Getting a blogging: my quick and thrifty guide to start writing a blog.
Today 2 people asked me about how to start a blog, so I told them, followed up in an email and then thought I must have done my inspired piece of writing for today. Then I realised I forgot to eat lunch. Eating lunch now, my creativity can be so distracting from basic survival skills! But anyway, here it is (I’m sure there are multitudes of these out there, but here’s my version)
1. Get clear on your purpose or motivation for writing a blog. Is it for you? For other people? To tell a story? To educate? To make people laugh?
How much info do you want to share? How often do you want to write?
Until I got clear on this writing spasmodically was my special talent. Spasmodic is fine if that’s what you want. When writing is your gift to the world, not doing it is kinda ripping everyone off, especially yourself.
2. Look up/research and subscribe to other blogs that interest you. Find “themes” you like, topics you like, people who write like you or not at all like you. I have subscribed a number of blogs for years and they have inspired me. Don’t allow this to freak you out that someone is already doing what you want to do or that someone does it better! Just notice what you like, find topics of inspiration, cool people, really uncool but super funny people, funny, cool people – whatever floats your boat.
3. Create a blog at a blog site like http://www.wordpress.com . I have a WordPress blog and I like it and my brother (who is great at web design etc) also likes it and can help me with it). I assume such sites have tutorials on how to set up your blog. Basically you just sign up, pick a theme and get writing! In the early days you can try what I did which was to send an email to all my friends and family and ask them to check out my blog. Then I got really brave and starting Putting posts on Facebook. Now I’m like super excited about all the new likers who aren’t spam!!!
4. Add a picture to each post. I didn’t do this at the start, but I am going back and sorting this now. It’s easy enough to do. An additional tip is from my bro below:
Regarding the images on the posts, if you want these to display properly/consistently … its best to resize them before you upload/attach to post. it looks like some are super large (e.g. when coming straight from your camera) and some are a bit small (e.g. when copied of the internet). ideally you should re-size and/or crop the images to be 640 pixels wide × 400 pixels high at around 72dpi. (or even up to 640 pixels wide x 640 pixels high…. it seems to work ok if its sized up to a square shape, but once the photo becomes taller than it is wider, you run into problems) I recommend Photoshop for this, but if you don’t have that program you can actually use this really cool online tool here http://www.photoshop.com/tools (it’s called Photoshop Express Editor and you can use the link above to upload your photo, re-size, crop and adjust the brightness, colours etc).
5. Write as little or as much as you want, regularly. I would suggest every 2-3 days is good, it helps keep you in the habit and also keeps your readers interested. To make it easier create a ritual around writing and some time and space each day to do it. I made my blog as important as a client – so when I am in writing mode I give my blog as much focus and attention as I would one of my face to face clients. It works wonders for keeping me on track (because I certainly wouldn’t stop to check Facebook or answer a phone call or email while I was working with them!). I light a candle, clear my desk etc…
6. Just begin. And as soon as you start you become accountable….and you get inspired to write more. I didn’t write every day until I connected with my purpose for doing it. Now I know my purpose there’s no pressure to write every day. I just want to. That’s why that’s Number 1!