Someone keeps statistics about the number of new blogs started each, the sex and ages of budding bloggers, and the odds of a new blog ever reaching 100,000 unique visitors. I ain't that someone. But I have started a few successful and not-so-successful blogs and other websites. I started in this business in 1997. My first blog (before I knew of the name) launched in 1999 and was written in Microsoft's ASP classic with an XML database. That original code from "The Hennessy Report" is long gone--gobbled up by the crappy code Langoliers. I never thought of selling the application. I lacked Evan Williams's vision. But I did grasp and embrace the democratizing power of universal publishing. And I learned along the way.
So here's today's wisdom: 3 top ways to start your blog
1. Start writing. Don't worry about styles and font faces and line spacing and WordPress themes until you have something to say and readers willing to read. No one can tell what your site looks like from an RSS feed or from a hyperlink in Seth Godin's blog.
2. Forget the money. It's easy to look at Google's Adsense rates, Michelle Malkin's readership, and a calculator. Don't. Not yet. If you're blogging for money, you'll disappoint yourself and your readers. Blog because, as Lily Tomlin said when hosting Saturday Night Live in 1975, "We're excited tonight to show this pageant to you. It's something that's inside our bodies, and it just wants to get out!"
3. Write every day. Sure, days happen when you can't write. The muse vacations, too, and sometimes without us. But try very hard to post something daily. I love Seth Godin's blog because he shows up every day. I love Zen Habits for the same reason. Imagine what would happen if a major daily published irregularly.
So that's how I'm starting my new blog. It's a little humbler than my old blogs. Those sought to change the world. This one seeks only to give me peace of mind: at least they know what I'm thinking.