Happy blogging day to you all!!!
First of all I just want to say what an amazing job everyone has been doing during the kickoff of Blaugust. Great job on stepping out and participating this year as you all have been posting some crazy cool material!
This post is all about that first decision of why blog, and why should I put myself out there like that. Between the thoughts of should I really do this, or the why would people ever read what I write, or just the question of what the heck do I write have probably popped into your head at some point and time. Don’t worry, that is all very normal and that is exactly why Blaugust exists and why we have mentors here to help kick start that initial “Hump” phase of your blog.
We live in a digital world of almost everything now days and blogging / writing is no different. The way we bring content to readers / viewers isn’t any different other than we have fancy technology to help us reach the world in seconds. We live in a blogging world as just earlier this month I was looking through WordPress stats and tens of millions of posts have been made just this year around the world. People love to blog, write, connect, and whether that be some digital form of social media, a novel they are working on, or even just setting down to have a good old cup of coffee to work on the next blog post.
Why start a blog?
- To share your passion of writing with the world
- Making your name or brand visible with an online presence
- Connecting with people through content you enjoy creating
- Writing about games
- Your a writer and need an outlet for telling stories
This list could go on an on, but basically the ideas are limitless as to why you can and would start a blog.
Today, just about anyone can get up and running in a few minutes using free services that make adding a post as easy as writing email. Knowing how to get your content out there is no longer a barrier — if you have something to say, saying it is easy.
There are several services that offer free blogs to anyone who wants one. The most popular services are WordPress.org, WordPress.com and Blogger, although a quick search in google will probably turn up a ton of other “free blog” options as well. Personally I prefer WordPress.com, mainly because it’s what I started with, but the foundation work is already built-in for you. They offer stat tracking, built-in spam protection, a selection of really nice themes, a word processor-like text entry system (no coding necessary), and a lot more.
What to Blog About?
Your blog is only limited by your passions — what do you have to say? What purpose will this blog serve as? Do you want a place to promote your writing, artwork, game play? The topics are limitless but you have to find something you are passionate about and a niche you enjoy writing about.
There are a few things you should know about writing a blog, though. While there are examples of every conceivable style of writing on blogs across the Web, there are a few qualities which blog writing tends to share:
Blogging for the most part is short: Reading on the screen isn’t as enjoyable as reading on paper, so people tend to shy away from really long pieces. 2,000 words is long for a blog post; 1,000 words is a pretty good goal, but it comes down to personal preference and what you enjoy. I tend to get long winded at times and I write longer posts for the most part. I’m a writer, what can I say?!?
Paragraphs tend to be shorter: Because you have to scroll a lot when reading on a screen, paragraphs tend to be shorter so a whole thought can fit in a browser window.
Important points are usually highlighted, as readers tend to skim through pieces a lot so the bold helps those keywords stand out easier.
It’s got a personal tone: Blogging tends to be a little more personal than most writing. What readers usually respond to is the writer’s unique voice, their personality as expressed through their writing.
Get the Momentum Going
Now comes the fun part! You’ve got the blog up, and you’ve got topics to write about. Getting the momentum to write on a schedule takes a bit of time and planning, but once you get it figured out….it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there on.
Create a posting schedule: When you start your blog, look at the schedule you want to have. Do you post daily, once a week, twice a week, etc? This will take some time structure and getting used to setting down and just doing it. Block some time out in your schedule to do that. Start with something easy and work your way into more frequent posting. If you find you have enough time to post more, it will be a pleasant surprise for your readers (as opposed to the disappointment of readers used to seeing you post every day when you start posting every two weeks). Personally I post a few times a week depending on my schedule and mood.
You could take the planning of the blog to whatever extreme you like and write posts in advance. I have a few blogging friends that build up a backlog of four to five posts in advance so they have a cushion in case their schedules get to busy. Basically you have to find what works for you, as it all boils down to what you find comfortable and enjoyable. Make it fun, make it personal, and make it enjoyable and you will find the blogging experience to be quite an amazing journey.
Don’t let the process of blogging be something that constrains your imagination, instead let it be the freedom you enjoy while writing what you love!