Now that I’ve been blogging for about three years, people have started asking me for advice on starting their own blogs. Apparently people have started thinking of me as an authority on blogging, which is pretty cool. So here are my tips on starting your very own blog.
You have to actually LIKE writing.
If you’re planning on starting a writing-heavy blog, you should enjoy writing. If you never fell in love with an academic essay you wrote, or jotted down random ideas on post-it notes or napkins or whatever was laying around, or spent hours looking at notebooks in bookstores, then writing a blog may not be for you. You might be really funny and you might have some amazing ideas, but if you don’t like writing, then writing a blog is going to feel like work.
Read some other blogs.
If you want to start writing a blog, it’s a really good idea to read other people’s blogs. You can get inspiration, see cool designs, and read some really great writing.
You don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to write about.
It’s okay not to have everything planned out. I took a class this spring about making websites, and we were required to make site maps and wire frames and detailed descriptions of everything we were going to write, what photos we were going to use, etc. I really don’t think that’s necessary for starting a blog. You can plan and plan and plan, but if you don’t have any content, your blog will be nonexistent. When I started my blog, I had no idea how I was going to structure it, what categories I would have, or what my menu bars were going to look like. I didn’t organize my blog until at least a year in, and that worked really well for me. Starting a blog is different for everyone, so if you want to start with organization, you can, but don’t be afraid to just start somewhere.
Choose your platform.
There are so many blogging platforms out there – I didn’t know about that many blogging websites when I started writing, so I just kind of stumbled on WordPress, but there are so many platforms for you to use. You might want something different if you’re planning to post a lot of photos, or upload videos, or use gifs, or write a lot. Do your research and choose wisely. Here’s a list of just a few, make sure to poke around and see what’s going to fit your needs best: WordPress (my fave, obviously), Blogspot, Foursquare, Wix, blog.com, Blogger, Weebly, and Tumblr. Be aware that some of them are free and some cost money, and some of the free ones have deluxe options if you want to pay for certain themes.
Just start writing.
There is nothing as important as just writing things down. The hardest part about writing is often getting started. So just bite the bullet and start somewhere. You don’t have to love every sentence you put on the page; you can always edit later. But you have to just start.
Share it with people.
If you want people to read what you’ve written, share it everywhere! Post it on Facebook, Tweet about it, email it to your mom – do whatever it takes to get people reading. If they like what they see, they’ll read more and share it with their friends!