They answered all the questions you were wondering about blogging. How do I start? What platform should I use? What if I hate to write? And so on. And if you don't blog for yourself or on behalf of our chapter yet, you'll probably want to start after reading these entries.
Blogging 101: Tips to a Successful Blog. By Kayla Foster
I would say this is the first step since it would be hard to blog without having some sort of website. There a bunch of sites you can use to create a blog – WordPress, Squarespace, and Blogger just to name a few. It mostly depends on your preference once you check them out. I would recommend WordPress – easy to use and interact with other bloggers.
Now that you’ve picked a platform you can work on the layout of your blog. This is the fun part where you get to be creative. Most platforms have templates that you can work off of, so no worries – you don’t have to know any coding. You can choose and change fonts, colors, and backgrounds in just a few clicks. It’s important your page reflects you and your personality, but also what your blog is about.
About Me Page
A killer ‘about me’ page is a great addition to any blog. Most blogs have the about me page link in the navigation at the top of the page. Due in large part to its location, people can’t resist clicking the link to see the person behind the blog. It doesn’t have to be super long or overly creative, but it is important that people know who you are.
Find Your Niche
You can literally blog about anything, but it is important to stick to a certain area of topics when it comes to your blog. You have to find you niche, whether that is fashion, web design, DIY or how-to’s. Having a niche can narrow down your subject matter to appeal to your target audience. This can help you eliminate completion and make you the go-to blog when a reader needs information on your topic.
Link to Social Media
Once you set up your blog and write that first post it is important that people actually see what you’re writing. Sending out a tweet or a Facebook post linked to your blog can help give you exposure. It is also important that your blog contains a RSS (real simple syndication) feed. This allows people to subscribe to your blog so they don’t have to manually check your site for new updates, they get sent directly to them.
Make a schedule
Sometimes it can be easier to have a schedule of when you’re going to post and what you’re going to write about to keep yourself consistent. Set a schedule and stick to it, but still remember to have fun. Most blogging platforms allow you to write posts and then schedule them to be posted in the future – another great tool if you’re ahead of schedule.
Shameless plug: check out my blog at http://www.kaylamfoster.com/blog/.
Blogging 101: But How? By Alexa Shouneyia
There are a ton of platforms you can choose for blogging, but my 2 favorites are Tumblr (when I want to focus on visuals) and Wordpress (for more content-driven blogs). It’s super easy to set up an account, and both websites are completely free. Everyone has their own unique system for writing or how they’re able to best form their thoughts. For me, it’s music. When I know I’m in the mood to bust out a blog, the first thing I do is locate my favorite Mumford & Sons or Lana Del Rey playlist and let it take me away. Some people enjoy going out and sitting in public places while they write. During the summer, you’ll find me writing outside almost every day. During the winter, I step into the tundra on a “need to” basis, so most of my writing is done from the comfort of my fuzzy pink socks and favorite sweatshirt. Wherever you feel the most comfortable is where your best content will be created. I typically don’t research other bloggers before I begin unless I’m blogging for a client at my internship that wants a certain format followed. When I’m blogging or writing for myself, I like to be as creative as possible and don’t necessarily want my blog to resemble someone else’s. Dare to be different, my friends.
Blogging/writing in general is so therapeutic. There’s no right or wrong way to do it and there are absolutely endless topics out there for you to write about or express your feelings on. You develop your own blogger personality and people really become interested in what you have to say. So, get to it! The ability to express is a beautiful thing that should be expressed fully and often.
Blogging 101: Where to Start? By Katelyn Dewall
1. Plan, plan, and plan. Do this by looking at other successful blogs. What makes them readable? What makes them likable? Think of a theme you want for your blog. Is it going to be about all different topics or are you going to have one central idea?
2. Plan, plan, and plan. Before I even set up an account, I thought about my first couple of posts. Then from there, I took some pictures. Successful blogs are visually pleasing (as you will find out from your research). You don’t need a nice camera; your iphone takes great shots too.
3. Make a schedule. For me, I like to be organized. So for the first couple of weeks after starting my blog, I will have all my posts planned. This is especially important if you are a student and working against other assignments for class. You may find that successful blogs are consistent, they don’t release a post once every couple of months.
4. Now find out the platform that works best for you. Popular ones are WordPress, Tumblr and Weebly. The best part, they are for FREE.
5. Last, continue to plan and continue to research. Keep up with current trends. Follow other bloggers. Most importantly, have fun!
Blogging for Beginners (Like Me). By Alicia Saragosa
Okay, I want to blog but I don’t know where to begin…
Follow these steps!
1. Pick a blog space; I use Word press because it’s free and relatively easy to use.
2. Pick a theme- the central idea of your reason for writing; I think this is the most difficult part. Try not to get too hung up on it, if you don’t know what it is, draft up a few post and you’ll find some kind of pattern.
3. Pick a template that best conveys your personality and theme.
4. Add an interesting About Me page. Readers what to know why your writing is worth reading. Answer these questions: What do you study? Why do you write? Why should they care? This is where your theme and interests should come together.
5. Add pictures and colors that inspire you.
6. Make a calendar for yourself-how often will you blog? Be consistent, you have to make it a commitment.
Do not share your blog on social media until you have at least five pieces of content; I’ve been told this is the rule of thumb.
As you add each piece of content, have friends, family and peers read over your writing-free editing and saves you some embarrassment.
I am actually currently in the process of creating a blog myself- try not to be intimidated by other more experienced bloggers. Do some research; see what you like and what you don’t like. Blogging is a process and it will grow as you advance as a writer and a professional.