Thursday, June 21, 2012

Five Simple Tips for Starting Your Own Blog

Ever thought about joining the blogosphere?  If so, I can't say as I blame you.  I've been blogging for many years and have found it to be one of the most rewarding forms of writing I do.  Blogging is creative, informative, educational, fun, interactive, entertaining - all those things and more!  The best part is that it can be whatever the author wants it to be.  

For me, it simply started as an online journal of sorts.  I'd write about my life, my family, or whatever else inspired me at the moment.  Eventually, it took on a new shape - and name (Getting it Write for You), and I used it as a serious marketing tool.  The focus became writing (obviously).  Through my blog, I've connected with some incredibly talented people from all over the world who have remained my mentors, friends, and even clients or employers over the years.  

I always encourage anyone who's interested in writing for hire, to begin a blog because it's one of the best ways to both make connections and showcase your writing.  When I was freelancing more than I am now, back in the days when I didn't have four children to fill up my days (and believe me, they are filled to the brim) I directed potential clients to both a professional website with an online portfolio, rates, and so-forth, as well as to my blog.  

They both had writing samples, but of very different styles. My blog showcases my writing in a relaxed and informal way, exhibits my knowledge on writing, and gives potential clients an idea of what kind of person I am.  It's helped me acquire many writing jobs.  

Over the years, people have often asked me how to start a blog of their own.  Whether it's for personal or professional use, here are a few tips that might be helpful to anyone getting started with their own blog:

  • Consider your purpose. First of all, think about what you want to do with your blog.  Will it be for personal use, an online journal as mine began as or will it be to aide your journey in something - albeit writing, or couponing or whatever else your interest is.  Having a focus helps to draw a targeted audience.  A good question to ask yourself is who do you want reading your blog?  
  • Just do it!  After you've determined what your purpose will be, research the different blogging sites out there.  Two of the most popular options are Blogger and WordPress.  They are both free. Blogger offers professional looking templates and is easy to navigate.  They make it simple for the beginning blogger to set it up and get going right away.  One of the biggest complaints Blogger gets is that the templates have only cookie-cutter designs and are less molded to an individual's personal preferences.  For those who feel that way, WordPress might be a better choice.  The author has more options to make their site more unique.  They may choose from templates that are more professional looking, but WordPress requires a little more knowledge and time to get set up. 
  • Start driving - traffic to your site that is!  If you're starting a blog to market a service or a product, it's important to get out there in the blogosphere and start making connections.  Read other blogs.  Comment on entries that you find interesting, and when you comment always leave your URL.  This helps drive traffic to your own site.  Also, join forums related to your trade or product.  It's a great way to learn from others who are trying to accomplish the same goals as you and once again, by leaving your URL with your signature, people will visit your site.  
  • Have fun and share!!!  Most importantly, have a blast with your new blog!  Write your little heart out, meet new people and make connections.  Enjoy the experience of sharing information, or bringing joy to someone through the very words you've written.  I know I do!  This is a great place for me to inspire, encourage, and educate those who are looking for that in their lives.   
  • Or don't share at all.  Of course, if none of that's for you - if you are maybe a little shy about sharing your writing for the entire world to see, or you only want your blog to be a therapeutic place to write your innermost thoughts, it doesn't have to be shared at all.  It can be a private place for you to write whatever is on your mind.  Just be sure to click that button when you're getting set up.

A blog is as individual as a fingerprint and that's wonderful.  So if you haven't set one up yet, but you've been thinking about it, get to it!!!  The joy it brings will be well worth the effort - guaranteed!!  Oh!  And if you want to share it, be sure to send me a link!  I'd LOVE to check it out!  Until next time, have an incredible day!       

1 comment:

Betsy Henning said...

Trying again to leave a comment -- blogspot wouldn't take the last one I tried to post (a couple of days ago) and I wanted so much to say...great post, Lisa!