This post explains how to start your blog from a beginner’s perspective. It should be useful to established bloggers as well. Look back and see if you missed any steps.
I will be guiding you through the YSMI acronym (“Yes me!”).
Most blogs need a brand. This does not mean you have to think of a concise, attractive title like “The Dragon Cupcake Emporium” and design a matching site logo and t-shirts.
Your blog’s name can just be your name, the logo your face and the t-shirt an ordinary top. But you need to focus your blog somehow. This is about finding a niche for yourself.
My niche is creative writing. I try to limit my posts to covering book reviews, novels, short stories and writing tips. Feel free to explore the boundaries of your niche, as I have done. Have a look at Characters In Conflict or Writing A Catastrophe to see how I link current affairs to creative writing.
How do you write super content?
Try working through this easy-to-remember acronym of key ingredients, IQMVLES (“I, Qum Valees”):
- Interest. You should find whatever you are writing about fascinating, so that others will too. Pick a topic which appeals to you.
- Quantity. It would be wrong to suggest how may words your post should be. A healthy average is 300 (there, I did it anyway), but this is only something to work around. Quick updates or picture posts might be under 100 words, longer articles may break 1,000.
- Meat. What do you need to include? Try to bring in as many intriguing facts, statistics or ideas as possible for non-fiction and sparkling prose for fiction. Remember, this applies to what you need to include. If something is superfluous, cut it out.
- Visuals. Create a gripping title, use a fun header image and look up how to embed Youtube videos if you can work them in. Sub-headings are a great way to break up longer posts.
- Links. Try to include a link within the text wherever you refer to your own work (internal link) or something the reader may want to find out more about (external link).
- Engagement. This is the hot issue in blogging. A blog is not like a news website, online forum or book. You create the content and then expect people to interact with it via comments or producing their own posts in response. To that end, create content which the reader is likely to respond to: humour, debate, new perspectives. By far the best way to do this is controversy, if you can take the hate.
- Specialism. Is there anything you have knowledge, experience or skill in? You don’t actually have to be a specialist. All you need to do is write well about it, approach it in a new way or get enthusiastic about it. Those are just a few ways to create compelling content, there are more.
You will want to be setting up parallel social media accounts for your blog while getting it up and running. Google+ is a good one to use for bloggers, but there are numerous others. These will help you to promote your posts and attract new readers.
Social media loves free stuff and blogs are free! For as long as Amazon doesn’t get its way…
We looked at the importances of engagement above under IQMVLES. It’s also vital that you interact with other bloggers. This is your way of letting the blogosphere know you have arrived and where to find you.
Don’t limit your interaction to your blogging platform. Get involved on social media and forums as well. Good luck!
You don’t have to say it… I’m terrible at coming up with acronyms.
- Tip #1: The Prologue
- Tip #2: The Process
- Tip #3: Writing Faux Pas – Debunked
- Tip #4: A Useful App For Writers
- Tip #5: Writing The Main Plot