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I have been getting a ton of questions lately about starting a new blog or how to improve your current blog. One of the main questions I get is “can I even blog?” The answer is YES! That’s what is so great about it. Anyone can blog, it’s YOUR words, your stories, you make the rules. You may know my blog started out as a training journal for running and morphed into so much more. I am by no means an expert, but as a 3+ year blogger, I do have a few words of wisdom I would love to share with you to help get you started.
1.) Don’t pigeon hole yourself with your domain name. My blog started as running only, so the name “Running With Sass” completely fit. However, after three years I was itching to branch out and blog about other things, so I have recently been going through the painful process od switching everything over to Through Heather’s Looking Glass which can be quite a pain! If you know for a fact all you will ever blog about is running, or crafting, or whatever it is that is getting you to start a blog, then that’s fine, however…three years ago I didn’t think I would want to blog about other things, so it *may* be a good idea to do a semi-generic domain/blog name to give you more freedom.
2.) Pick a platform. I started out on wordpress.com (My blog was runningwithsass.wordpress.com) I soon paid the extra money to have the “wordpress” part taken off, and after a year of blogging I went self hosted on WordPress.org. This allows me to be a part of blog networks, get paid for posts, etc. Some people use and love Blogger, but I am definitely a WordPress gal and think it’s very user friendly.
3.) Get involved on social media So you didn’t realize that starting a blog also meant juggling social media accounts did you? Of course, you don’t HAVE to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, but they will greatly help grow your blog. Not only do I suggest joining them, but be ACTIVE on them, and don’t just talk about yourself. Actually interact. Also, comment on other people’s blogs. No one likes “that girl” who gets tons of comments but never interacts with the audience. It makes you seem un-relatable and not a real person. (Note: I’m not saying you should have to respond to EVERY comment, but some interaction is nice!)
4.) Don’t compare. This is a biggie. A lot of new bloggers will look at blogs that have been around for years and immediately want to be like them, with the same number of followers, pageviews, etc. Very few people became an overnight success, so put in the hard work and your blog will grow, evolve, and change. You are at a different part of your journey, and everyone has to start somewhere.
5.) Use Live Writer. I am a PC gal, and this is not available for Mac, but I use Windows Live Writer to draft and upload all of my posts. I remember when I first started using it, I was so mad I had been wasting so much time actually composing posts in WordPress all that time! Picture placement and adding links is so much easier in live writer, and then you can publish or schedule a post to go straight to your blog. Super easy, and a great blogging tool.
6.) Use photos. Blogs that are just words are well…boring. People are in a hurry, and if they see a huge block of text with no break/photos, they are way more likely to click off of your blog than if it were dotted with pictures. I look back at some of my first posts that were all text. Oy. I can’t believe people didn’t run away! (Some probably did).
To read the rest of Heather’s post "So, You Want to Start a Blog" – click here!