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If starting a blog was like embarking on a safari expedition, Joy Cho is the knowledgeable tour guide we’d want by our side. As founder of the hugely popular site Oh Joy!, she knows a thing or two about navigating the ethical quicksand, raging commenters, and answering the looming question: “What should I blog about?” In her new book, Blog Inc., Cho lays out the roadmap to success. At her recent New York City book signing, we gleaned these helpful tips for beginning bloggers. Get her advice and enter to win a copy of the book below.
Find your authentic voice.
If you don’t know what to blog about, Joy recommends doing a little soul-searching about what really, truly interests you. “There’s something inside you that is interesting to share with other people,” she says. That said, it’s also important to find your own niche, something to distinguish your blog from the thousands of existing sites.
Share and be shared.
“Reach out to other bloggers,” Joy says. “It’s worth it to send a short, sweet, polite email. Support other fledging sites. If you enjoy what other people do, share it — and not just because they asked you to.”
Manage the social chaos.
Instead of having a mediocre presence on every single social media network (how exhausting!), pick the ones you enjoy. “I love Twitter; I can do it quickly and I don’t have to think about it too much,” Joy says. “Choose what feels comfortable to you.”
Don’t be afraid to let your readers know a little bit about your personal life. “It’s kind of like reality TV,” Joy says. “You just can’t stop watching the Kardashians because you’re invested in their lives. You want to bring that connection to your site.”
“Step outside your comfort zone,” Joy says. Don’t feel that you have to stay chained to your computer: New experiences will inspire new ideas.
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Enter by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 19 and we’ll pick a winner on Nov. 20. Click here for the official rules.