If you’ve ever wondered to yourself “hey, blogging looks easy and cool”, then I want to burst your bubble. Blogging is super easy and mega cool.
The Newbie Blogger Initiative is in year 2 (of two) to help aspiring writers debase themselves in the blogging world. Syp started it last year and it was a decent enough success. I think there were more than a handful that made it to 12 months. Those that quit are quitters and we’ll never talk about them again.
All kidding aside, I’ve been hosting my own website for way too long and posting for half that much time. It ebbs and flows, depending on a combination of my free time and my need to put words to pen (or keyboard). For those who do read this blog (thank you) and have a desire to give blogging a shot, here are a few tips to get going.
- Get a decent blogging host. I prefer WordPress but Blogspot is cool too. Both are free, have plenty of templates and mobile options.
- Figure out why you want to blog. This should be first but just by going through the process of finding a host, you’ll figure this one out too. Is it a personal one? It it to comment on a particular topic? I am fascinated by game design, so most of my stuff is about that.
- Keep a blog roll. Cross post to that blog roll if you find a good topic. There’s a saying that good authors borrow, great authors steal. Nearly all of my posts are triggered by reading something else. Try to always have a link or two in the post.
- Keep a draft bucket. I have a dozen or so ideas that just aren’t good enough yet on that list. Sometimes I go through it and it gives me another idea.
- Write every day. This doesn’t mean post every day, simply write every day. Blogging requires a heck of a lot of motivation to get started. Once you do, it sort of becomes habit. Some use schedules to rigidly block out time. Figure out what works for you.
- Schedule posts. You might have 3 great posts all written in one shot. Don’t let them all out at once. Try to keep a solid 12 hours between them, so you can digest the other ones.
- Writing conveys little emotion or context. Keep in mind that 90% of your communication skills are non-verbal and that you might have trouble getting an idea across effectively. Don’t worry, you’re human. It’ll get better.
I’m glad that I blog. It keeps me sane. It give me links to other bloggers with amazing ideas (hence the blog roll to the right). It gives some feedback on ideas. It gives me the ability to look back on some topics and go “right on” or “what was I thinking?”. It can be hard but like anything else, it’s extremely rewarding. Give it a shot!