Do Your Research
Doing initial research will build your confidence and increase your motivation to enter the blogosphere:
- Read other blogs.
- What blogs do you like/dislike? Why do you like/dislike them? Pinpoint what it is that you like/dislike about the blogs that you read (e.g., design, content, blogger’s writing style)?
- What are the components that make up your favourite blogs (e.g., blogrolls, sponsorship, photos, regular columns, etc.)?
- Are the blogs you read self-hosted, on WordPress, on Blogger, on another platform?
- Observe how bloggers interact with their readers and with one another. Do they engage with social media?
- Read how-to books and websites.
- Books by bloggers give you the inside scoop about blogging (e.g., Blog, Inc.).
- “For Dummies” books are easy to read and good reference guides (e.g., Blogging for Dummies, WordPress for Dummies, HTML for Dummies).
- Talk to people.
- Do you know other bloggers? Talk to them. Create a list of questions. Ask them.
- Ask non-bloggers about the blogs that they read. What do they like about these blogs?
Remember, you don’t need to know everything about blogging before you start your own blog, but you should find ways to build your comfort level and confidence.
Plan Your Blog
So, now that you’ve done some research, you are ready to move forward with your own blog development. The following questions will help guide you:
- Do you have time to blog? Blogging is a commitment and requires time and thought, no matter how easy it looks from the outside.
- Do you have something to say? How do you want to say it (e.g., personal narratives, recipes and photos, or critical commentary)?
- Who is your audience? What is your niche?
- What platform do you think would work best for your blog (e.g., Blogger, WordPress, self-hosted)? Do you like the free blog layouts? Starting with a free site is a great option to use while you learn about blogging.
- Do you have an original blog name? Share it with people who will give you their honest opinions about it.
- Have you received feedback about your initial ideas from people you trust?
Start Your Blog
Do you feel ready to blog now? Great! A few final reminders:
- Every blogger started somewhere. I have yet to meet/read about a blogger that was an overnight “success”. But, guess what? They started. They took the plunge and went for it. You can too!
- Don’t be scared. There will be a bit of a learning curve, but you’ll learn so much and the blogging community will be good to you.
- You can’t do everything all at once. Set some realistic and achievable short- and long-term goals. Keep a list of your ideas and questions. Before you know it, your questions will be answered and your ideas will become reality.
- Be prepared to take risks. With each risk you take to move your blog forward (e.g., self-hosted site, sponsorship, guest posting, media events), you will learn more and you will become a better blogger.
- Be patient and be willing to learn. Blogging is a very young industry. None of us have completed a four-year university or college degree in “blogging”. Noone actually has all the answers, but we are a strong community of learners.
The blogosphere is a pretty incredible place to be. You’ll see. Good luck and have fun! I look forward to reading your blog soon!