Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Get Your Blog On

A friend of mine has been talking about setting up a blog, and then talking and talking about it some more. A year later and there is still no blog. Here is my advice for anyone stuck at that point. In true blogging metier, I have composed this as a ten-point list (ironic or not, you decide).

1. Firstly, go and set up a blog right now. It costs nothing and you can start straight away at WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr.com or Posterous.com. Take your pick. (Each of those platforms has its own pros and cons, depending on the nature of your intended blogging activities, and that is a separate post for me to write. Also, more importantly, at this stage, when you do not have any blog, their differences are irrelevant.)

2. Pick one of the default templates. Do not spend any time customising or fiddling around with the various design and layout settings available. Which will prove to have been a complete waste of time if you discover that blogging is not for you after a month or so. Also, this design tweaking will also delay you getting to step four.

3. If you have a smartphone, then download the blogging app associated with your chosen blogging platform. Do this straight away. It will allow you to blog whenever you have an idea. Which removes another impediment to you starting to write.

4. Start writing. Write one post every day for two weeks. You will suck, but you will get better.

5. Don’t tell anyone about your blog at this point. That way you can relax, assured that no-one will find it amongst the millions of blogs being set up every day. Write what you like, try things out, learn, unlearn and relearn. No-one will read it except you, so you can review your writing and begin to improve. You can also observe which themes bring out your best writing. (By the way, did I mention that you need to keep writing?)

6. You can always go back and edit or delete your early test posts and any embarrassing first steps

7. Keep writing and posting. (Thinking about doing it is not the same as doing it. Buying a pair of trainers is not the same as going running.)

8. Now when you do decide to tell people about your blog and add links from your social network via your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles and such-like, your blog will now have a body of posts, Hopefully some of them will be worth reading.

9. Keep writing and keep posting.

10. Start today. What is stopping you? Do this now. Why are you still here?