What’s Stopping You from Being a Blogger??

writing5 copyHeather Harper I Borderline Press I May 25, 2016

For writers, blogging is probably one of the most enjoyable experiences one can have. When we blog, there are no formatting requirements; no one is grading your work; and best of all, when you write for yourself, there is no one to tell you to edit the paragraph you believe to be most relevant to your point. Writing for other people is somewhat lucrative, but not as enjoyable as writing what you want.

If you’ve decided you’re ready to become a blogger, the first thing you’ll need to do is choose your theme, or scope of what you want to cover. If you don’t know what you want, it will be hard to get started. With the vast amounts of information available these days, you have to pinpoint what it is you want to talk about. For example, a friend of mine messaged me recently to ask if I would be interested in helping her with a blog on a specific style of parenting. I said I would be glad to help, but what was it she wanted to cover exactly? She didn’t seem very sure; she knew the general idea, but not the specifics. Before investing a lot of time, effort, and/or money, make sure you know what you want to discuss.

If you aren’t sure, start with your general topic and do some brainstorming. Once your ideas are out there, it’s time to build your outline. In these beginning stages, I find it helpful to physically write down the ideas instead of typing them. Next, I convert the written concepts into a formal outline after filtering the ones that didn’t make the original cut. For those who are visually inclined, drawing the page out either by hand or with a spreadsheet is helpful for organization purposes.

Once your plan is formulated, you are ready to begin. You may be tempted to jump ahead and skip the planning phase, but you will find out quickly that it is way harder to implement without a plan; so don’t omit this step because it’s simply not worth it.

There are plenty of options out there available to people looking to start a blog. WordPress is my personal favorite, but choose whichever site jives with your style and needs. Once you get started, some things to keep in mind are:

1. Imagery is important. Make sure you include clear, striking pictures. Quick note: Make sure not to post too many because it overshadows your writing. Try to find an even balance of pictures to word content so the pictures do not dominate the story.
2. Grammar matters. This cannot be emphasized enough, seriously. If you want your page to look professional, make sure your spelling and grammar are accurate. Nothing says “hack” like a page full of errors. If you don’t care what others think, however, correct punctuation won’t be of much importance to you.
3. Provide content, don’t be content. Yes, this is double entendre, but it is true. You want to give readers quality information they are excited about. However, don’t settle for content without quality, and don’t accept poor quality sources. Take the time to make a little effort and you will be rewarded in kind. Most readers know when people are grasping at straws versus those who genuinely care what they are writing about.

Finally, remember, blogs were originally designed to be a journal of sorts, and you can keep them public or private, depending on your preference. A blog is there for you to get your thoughts and feelings out, so why not start now? It’s very therapeutic and it gives you a platform to express yourself; and that is what this blog series is all about.