursuing a hobby or career in blogging, you may be wondering where to start, or where to go after you’ve written your first few posts. A mentor can help you take your next steps to success.
You’re ready to work with a mentor once you understand the basic blogging concepts and techniques (you don’t want to burden someone with questions you can easily answer yourself by reading a couple articles). Then, take a stab at propping up a blog for yourself and posting some content. After you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics and created a fledgling blog, a mentor can help you get to the next level.
Top Reasons to Get Yourself a Blogging Mentor
Motivational support. Blogging can be a lonely experience, and at first, your blog may not receive many accolades or much attention. In addition to being a teacher and a guide, a mentor is a coach who wants to motivate you to reach your goals. If you’re feeling lost or distressed about blogging, communicate this to your mentor and talk through it. You’ll probably find that your mentor has experienced some of the same feelings and has surmounted the challenges in certain ways that you can follow.
Guidance. For design, you’ll find out what works functionally and aesthetically, and what should be avoided. For writing, you’ll learn about using catchy headlines, following the the rules of grammar and employing good structure. A mentor will look at what you’ve created and give you advice on making your content more entertaining, inspiring and engaging while also being useful to readers. They will be willing to teach you about SEO and how to open an income stream with ads or an online store.
Name recognition. A well-known mentor who has been featured on other sites is probably a knowledgeable mentor. Being connected to other high-profile bloggers helps establish your own authority. Their name will lend credibility to your own blog and help drive traffic to your site, especially if they’re willing to add you to their blogroll. Make sure to get their authorization before advertising that they mentored you.
Networking. Not the computerized kind, but professional and personal networking. Knowing a successful expert in your field will connect you to others and expand your social circle to include other knowledgeable people. Look outside of the blogosphere for networking opportunities. “A successful professional career does not exist in a vacuum,” comments John Foy, attorney and founder of John Foy and Associates. “You need to build up your online presence and your brand if you want to make headway in the future.” If you blog about pets, for instance, find out if your city hosts any associations or conventions for breeders, trainers, veterinarians and such, and attend some of their meetings. When you’re there, be sure to tell people about your blog and what you’re trying to achieve, and you’ll probably receive lots of advice, whether you want it or not.
How to Find a Blogging Mentor
Finding a mentor is probably easier than you think because you may already know him or her. Think about someone online or in your life who’s a success in their field and blogs about it. Are you currently following any blogs that you respect as good examples? Check their media history and look for lots of followers on social media. Look for a blogger who is demonstrating a willingness to give away information generously, since that’s a good sign that they’ll be willing to help you. Have they published courses or eBooks to help people learn more about their field? If so, that means they have an aptitude and desire to teach.
Begin interacting with this person by commenting on their posts and videos. After you establish a rapport, inform them of your blogging project and ask for some advice. Show your appreciation by thanking them and, above all else, putting their advice into action. Repeat the process by asking for further input on what you’ve done.
The final stage is to become a mentor yourself. Mentoring, like blogging to some extent, is a matter of giving people more than you receive. Teaching also has its own intangible rewards. Helping others as you have been helped is gratifying. It will also help you codify your ideas into useful lessons, which you can then share with others by (what else?) blogging about it.
Helping people in a friendly way is really what blogging is all about, and that factor should take precedence over Google ranking, Twitter followers and ad revenue. A good mentor is, above all, a good friend. Friends try to understand what you’re going through, whether good or bad. Mentors, like friends, will celebrate your successes and help pick you back up when you slip. This is why you should not be shy about seeking a mentor, because a good one will welcome taking on that role for you.
Let us know how you found your blogging mentor in the comments below!