8/8/08

10 Beginning Blogging Tips

Twenty years ago, computers were still for geeky guys sporting pocket protectors. Nowadays, home desktops and laptops are almost as commonplace as telephones. Nearly everyone in the US has one or has close access to one. I thought it was a funny trend when I first heard of personal websites and blogs, but look who's blogging (and addicted to loving it) now.

I decided to pass on some of the things I've learned about starting a blog to you in the hope that others might avoid the mistakes that I made when I started.

  1. Do your research. Begin by reading other blogs and finding out what you like or dislike. You can learn a lot from this alone; be sure to take notes as you go. Ask for tips from bloggers you like to read.
  2. Decide on a platform. Some of the most popular are Blogger, Wordpress and Typepad, but more are out there.
  3. Decide what you will blog about. Will this be a niche blog focusing on a hobby or your occupation or a family blog to record memories and milestones?
  4. Figure out if you have the will to maintain a blog. Write out about a dozen or so posts (a notebook will work fine) and see if you still have the fervor after that. If the answer is yes, proceed.
  5. Choose a name. this can be the daunting part for many. I chose mine willy-nilly from a favorite song lyric and I sometimes think about changing the entire thing. If nothing else, for a simpler URL to remember. At this point, though, I hesitate to go through all that jazz.
  6. Learn some simple HTML code. I am slowly learning, but it is fun when you finally make something work that you thought only a computer whiz could do!
  7. Brush up on your writing skills. Not that I don't make them myself, but spelling and grammar errors drive me insane when I am reading a blog. Spell Check can only help so much. You need to proofread and proofread again.
  8. Find out as much as you can about blogging. A couple of well-written sites I recommend are Problogger and Blogging Basics 101.
  9. Read good blogs and books. I find that when I read better, I write better. A teacher I had in high school always said, "If you improve the quality of your thinking, you'll improve the quality of your life." The same can be said for the quality of your blogging.
  10. Learn a bit about social media and networking. Even if you don't think you'll use them, both can prove to be valuable tools down the road.

In the next few weeks, I'll be going into more detail on many of these points. Do you have a favorite tip for beginning bloggers?

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1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Good tips. I jumped into blogging with out a clue, and it still seems as if I'm figuring it out as I go. I wish I'd done a bit more research before diving in.

In addition to #3 I think it is good to think about why you want to blog. Do you want to meet (online) new people, share ideas, keep a journal, create a family memory, or just enjoy writing. I think knowing what your trying to accomplish helps you to keep a focus.