Want to Start a Blog? Start Here First!
For those of you who don't know, #SummerBlogSocial is a virtual event being hosted by Liz of a belle, a bean, and a chicago dog and Jessica from Four Plus an Angel (and if you're not reading these ladies yet, WHY NOT???).
Liz and Jessica figured that just because some of us don't get to go to BlogHer '11, only the biggest blog conference of the year, that doesn't mean that we can't network, learn, and grow as well.
For this installment, I'm going to write about what helpful tips I would give an in real life friend who was interested in starting a blog.
Well guess what? I DO have a friend who is interested in starting a blog! We've talked about it briefly, and I tried not to inundate and overwhelm her with too much information. I mean, she just wants to know how to get started, and I could tell that the words "hosting," "domain," and so on were just freaking her out.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO BLOG ABOUT. I don't think everyone has to have a niche, but do you want to blog about your kids? Your political convictions? Your journey with infertility? Do you want to anonymously unleash onto the blogosphere the burdens of your job as a teacher/social worker/circus clown? One of the funniest blogs I have come across is Tales From Library Land, where the author writes anonymously about her experiences working in -- you guessed it -- a library. I only wished she posted more often than she does. Of course, there are also wonderful bloggers like Alex of Late Enough, who flawlessly mix it up. Because sometimes you need to be schooled on what this debt ceiling thing is all about, and sometimes you just want to learn how to high five yourself when you don't really want to touch other people.
So knowing what you want to write about is great, but guess what? It's probably going to change. So...
2. EMBRACE CHANGE. Many, many bloggers will tell you that they started off wanting to write about one thing, and their whole blog evolved into something totally different. I'm one of them. I started my blog as a way to keep family and friends (and myself) updated on the growth and milestones of our infant twins. But what ended up happening was that I rediscovered my love for writing, which I'd had since I was a kid. What I DIDN'T realize was that there was a whole world of public bloggers out there who wrote about more than just little Billy's latest well check and "Oh look! We went to the park!" Once I became a part of that world, my writing slowly evolved to be less about my kids (although they definitely pop up a lot) and more about me. As in what makes me happy to put on this site.
But before we get too ahead of ourselves...