Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Five Things You Should Know About Starting a Blog

Starting a blog can be daunting, but it's a good way to improve your confidence in your writing, as well as your writing skills. Here are five things you should know about starting a blog.

1. Your First Post Will Be Awkward

It doesn't matter if you don't know what to say. No one knows what to say. If it makes you feel any better, very few people will ever read it. Just explain what you're going to blog about, and maybe a bit about who you are as well. Relax. This is the internet, and it can be feral, but you're in an obscure little corner of it. The chances of anyone attacking you are slim. 

2. It Doesn't Matter Which Platform You Choose

Yes, I know people say that Wordpress is the best, but I haven't found anything wrong with Blogger besides the occasional formatting issue. It's easy to use and doesn't require you to learn anything about HTML. Tumblr's an option as well, but it's very insular. I honestly see it more as a social media site than a blogging platform. It also takes a while before your posts will show up in searches (don't ask me why, some people say you need a certain number of posts and followers, others say you need to have been a member for a certain number of days). That said, it's very visual, so it's a good platform for artists. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter which platform you choose. If somebody's going to read your blog, they'll read it regardless of the platform its on.

EDIT: Shar @ Virtually Read informs me that, if you don't have any coding skills, it's easier to make a nicer looking blog on Wordpress than it is on Blogger. And she should know. She uses it. She also pointed out that Wordpress blogs look more professional, which is admittedly the general opinion. Thanks Shar, it really helps to have a Wordpress blogger's input.

Of course, different platforms work for different people. After all, I knew all this before I started (because, shockingly, there are posts like this all over the blogosphere), and I still chose Blogger.

(Against all advice and logic.) 

3. You Won't Stick to Your Schedule

And that's okay.

(No, it's not.)

Yes! It! Is!

Maybe you'll be suffering from blogger burn-out, or maybe life will just have gotten in the way. It's okay to go off-schedule from time to time. Sometimes, taking a break will help you come up with better ideas.

4. Your Niche Is Not a Prison

It's your space, which means that you can talk about whatever you want. A book blogger can review a video game. A film blogger can rant about politics. A make-up blogger can talk books. You're supposed to pick a niche because it's an easy way to tell readers what you're all about, but don't feel the need to shackle yourself to it.

5. Comment to Get Comments

The easiest way to get more comments on your blog? Comment around. A lot of bloggers try to comment back. 

What advice would you give to prospective bloggers?