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You want to blog? Great, now go read everything

This is totally going to be a stat I just made up while thinking about this but I think blogging is about 70 percent reading and only 30 percent aggregating, connecting things together, and writing.

The two most important things you can do as a blogger are write something every single day and read more than you write.

Just as the writer of a book needs to write far more than actually goes in her book, the author of a blog must read far more than what gets funneled into her blog. Otherwise your blog is going to just be a glorified Facebook status update.

And nobody wants that.

Reading everything you can get your hands on about whatever niche you blog about invokes creative ideas for posts and builds knowledge regarding whatever you’re covering. It’s essential.

I read an egregious amount. Between my job blogging about golf for CBS and blogging about Oklahoma State for my own website, I probably read 40 articles a day minimum on those two topics. If you presume 500 words/article (some are shorter, some are longer) that’s 20,000 words a day I consume.

20,000!

And that’s just for my jobs — that doesn’t take into account leisure reading or emails or anything else.

Now I skim a lot of these and look for juicy quotes or good numbers, but still, parsing through 20,000 words is parsing through 20,000 words.

I file away a lot of it for future use but none of it is wasted. The other facet of this is how to build a reading list you can go to every day but that’s another post for another time.

Congratulations though, you just knocked out 275 of your 20,000 words.