Here is the most helpful advice I’ve received so far on blogging.  Some points seem to contradict other points, but I’ve found it all helpful when taken together.

1.  If you’re a true novice, start with a Twitter account, and just post updates with links to stories and blogs that interest you and your niche.
2.  Do your blogging on Posterous, because it’s a new blogging service and they are trying REALLY hard to be the best (and they’re doing a great job).
3.  Install Google Analytics, but then ignore the results. 
4.  Buy a custom domain, so that if you ever want to change blogging services you can carry your domain with you.
5.  Just start writing, and don’t worry too much about what niche you’re blog will fill, or even what topics you’ll cover longterm.  The priority is finding your voice.
6.  Use Google Reader, and read A LOT of blogs regularly.  
7.  Comment on other blogs as often as you can, but only comment when you have something interesting to say.
8.  Quality is more important than quantity.   
9.  Don’t worry too much about quality, because in the beginning absolutely no one is reading your blog :), and you can always go back and erase posts later.  The most important thing is to find your voice, and you’ll only do that if you write regularly.
10.  Your priority should be posting regularly, not with high frequency. 
11.  Stop ignoring Google Analytics.  Start looking at your Google Analytics reports and take note of your most popular posts.  
12.  Look at which keywords people type into Google to find you.  Write about those topics more.  
13.  Be honest with readers.  They’ll only be interested in your writing if you’re honest.
14.  Add Avinash Kashik to your Google Reader, and take his posts seriously about Google Analytics.  You’ll learn a lot about how your readers are interacting with you if you read him carefully.

If you have advice that you would add to this, email me or post your points in the comments below.  

Will Marlow co-founded AlumniFidelity to help his clients reposition their fundraising to benefit from Web 2.0 technology and marketing techniques. He’s working with clients such as UVA, the College of William & Mary, the University of Oklahoma, Bowling Green State University, Randolph Macon College, and he loves nothing better than a thorny marketing challenge.  Email him at