I am often asked if it is easy to set up a blog, so, in keeping with the blogging theme of this week, I thought I’d share my thoughts here.
Basically, I am no geek but I managed to set this blog up – if I can, anyone can. All you need is a bit of patience (well, maybe a lot of patience at first), some common sense and something to say. If you are a blogger, do you have anything else to add? Are there any pitfalls to be avoided? If you are a reader of blogs, are there things you dislike in some blogs and would like to see done differently? Meanwhile, here are the six things I think every newbie blogger should know before setting out, apologies if I am repeating myself:
1) A blog is a “web log” ie: a place where bits of information/ideas/thoughts/ideas are posted on the web on a regular basis. There are dozens of different web based software blogging programmes – sometimes called platforms – which allow you to post text and pictures and videos and links all in a lovely, clever organised way. They include WordPress.com and WordPress.org , TypePad and Blogger Tumblr etc. They all have easy to follow instructions. All you need to do is choose one. I started with Tumblr, and while it is really popular with young people, I didn’t like the way it worked so I changed to Wordpress.Org. While WordPress.org is easy to use, I sometimes wish I’d set up a blog with WordPress.com as way more people seem to use it than wordpress.org.
2) It shouldn’t cost you a penny – my blog costs nothing to run, except time. As soon as you have downloaded your blogging programme of choice, you can start.
Whatever you choose to blog about, you should do it regularly and try to offer a fresh perspective on the subject!
4) Once you’ve set up your blog, you need people to know it exists and engage them in conversation. You can do this in at least two ways:
a) You can visit other blogs and make comments on them –people then link back to your blog to find out more about you.
b) You invite people to comment on your own blog – and let people know about it by sharing it on places like Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Google+ etc. If you don’t have accounts in these social medias, consider getting at least one.
5) Be yourself. Be positive. Use pictures, links, video clips and audio clips to help make your blog interesting. Remember, blogging is about communicating 🙂 But don’t be alarmed if no one leaves comments on your blog, it doesn’t mean no one is reading it. A lot of people browse blogs but don’t comment – but if they like what they read, they will come back.
6) Media gurus recommend the “rule of 3” when it comes to time: you spend one third of your time writing your blog, one third incorporating relevant/interesting links (embedding interesting links can help create movement to your blog and that in turn can help people find it), and one third on an eye catching and intriguing title!
That’s all I have for now. Can you add anything?
Are there any topics you shouldn’t blog about? What other ways can you suggest to get the discussion going? Do you agree with the “rule of 3” rule?
If you don’t have a blog and could start one today, what would you blog about?
Be great to hear from you! 🙂