After many hours of thinking, maybe you do want to start up on blogging. Maybe you want to start up on blogging because your friends in real life are blogging, or you want to blog after seeing all of those amazing blogs that are out there and the tight-knit community and friendship they may have. Whatever the case may be, you just want to start a blog.
But first off, where do you start?
Today's post isn't going to be about HTML or CSS (trust me, I'll get there by the end of the month). No. The post I am writing about today is geared towards more of the newer bloggers: how to start up a blog. These points I am giving you do not necessarily have to be done chronologically. They are just the order I would recommend doing. These points will help pinpoint and guide you today toward the road of your blog of tomorrow.
A great place to start is one, finding your blog platform. If you look all over the Internet, there are many platforms that you can blog from, such as Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, you name it. Want to customize your blog and mess around with the raw HTML? I would suggest getting Blogger. Want to take control and have a professional look for your blog? Wordpress has some pretty nice templates for you to use.
What I am getting at is, all of these different platforms have different features, and you will have to look at its various aspects to see which will end up suiting you best. The top three blogging platforms I would recommend using are Blogger, Wordpress, and Typepad. (Hover over each name to head to their homepage). You do have to realize though, that unless you are buying a domain name, your URL will look something like this:
Now, the second thing that you should do is deciding on what your blog's theme and content will be. In a way, you're trying to categorize your blog into what you are going to write about. Is your blog going to be a lifestyle, DIY, book/movie review, religious, a fan girl blog, or some of those categories mashed up into a sand pile? Certain categories will draw or push away different readers. After all, blogging is just about the same as reading books! Some books appeal to some but may be displeasing to others.
Most bloggers I know of have fan girl and lifestyle blogs, but I do know plenty of blogs that are created by book bloggers and aspiring authors. If you want to attract many readers, you should do a mix of some of those categories. If you mix up the blog categories of lifestyle, fan girl and raving, and aspiring authors with a tiny pinch of examining the complexities of life, plus adding spoonfuls of getting my opinions heard with a vision to make a world a better place... that's my blog.
Your blog's theme and content have to be set and envisioned to a certain degree. Could that theme and vision change? Of course it can. Why am I telling you this as one of the main points? The next two steps I am going to give you correlate with number two.
The third thing that you should decide on is your blog title. Some tips I have for you on naming your blog are this:
i.) Let your title represent/mirror the content and theme of your blog. Now, the blog title is like the title of books; it should spark interest in possible readers. If your blog is about animals but you name it, "Peach On the Brach," and Peach is the name of your pet parrot, how will people know that your blog is about animals? That brings up a tiny point I wish to make: keep your title straightforward, too.
ii.) Make your something short...
I cannot tell you how many times I wish I had known this when I had first started off my blog. When I watched Brain Games once, this one episode talked about how many people tend to zone out after the second or third word of a list. The same concept goes here. When I talk to the few of my real life friends about my blog, I simply refer to it as "Ups and Downs". It's a lot more easier to remember and is less of a mouthful.
iii.) ...But sweet and memorable.
Let's imagine that I am a new tween/teen blogger named Leah who started a blog after moving from a tiny town in Minnesota to the famous Big Apple itself, New York City, tackling the challenges that the city has to offer. And let us say that moving to NYC is like finally being able to meet the world, and my blog is about that transition and about what I experience in the big city. Several possibilities of what I (if I were Leah) could name my blog are:
Taking On the World
A Crunch of the Big Apple
Leah Meets the City
Leah In the Big City
Coming up with a blog title can take awhile, so be patient. Besides, if you don't like your blog's title, you can always end up changing it in the middle of your blogging career. It's a bit like Stargirl, the fictional character in the book that has the same name. Whenever she feels like she isn't that name any more or doesn't "fit", like Pocket Mouse, she would change her name to whatever she feels like she is.
The final thing to do for now is to write your first post. Your first post doesn't have to be anything special, but you should, in your first post, give a brief introduction about yourself and what this blog is going to be about. That way, if new readers stumble across your blog as you're beginning your blogging journey, they'll know what to expect.
Wait, where is the designing element for blogging? Well that, my friends, is going to be revealed in the blogging tip post: how to design your blog, why, and key things to keep in mind!