How to Start a Blog
A blog can be a great way to help people by sharing information, insight, and inspiration with others who share your interests. A blog is also one of the best ways to attract new visitors and links to your website. But blogging is not for everyone. In this article…
– Find out if blogging is a good fit for you
– What you need to know before starting a blog
– The biggest blogging decision you’ll ever make
– Tips for making a blog great
Is Blogging for Me?
A blog can be a great communication tool. It can be a great way to build the reputation, content, and in-bound links to your website. But blogging isn’t for everyone. Many people have started blogging with high hopes only to find frustration because it consumed valuable time and did not producing the hoards of visitors expected.
Last year, Pam wrote a great article about why to blog and how to decide whether blogging is for you. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, you definitely want to read Who, Me? Blog?
What you need to know before starting a blog
Periodically, I get a message from someone saying something like, “I’m hearing a lot about blogs these days. I think my company needs to start a blog. How do I do it?” Or “Blogging sounds like a great thing for Christian ministry. Where do I start?”
It doesn’t take much time, effort, or experience to start a blog, but if you want your blog to be successful you have to know the difference between a good blog and a bad one, and you have to know what makes a good blog good. There are two things you can do to help give you a good feel for how to blog.
- Become a regular reader of several different blogs. Examine the topics covered and where they get their subject matter. Note the length, frequency, writing style, text formatting, linking, and archiving structure. Investigate what blog software or service each utilizes. Read the comments people leave, and take note of which articles get lots of comments and which get few or none.
- Become a regular commenter. Once you’re familiar with a variety of blogs, what makes the interested and unique, and once you’re familiar with they way readers of these blogs comment, become a regular commenter yourself. As you comment, take a step back and ask yourself, “What is it about this article that caused me to want to comment?” After commenting, check back and see if people responded to your comment and if so how.
The biggest blogging decision you’ll ever make
Once you’ve decided blogging is a good fit for you and you feel confident you have a grasp on what makes a blog compelling, you have a huge decision to make:
Do I create my blog by installing and configuring blogging software into a web hosting account or do I create my blog by going to a blogging service like blogger.com where the blog software is already installed and hosted there?
This is a big decision because once you create your blog it can be very difficult to switch. There are pros and cons to both options. WebProNews recently produced a nice Blog Hosting Options video which explains those pros and cons and helps you evaluate which option is best for you. For those of you who have trouble with video because you’re still on dial-up, there’s a transcript available below the video.
Tips for making a blog great
If you’re interested in learning more about blogging or interested in helping other people become better bloggers, also check out the Blogs Discussion in the OurChurch.Com Christian Forums.
Next week we’ll talk about tips to making a great blog. Are you an experienced blogger? Know what it takes to make a great blog? What are your top 5 blogging tips? Post them here in the comments and next week we’ll post the best of the best next week.