I. Overview of Topic
How to blog is a question on many people’s minds these days. Blogging has taken the world by storm. Since 2004, when it first made its appearance, this popular medium of having your own little corner of the world to express yourself has turned into a veritable deluge. Today there are more than 120 million blogs that are currently tracked by the Tecnorati blog search engine. No wonder then, that owning and maintaining a blog has become almost a fashion statement, especially in the U.S.
When first embarking on a blogging journey, there are some knotty questions that usually beset one’s mind regarding how to blog. Let’s start with the basics.
What kinds of topics can be the subjects of blogs?
Just about anything. Simply put, a blog is an online personal diary on just about any topic you care to write about, ranging from politics to sports and fitness to religion, health, freelancing, literature, or whatever suits your fancy. But picking a subject you have solid experience in will enable you to write meaningful content that will pull in an audience for your blog. Without an audience you’ll soon tire of your blog and it will join the millions of abandoned blogs lost in cyberspace.
How are blogs categorized in blog search engines?
Blog search engines like Technorati and IceRocket categorize them by subject. The most general categorization, though, is personal vs. business-oriented blogs. Yours will probably fit into the former of these categories.
Are blogs only text or can they have other features as well?
Though basically consisting of text, many blog users make their web pages more attractive by adding pictures, audio and video files.
How can I make my blog easy to navigate and attractive to readers?
A successful blog usually follows a clear simple format with its articles plainly delineated, archives (in a sidebar), and a place at the bottom for visitors to leave comments. Some also include blogrolls, which are just lists of links to other similar blogs. The best bloggers are usually people who are able to connect with their visitors’ emotions, by means of artistic expression in many cases. To learn how to blog with the winners your number one teacher is other blogs – read and study a lot of them before starting your own. A good place to research blogs on your topic is Icerocket.com.
What are some tips for setting up a blog?
– First, remember your blog is a reflection of your personality. Pick a theme or a topic close to your heart or one you know something about. Correction, one you know a lot about.
– Be consistent. If you want your blog to get really popular you need to connect with your visitors on a regular, predictable schedule. Plan on publishing at least twice a week. If that sounds like too much work, once a week is the absolute lowest you can go, say blog gurus.
– Connect/network. Connect with other blog writers by leaving comments on their posts and by providing links to their blogs on your website. This kind of networking will do wonders for your traffic.
– Keep it simple. Don’t clutter up your blog with meaningless details. Select a simple clean appealing design. Use fonts and colors which increase text visibility. Add videos, audios, photographs and music files only if these make your blog more attractive and/or useful.
– Don’t stick your neck out – or not too far anyway. Blogs can get opinionated, which is fine, but don’t put yourself at risk of a heavy-duty defamation suit. It’s fine to express your opinions – so long as you make it clear they’re just that, your opinions — and always be sure that your blog is not defaming somebody, divulging sensitive information, or giving away corporate secrets.
Okay, I get the feel about how to blog. Now where do I go from here?
To get started, you first need to select suitable weblog software. This is necessary in order to create and manage your blog. There’s quite an assortment of blogging software out there. Some offer ease of design and development while other programs offer more elaborate features, for example, allowing you to add discussion forums, message boards etc. Some weblogs can be downloaded and installed directly on your system. Freeware and open source software are available, though these programs are not as feature-rich as some of the paid proprietary software. Here’s a rundown of the most popular blogging software: