Monday, February 2, 2015

So You Want To Start A Blog

I’ve recently been asked for blogging advice by a few different people. As always, I am surprised and flattered that someone should ask my advice about something. Anything. The following isn’t much, but I thought I’d share it here.

Bread, fresh from the oven. Smells like home!
If you enjoy writing and sharing any kind of tidbits of your life with others, by all means start a blog! is a free and very easy place to start, though you may want to look around for an online blogging community geared toward certain subjects; homesteading, homeschooling, spirituality, etc. Friends, family and can still visit, but you also tend to get more like-minded strangers stopping by, which builds your readership more rapidly and makes it much more fun. I like Blogger because, although it’s huge and it’s users varied, it’s simple, completely customizable, well-known, and I write about so wide a variety of things it didn't make sense to limit myself. (That said, until last week I ran two blogs; one for home and family updates, and this one for everything else. I aim to merge them now. Brace yourselves.)

But settling on a location and designing the blog may be the easy part. Maybe what keeps so many from getting rolling is that first blank post; the great expanse of white with the cursor blinking at you, impatiently awaiting your awesomeness.

You can spend a bit of time thinking about what you'd like to share; stories of your day-to-day activities, observations on life, poems, recipes, photos, how-to’s, politics, but the rule (so other writers tell me) is to write what you'd want to read. Personally, I love to feel like I'm in another person's home, working alongside them, talking about whatever's interesting and new, or beloved and old, sharing their joys and struggles in a close, personal way, so that's what I tend to write. Your first post could be an introduction, a little bit about you (and your partner/family), where you live, what interests you, what your goal for the blog is. (This first post could double as an "About" page that visitors can click on to learn about you at any ol' time.) I like to think of my blogs as my internet home and so try to design and share something akin to what someone might experience stepping into my real home. (If only I could capture and share the smell of fresh baked bread.)

My life is varied and casual and I like to share that, but another approach is far more specific. Maybe you want to blog about aquaponic gardening, run a commentary on the antics of the religious right, how-to build almost anything, or your world travels. Maybe you just want a place to share pictures and stories of the kids with long distance friends and family. Maybe you want to make money with your blog, in which case I recommend checking out The Blog Maven; she’s got a well-designed blog, a nice writing style, and some sound advice.

You don't have to get it perfect right out of the gate—or at all. You can always tweak it. Just get started and see what happens. Learn as you go. I do highly recommend labels or categories for each of your posts, to keep your randomness approachable. Make them up as you go along. Also, I love a search feature because I’m often returning to good blogs looking for something I’d read previously. Like, six months prior. With the word chicory in it.

If you’ve started a blog recently, I’d love to hear about it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.