[For those not of a certain age, or not from the UK, the Green Cross Code is a road safety campaign for crossing the road started in the 1970s which initially used the instructions Stop – Look – Listen – Think – Cross.]

If you are starting to write a blog, then it is all too easy to get carried away, rush into setting up the blog and start writing immediately. If you are in this situation then try employing the Green Cross Code of Blogging.

Stop! Wait, don’t rush into writing your blog immediately, you need to plan first and see what is happening.

Have a look at the blogs that are out there and see what people and doing and how. Try to read all you can both on and offline.

“Listen” to the conversations going on in the blogosphere and to what people are saying, as well as to any advice you are offered.

Think about what you have read, take time to plan your blog in terms of what you want to say and to whom, and what are your goals.

Finally, start to blog with all of these elements in mind but keeping looking, listening and thinking all the time.

To make a success of a blog, you need to spend time planning a variety of elements on your Blog as you start to develop it, and crucially you should also spend time looking at what is being written about and listening what is being said, before you put “pen to paper” on your first post.

I was reminded of this last week during a webinar organised by Marketing Profs and given by the excellent Jeremy Wright, author of Blog Marketing which I would strongly recommend. Jeremy used the analogy that starting a blog is like entering a room of 1000 people, with conversations already going on everywhere that you are not party to.

As you walk in, it looks like a daunting task to understand what is going on and join in the conversations. However, if you take the time to look at who is talking and listen to some of the discussions, you can quickly get a feel for what is going on. By following the references to other people that are mentioned, you can also develop a good understanding of the principal contributors and their opinions. Then, as you start to blog yourself, you will be in a much stronger position with a better understanding of how it works, what others are doing and saying and whom you should get in contact with.

So, if we break this down and take it back to basics, then I recommend that when you start a blog, you follow the Green Cross Code of Blogging:

STOP - LOOK – LISTEN - THINK – BLOG

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