I received a Facebook message from my friend Audrey a few days ago. She'll be studying abroad in London this fall and wants to start a blog to chronicle her journey. So, she asked for my advice, and I tried to give her a little Blogging 101, covering everything from blog content to choosing a name for your blog. I've included my advice to her below, but I'd love to hear your advice, friends -- and I know Audrey would too! What's worked for you? What hasn't? What do you wish someone had told you about blogging when you first started?
Hi Audrey!! SOOOO good to hear from you! London sounds like such an amazing experience! I think starting a blog is a great way to document your journey as well as keep up your writing muscle while you're gone. Like you, I had virtually no idea where to even begin when I started blogging. I bought a couple books (Blogging For Dummies was one of them) which give you the basic nuts and bolts of a blog, but really at the beginning, at least for me, reading a book about how to blog wasn't nearly as important and helpful as just diving right in and starting to write. My first post was literally just me introducing myself. Probably the first six months or so were spent trying to find my blog footing. I asked myself a lot of questions: What do I want my blog to be about? What tone do I want it to take? How can I best convey that tone to my readers?
Also in the beginning, I also spent a good chunk of time choose a name for my blog. I just kept writing down ideas on a piece of paper and tried so many combinations before I finally settled on So About What I Said.
My biggest piece of advice? Consistency. Find a "blogging groove" that works for you, and try to stick to it. I've found that posting about 3 times a day works for me, and as for the content of each post, I try to mix serious posts with more light-hearted ones. It's helpful to think of each post as a little glimpse into your life, a snapshot of you. Does that make sense?
Also, utilizing social media is important when it comes to your blog. Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest are good avenues for gaining exposure -- I always post my blog posts to Facebook and Twitter.
The bottom line is that it's important to remember that your blog is going to help you build a Web presence and should reflect you. That's the great thing about blogging -- it can be whatever you make it.
[Photos via We Heart It]