Blogs, or web logs, are one of the fastest-growing means of mass communication. Articles about blogs, a form of online public journal, have appeared in the New York Times, Time, and Newsweek. The “blogosphere” has affected elections and corporate policy, and some blogs have thousands of readers a day. Moreover, they are fun to read, and writing them can be enjoyable too.
Go to a simple blog creation site. A few common sites for blogging are: MuseCrafters.com, vox.com, wordpress.com, Inthewire.com, Blogger.com, livejournal.com, journalhome.com, freeopendiary.com, or the ever popular Myspace.com. You can also try using a Google search for free blog hosting sites, and you’ll easily find one that fits your needs.
Choose one that appears to be “User Friendly” for you. Many bloggers don’t know how to make a good site, and, let’s face it, HTML is hard to learn, so check it out. If it looks a little too hard to create, and navigate the blog site and you’re confused, then don’t use that site. Some recommend Blogger, some recommend InTheWire, etc. Just try to find one that works for you.
Choose what type of blog you want to create. Carve out a niche and pick a catchy title that captures the essence of your blog. Remember that a blog, like your clothes, is an extension of you. For most people your blog site may be the only thing they identify you with and you want to be sure that who you are on the inside is reflected in your blog.
Some claim that posting at least once every day is best; Some also say that three quick posts a day are far more effective than one long post every three days. Others claim that when they update a blog every other day they get more readers than when updating two or three entries in a single day. Whatever you do remember that for most bloggers, it’s all about reading and many of them would prefer content rather than quantity. Once you get started you’ll find that you attract a certain readership, and you may have to adjust how you work your journal to appease and keep the readers you’ve obtained.
Some recommend putting together about a month’s worth of material before you tell anyone about your blog. It is recommended that you just start writing and fame will come in time. Feel free to go back and rewrite entries to make everything just the way you want before or after you “go public.” You can edit any entry at any time with most blog sites. Writing a popular blog doesn’t happen overnight. The essence of the blog stems from journaling which means the blog is FOR YOU. Work it how you feel most appropriate.
When you’re ready, tell close friends about your blog and ask them to tell their friends. Often if you use it as another way to network with those people around you, you’ll get a better response. If you push it too hard don’t be surprised if they ignore your blog because they feel you’re fishing for compliments and attention…remember, blogging is about you, and the more attention you put into yourself, the more people are going to notice.
Look around the Internet for blogs you love. Read and post to them religiously. Leave a note that actually has something to do with their site so that they know you actually took the time for pay attention to the material posted; do not expect anything back in return. Just commenting will cause others to be more likely to visit your and do the same. Often when you make comments to sites a link to your own personal site will already be included with your comment, unless you are posting from one hosting site to the next. If you’re at ITW and you read a blog on Myspace then it would be appropriate to include such a link.
Build a network with other people in the blogosphere – make friends online. This is the best way to get readers and a great way to meet people you would otherwise never know. If you get one thing from blogging, this will be it.
There are different types of blogs, but the majority fall into these three categories: personal/journal, collaborative (more than one author), and topical (based on a particular subject or niche). There are also photoblogs and link compilation blogs. Successful blogs find a niche and stick with it. Is there some aspect of your life you’re burning to share? Are you an expert in some field of knowledge? Are you obsessed with current events? Find your passion and your reason for starting the blog, and go for it. Again the key is: it’s for you; others will not be willing to read if they sense you’re trying too hard to be popular.
A personal blog is sometimes the hardest style to do. Even if you’re a brilliant writer and profoundly funny, you have to remember that people who know you “IRL” (in real life) may be accessing your journal. Some bloggers have found many quarrels have started because of information that was published in a personal blog. The key to this is: a) Only use first names if permission is given; if not, use the first initial of the person, and never use last names. b) If the information you share may get someone into trouble or hurt some feelings, then make the entry private (so only you can read it) or don’t post it at all. c) Remember that the blog is about you, not about gossip or what your mother’s uncle’s baby’s momma did to the guy across the bar last week…we don’t care, and I’m sure that person doesn’t want everyone on the world wide web to know either.
HTML, the language used to design websites, is your friend. Learning basic HTML is far easier than the foreign language you studied in high school. The Help section of Blogger.com can teach you all the HTML you need to learn in order to manipulate your site, add links in text and anything else you need to make your site exactly the way you want it.
Remember you can be anonymous to most of your readers. This is one of the best aspects of blogging. No one has to know who you are! If you prefer, you can even invent a blog personality to use. Nonetheless, always consider that you should be nice and polite so everyone has a handy-dandy time online.
A good way to make a popular blog is to make other blogs popular. That is, visit, read, and thoughtfully comment on other people’s blogs. On most blogger sites, a link to your own blog will be automatically included in your comment. So the more blogs you post on, the more people will be driven to visit your blog. Of course, don’t just go on and post one-word spam, because that might keep people away.
Linking to other established or authority websites is also a good way to network and make yourself known in your niche, and other bloggers to share the “link love” with people who link to their site.
For any new or advanced blogger, it would be wise to pay attention to those English classes and look for ways outside of your blog to expand your writing experience and expertise. Part of blogging is kind of like writing for a newspaper. Remember to keep your blogs well spaced, and if you can title them, be vague but attention-getting with the titles.
Don’t be rude when blogging because that will make you unpopular or popular with rude people. You don’t want rude bloggers or readers participating in your site.
Don’t post your blog link everywhere because it can actually seem rude if you appear extremely desperate to have visitors.
Be careful with your identity. It’s so easy for someone to find you through the net or to find those you talk about. Protect the people you know and, unless they give you permission, don’t use their names or other personal information in your blog.