It's been a while since I had an epiphany! Out of nowhere, a thought struck me that perhaps I could write my very own version of How to Start a Blog.
Please note that the following guide is based on the assumption that you wish to start a blog with Google’s Blogger.
Interested in starting up a blog but not sure how to? Or maybe you already have but it’s only been a few weeks and you’re stuck! I’ve been blogging since 2008. I may not be a successful blogger (well, it depends on your definition) but I’ve picked up nuggets of blogging “wisdom” over the years. I hope to impart whatever useful although meagre knowledge that I have on anyone who’d like to venture into the World of Blogging.
For yourself (plus a few friends and family). Some blogs are for amusement. It’s writing for the love and the fun of it. It’s a form of expression that you can easily share with people close to you. Of course you could have saved yourself the trouble and sent an email but the feeling is different. A blog is perhaps less imposing and people can choose to read what you’ve written whenever they like. It can be a private blog or one for friends and family but open to everyone.
For the readers. There are those who take blogging more seriously. They churn out posts quite consistently, taking on a magazine editor type role. Each post is carefully thought out, planned and beautifully crafted. Although I must say there aren’t many people who are like that. It’s good for the readers because they are getting what they would like to read. It’s bad for you if you’re just obsessed with readership numbers and no longer enjoying it.
For yourself and the readers. Personally, I think this is the best road to take if you want your blog public. I’m guessing you’re someone who wants to have fun blogging at the same time, cater for your readers. When you’re preparing a post, just think “Would I enjoy reading this?” If you won’t even read what you wrote, who else would? It’s natural to want many followers but don’t worry too much about it. If you’re good, readers are bound to find your blog, all thanks to search engines.
Theme and Audience
If you want your blog to reach out to many people, it’s a good idea to determine the theme and audience of your blog. Love cooking? Blog about food and recipes. Love makeup? Start a beauty blog. Enthusiastic about technology? Write about the latest gadgets. The possibilities are endless. You can even blog about interesting little things that happen to you every day.
Deciding on a theme does not mean that you cannot blog about other things. By all means, branch out a bit on the occasional post. I just find that blogs with a set theme tend to be more successful because birds of the same feathers flock together. Beauty bloggers attract beauty buffs. My blog is a very good (or should I say bad?) example. I try to cover too many things. I don’t have a specific theme and so it appears to lack purpose.
In general, if you set a theme, you’ve already more or less chosen your audience. For example, recipes and beauty blogs are mainly visited by women, I think. If you’re writing a fashion blog, you may or may not be targeting females in their twenties or teens. You should also consider, would your audience (young or old, local or foreign) understand the “lingo” you are using?
Just like how authors each have their own unique writing style, as a blogger, you’d have to find a style too. I don’t mean you must decide on one and carve it in stone. You may want to experiment. Over the months, you’ll find yourself settling into your own style. If being witty or humorous is your strong point, I think you’d do very well to incorporate that into your blog. One thing is for sure, never attempt to copy another blogger’s style (even if he or she is a very successful one). Because it’s not you, it won’t come out the same. What you want is your own personality shine through your words.
Another style of blogs is the minimalist type. Your posts can be filled with beautiful photos with only a few sentences accompanying them. Kind of like the idea behind Tumblr and Instagram. This type of blogs work very well, especially for people who don’t have a lot of time to read and are very visual. Blogging doesn’t have to be a lot of complicated writing (like this post). It can be sweet and simple. I mean, a picture can speak a thousand words, right?
The appearance of your blog isn’t necessarily the most important element. Theoretically, your blog could look plain but have great content and still attract a lot of readers. After all, we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, right? Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who do. I gravitate towards good-looking blogs. I might be generalising but I think it is human nature to like things that we think are pretty or good-looking. So if you agree with me, I suggest you style up your blog. You have no idea how many times I had to “revamp” my blog (over the years) before I finally found a look that I was happen with. It takes a lot of experimenting. But the main point is: remember to choose a font style, size and colour that are easy for everyone to read. If it’s hard to read, no one will bother. Also make sure, the design is functional and simple. Having lots and lots of decorations is useless.
Some people just have a flair for blogging. Others, like me, don’t. However, don’t fret. If you’re a young blogger, I find that we improve as we age and mature. I’ve weeded a lot of my old posts out because they were pointless and immature. It takes practice. You’ll find yourself getting better and better at it.
Learn how Blogger works. It really makes blogginer easier and the whole experience better.
Don’t take my word for gospel. Do more research if you like. I could be wrong about something. Never stop learning. You can keep improving your blog as you go along.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment! Good luck and enjoy blogging!