There are plenty of reasons to start a blog! And there’s no time like the present. Maybe you want to share fashion, cooking, and chic entertaining tips with your peers. Maybe you want to muse about socially responsible parenting practices. Or maybe you’re just looking for a virtual way to record and share family memories with loved ones across the world. Whatever the reason, you surely have something important to write down. But how do you get your message out there and into the hearts and minds of your readers?
It’s easier than you might think.
But you’ve got to have a plan. Every new, successful project begins with a plan and a purpose; creating a blog is no different. What are your short and long-term goals for your blog? What are you going to write about? In what subject areas are you an expert? Share this—your individual truth as a human and a writer is golden.
Choose a blogging format.
There are lots of options. Some are free, and some are not. It all depends on what you want from your blog. If you think that in the future you’ll want to create any sort of income from your blog, it’s best to get your own domain name and hosting service. This is very easy to do with WordPress.org, and you can find a great tutorial to walk you through this process at BlogTyrant.com. Other blogging sites similar to WordPress are Wix and Squarespace. If you’re using your blog to share photos and quick stories with family and close friends, Tumblr and Blogger are great options. Take a little time to examine each format, and make the decision that is best for you.
What do you want your blog to look like?
Choose a theme or template, and decide on things like logos and colors. Even if this is going to be a solely personal blog or virtual scrapbook, it should be pretty. If you would like to really customize your look, consider finding a freelance designer on a website like Etsy.com—there are plenty of artists that can personalize or install a template for you for a nominal fee. If you want someone to design a logo for you, or even create an entire look, Etsy is a great resource for this also—and you can always check with local graphic designers regarding their services and fees.
Let’s talk about photos.
The Internet is becoming an increasingly visual medium—you are going to want to include photos with any post you publish. A good camera is always a great investment, and many photographers offer classes and workshops for a relatively nominal fee for those who want to learn the basic functions of a DSLR camera, and take better photos of their families, kids, or surroundings. There are also sites where you can purchase stock photography. You never, ever want to use someone else’s without giving them credit or asking permission first. But don’t forget—many cell phones these days can take pictures that are really great quality, as long as you keep them in a high resolution.
Above all, the key is to remember that your new blog is just a vehicle for the thoughts and ideas that you want to chronicle. Set a schedule for yourself, and keep writing and taking pictures of the things that interest you! Your audience is special, but after you’ve been blogging for a while, you might look back and discover that you’ve created a nice little collection of stories that are of great interest to a very important person—yourself.
By Jessica Tomes