Scratch Your Creative Itch: Start Blogging
Some of you have been asking how to start blogging and some of you haven’t, but you should–you have valuable information/great stories to pass on. Here are some tips I just gave to someone I hope soon joins the blogging community.
1.Move to WordPress:
(they allow you to import everything you’ve already written easily–within an hour you can be posting at WordPress.) Notice Eric -SoHum Parlance-an already successful blog just made the move and imported his old content.
On WordPress, you can control the comments easier and, most importantly for a new blog, it will be easier for other WordPress bloggers to stay up with what you do and start a conversation on your blog, thereby upping the traffic. Also you get better access to who is reading you, and what they are reading the most–the stats page is fun. WordPress, however, does not allow advertisements so if you are hoping to make money from your blog, go elsewhere. (Though starting at WordPress and then moving when you have built a following might be smart if you want to make money. I don’t know anyone who has gone this route though.) Here are some other reasons for both beginner and expert.
2. It takes forever to write a good post. Hours. Can you squeeze out the time? The rewards are immense. Your creativity will improve with constant practice. Your self-esteem improves both by the support of the online community and by seeing your work get better. But it takes energy and time that not everyone is willing to spare. (You will get faster with time though.)
3.As far as possible put informative links in your posts. Link to other bloggers (they’ll appreciate it and link back). Link to other websites with info appropriate to your post. This gives your readers more info if they need it and Google (as well asother search engines) is set up to route traffic to posts with links–there are a lot of reasons for that including how their “spiders”crawl the internet looking for information.
4. Use your blogroll to link to a community of bloggers. They will usually link back. But link to specific posts when appropriate because that helps build readership for both yours and their specific posts.
5. Most of your first comments will come from other bloggers. They know and appreciate the value of conversation on their blog. If you comment on theirs, generally they’ll comment back. Avatars tend to make you memorable.
You don’t need to use a pic of yourself though if you want to maintain anonymity. Rose for instance uses a white rose. Links from them will draw readers to your writing.
6. Try to get in a routine of daily or weekly blogging. Otherwise, it will be easy to avoid the work involved and never post. The more often you update your blog, the more people will check on it and become faithful readers–which in turn motivates you to write.
7.Tell your friends and family–unless you want to stay anonymous. They help get you started with feedback and readers.
8. Use one image at the top of each post, at least. This adds visual interest. You can use many images free online, Remember though, you don’t want anybody stealing your words. Photographers don’t want you stealing their images. At the very least, link to their photo and give credit for it.
9. Consider taking your own photos. You’re writing about your world; take pictures of it. They don’t have to be professional and, who knows, like me you may become passionate about photography, too.
10. Use tagging or keywords. I don’t know any blog hosts well except WordPress but nearly all allow for some form of tagging. WordPress has a spot while creating a new post where you can put in important concepts you are discussing in your post. These draw readers so don’t forget to use them.
11. Enjoy blogging. Sometimes it is work but it helps clarify who you are and what you think. For me, self knowledge and scratching the itch to be creative are what blogging is all about.