I am not a professional blogger; nor do I consider myself very good at it for that matter. I've been at it for a little over 2 years and it has brought me neither fame nor fortune. I have, however, kept my ear to the tubes and paid a lot of attention to blogging and the more I learn the more I confirm my thought that everyone should have a blog. There are lots of different types of blogs, but I want to categorize them into three main categories: Personal, Corporate, and I'll call the third type Industrial. Over the next few days I will be publishing a series of posts on blogging as it relates to those three types of blogs.
I think there are three things that most bloggers would agree would be the hardest to do. The first is the easiest of the three and that is to get started. The second is to create content that is compelling to your audience and compelling enough to build a larger audience. The third is to continue to blog despite blogger's block and busyness.
1. Pick a Service. There are a number of free services out there that are as good as anything you'll find with the most professional of bloggers. One of the hottest services lately has been VOX. It's very user friendly and makes for a good way to network with your friends and family that also blog. Other free services are Blogger and Wordpress. From my experience, Blogger and Vox walk you right through the process of creating the blog without having to know any CSS or HTML code. For some of you this may be the biggest obstacle and I'm telling you to get over that fear and jump right in.
2. Pick a Motive. There are a million and one reasons for someone to blog, you just need to pick one. It could be to track a particular event in your life like tracking a pregnancy to birth, or a trip to Europe, or taking yoga classes. No one should ever tell you that you need to focus on one thing, but it does help if you want to create and keep an audience. My blog has always been a personal blog in which I share events and ideas that come along. I have another blog that focuses on the world of sports. As I get into the coming posts about types of blogs, I will go more into this, but know that whatever your motive for blogging, it's justified.
3. Pick a Name. There are three names that I suggest focusing on. The first is the name by which you will go by in your new blogging life. Most people who are blogging in category one (Personal) prefer to remain a little anonymous; usually going by a handle or alias or just a first name. Others who are doing it corporately or industrially find it more helpful to disclose who they are. The second name to pick is the name of your blog. You can be as creative as you want. I would suggest your blog title containing at least a hint of what your motive is, though. The third name to pick is the piece of the URL that is unique to your blog. If you get too fancy with the URL, it might be hard for people to find it. I remember when I used to manage the BLB website years back. It was before you could buy a domain for a couple bucks so I relied on my ISP for a domain and it was always a chore to give the address and hope people would type what you said (who even knew what a tilde was?). Down the line you might want to buy a domain and have it forwarded to your blog, or if you're even more adventurous, host the blog yourself at your domain.
Pick 2 and 3 are irrelevant if you don't take that first step and get started. Remember to send me your link when you've taken my advice...I'm always looking for new blogs to read and also to promote to people who read my blog.