So you’ve decided to start a blog. Or maybe you haven’t yet and you’re looking for some ideas on how to start one. In this post, I’m going to give an overview of how to start blogging, and how to keep up your inspiration to get readers hooked on your blog! Of course, a lot of what keeps readers engaged happens to deal with your subject matter and writing style, but there are a few other staples that you can add to your blog that may help.
I actually first started blogging in high school. A few friends and I decided to start a blog that chronicled our high school days – not very wide reaching, but it definitely taught me a few things. One of the hardest things about blogging is consistency. Committing to write a post every few days or even once a week can be tough if you’ve already got a busy life. But readers like consistency, and it helps keep your blog relevant, so you have to make sure to regularly push out new content. Some bloggers like setting aside a certain time each week to blog – scheduling and even planning posts and the topic of those posts in advance can certainly reduce some of the scrambling that comes with writing. Personally, I like to think and read throughout the week on topics related to what I blog about – technology, in this case – and make a mental note of interesting ideas that I could perhaps write about. At some point during the week, I’ll pick one I like and start writing about it, maybe researching or referencing more material as I go along. I just know by the end of the week I need to have at least one blog post written, and wherever in my week it happens to get written, that’s when I’ll get my work done.
And when you’ve finally hit a blogging schedule you like, it can also be hard coming up with new and interesting content! As I mentioned before, I like reading a lot about technology throughout the week, so I often get a spark for a blog post simply by scrolling through my Facebook feed or frequenting certain tech websites. My best advice for figuring out what to write about would be to immerse yourself in the topic – read about it, go to related events, talk to other people – all of the information and various viewpoints you gather will help you synthesize something truly unique! And if you’re really stumped for a new blog post, maybe invite a guest blogger to write something on your blog. A new voice and perspective can be refreshing for readers, as well as yourself!
When actually writing your blog, make sure you’ve picked a good sized, readable font, especially if you’re going to be writing a lot. It’s the worst when I stumble across a cool blog but their font makes it a chore to read. Also think about your layout – is your text broken up into clean sections and paragraphs? Does it utilize lists or bullet points or graphics to help convey information in a simple manner? Is the title catchy enough to get someone to even read your whole post? Do you have grammatical errors? Keep all of these in mind when producing a high quality post.
Since social media is its own beast, I’m just going to say a few words about promoting your blog. Make sure you connect Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest to your blog, so that each new post is spread to as many followers as possible. If you run your blog on Blogger or WordPress, you can even automate this process by using IFTTT.com (If This Then That), which will post to your Facebook or Twitter whenever you post a new blog post. A detailed guide on how to set this up can be found here: http://www.bloggertipspro.com/2013/06/how-to-post-blogger-to-facebook.html
So those are my quick tips for starting to blog. Do you have any suggestions or ideas for bloggers getting started? What works well for your blog?