So you want to start a blog?

I’m not sure exactly what vibe I may have been giving off with my posts in the last year or so, but believe it or not, for reasons I don’t quite understand, I have received a large number of messages requesting blogging assistance. I know, wtf right? {I wonder if now is the time to mention that I failed computer studies at school?}

And not just blogging assistance, but also technical assistance with the nuts and bolts of maintaining a blog. Most had questions about starting a blog, quite a few were about building an audience, but the strangest one was from a woman who had published all these interviews with big name Australian musicians on her blog, asking me the most basic questions about themes and widgets. {Secretly I was thinking, not fair! You get to interview Tim Rogers and you don’t even know how to change a header!}

But I digress.

I did try to respond helpfully to each person, but I just didn’t have the time to walk them through everything they needed to know. Mostly I just suggested that when in doubt, Google. The most interesting thing is that from what I can tell not one of them ever went on to start a blog. I’m sure I’m wrong, in fact I hope I am. But I haven’t seen anything anywhere to convince me. So, wondering if they just threw the whole idea in the too hard basket, I thought I would compile a guide to help a person decide if blogging is for them. Not a how to, more of a should you.

You should totally start a blog if:

– you LOVE to write and love the idea of having a global conversation with people that isn’t restricted by the number of characters {I’m looking at you Twitter}. There is a huge blogosphere out there, and so many communities that you can be a part of. You can share as much or as little as you feel comfortable with, and could even go with a general theme that you’re passionate about, like craft or cooking. If all this sounds exciting then read on.

– you’re funny, witty, or generally entertaining. Then please, start a blog. Some of my favourite blogs are the ones where someone a lot like you and me can tell a story about the most ordinary topic and leave you smiling and wanting to share it with all your friends. There are stay at home mums out there who have such a clever way with words that it’s not surprising that they are among the most successful bloggers around.

– you have a lot of spare time. Or not. Truthfully if you do jump into blogging you may well soon find yourself a bit obsessed. Or a lot. You will find yourself brainstorming ideas for posts as you wash the dishes, composing drafts in your head as you sit in traffic, and jotting down flashes of brilliance on the backs of school newsletters. If all this sounds doable, keep reading.

– you want to make a ton of money. Just kidding. Know before you start that apart from the lucky and rare few whose blogs take on a life of their own and eventually land book deals {*sobs*}, if you want to earn even a pittance you should expect to treat it like a job. If you spend the time setting up a blog that allows monetisation, deliver consistently awesome content that draws in readers in large numbers, then chase ads, affiliate marketing opportunities, sponsored posts, and whatever else you can find, then you will make money. I dare say that the better your blog and the more time you dedicate to chasing the opportunities then the more you will earn. In short, don’t do it for the money.

– you have basic geek skills. And I do mean basic. Most blogging platforms {the place where your blog lives online, therefore your host} make it very easy to set up a blog in just a few steps. Then you can get as creative as you like. But you don’t have to. You really don’t need to have an understanding of anything technical, nothing scary sounding like CSS or HTML. If you get to know your dashboard you will soon find where everything is. There are also forums for questions which are really helpful. But my biggest friend is Google. You can Google any question in the world and you will get an answer. Sometimes even a spookily accurate one.

– when in doubt give it a go. What have you got to lose? Nothing but some time. It costs nothing to set up and write, and you may find you love it. The golden rule though is content. Be honest and be yourself. If you want to write about the finer points of toilet training go for it, but make it funny. I would recommend you keep it nice and friendly, no-one wants to read your angry rants. {But the occasional rant is okay, sometimes you just need to vent}. In fact if you want a place to vent about all the negativity and anger in your life, may I suggest an anonymous blog?

Finally, I’m going to share the blogging love by asking you all to visit some of my favourite blogs:

Have A Laugh On Me

Crafty PJ Mum

At The Library

The Camera Chronicles

The Life She Made

My Midlife Mayhem

Til next time, happy blogging!

Ana.

  1. ggaahhdee! —>spasm. Thanks for including me!
    This guide is GREAT. Too many times I’ve heard a friend wonder “How much could I make with a blog?”. My response is “But do you like writing?”.

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    1. That’s it, if you don’t love it don’t bother. But I cry a little when I hear about the mega successful ones, lol.

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      1. I WISH I was that type of person, that type of writer with that type of motivation and could JUST blog but alas I am not!
        I read a book by Tammy Strobel, super short e-book, about how she quit her job and became a full-time blogger, photographer, author. It really inspired me for like a month.

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        1. Lol. I could probably pull off professional blogging in the sit down and write sense, but no one’s knocking on that door and I don’t have the time to chase it hard enough.

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  2. I liked your blog; here is a fun sample of mine. Zulu Delta
    http://zuludelta45.net/2014/03/09/its-on-the-way-again/

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  3. Hehe love it!!!

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    1. Thanks Mary. X.

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  4. Some great advice and how nice to be featured in your list. It’s a tough world out there isn’t it – I would love to make moolah off blog but as you know I’m a non-tech geek and really need to spruce things up over at HALOM (I’m sure that word means something in another language?) But yes I have to agree, great content is key… xx

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    1. You’re very welcome. And HALOM definitely means something somewhere…

      😉

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  5. I’ve gotten messages like that too, about how to go about carrying out different blogging “techniques”. I agree that those potential bloggers don’t seem to do anything with the info I provide. 😛
    Great post! Blogging is a wonderful obsession if you’re looking for one. 😉

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    1. It sure is. And it very belatedly occurred to me that I could have charged for the help and gone the extra mile if they were keen!

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  6. “you want to make a ton of money”… I died laughing

    I do it for the love, nothing more, nothing less. The interaction is nice too.

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    1. Exactly, love it or don’t bother. Thanks for reading.

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  7. Well my friend, truly intelligent people take their intelligence for granted, as you do with your blogging. You are so good that, it seems normal to you.

    I say this truly and my tongue is firmly at the bottom of my mouth, not against my cheek.

    Regards,
    BP

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    1. Intelligence would be figuring out how to combine a passion with an actual income!

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      1. That is called business.

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  8. Reblogged this on Elsie Calo.

    Reply

  9. Great advice. When asked, I always say six things:
    1.Make your content about something you are passionate about. That way you will be able to stick to it even when you think that nobody is reading it. Eventually people will find you and follow.
    2.Tell me on your About page what your blog is about. I look at the About page as the blog’s mission statement. It gives my readers insight into the subjects I will be posting. Also it keeps me from deviating. For instance, I state on my About page that I will not be ranting and raving unless it’s funny ranting and raving. There have been a couple of times when I was about to do a post that ranted and raved and then I remembered what was on my About page.
    3.Be consistent with your posting and tell your readers when you will post. I hate it when I start following a blog and then without warning the blogger drops off the face of the earth. Also before I follow a blog, I check how consistent the posts are.
    4.Be patient and be in it for the long haul. There are bloggers who went several years before their audience found them and the blog took off.
    5.I hate marketing blogs. I see a bunch of ads on a blog I am out of there.
    6.Once you start your blog, go out and find other blogs you like. And let them know you like them. I have found some wonderful friends out here in the blogosphere.

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    1. Yes to all of these, but especially number three. I hate when a blogger I enjoy suddenly disappears.

      Reply

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