Recently I’ve been asked by several people to offer guidance on starting a blog. Apparently, I’m doing something right, if people are coming to me for inspiration.
Let’s face it: there’s a lot of blogs out there. It’s hard to know which ones to emulate, imitate, or eliminate. I like that Frankly, My Dear… is a “small” blog: by that I mean, it’s still personal. It’s a two-person operation. My web designer fixes the glitches and comes up with some amazing designs. I dream, create, cook, craft, photograph and write.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to have thousands of followers each month with more paid sponsorships, but I’ll take what I can get. Because I love being a Blogger. I’m in it for the love of the game.
Who can forget the Grand Reveal of the new blog design with this post just two months ago:
So yeah… I must be doing something right.
There’s a lot of advice to offer someone who’s thinking of starting a blog. The most important thing I can tell you is this: Take that first step. Ask yourself why.
My dear friend Chuck told me just tonight [paraphrasing here], “What are you afraid of? You have to put yourself out there. People aren’t going to hand you what you want until they know you want it.” And he’s right.
I’m a big fan of magical thinking. But the problem is just that: it’s only thinking. And I don’t really believe in magic. So. Back to the basics. Remember the TGIF: One post? It all starts with One. One idea. One step. One goal. One accomplishment. One foundation.
For those of you thinking of starting a blog, my first question to you is
Never mind if others don’t get it. If you can satisfy yourself with the answer, you’re on your way.
There are many reasons to write a Blog. Some want a creative outlet or a place to vent. Others are looking for recognition or perhaps another avenue to promote themselves (writers, especially). Large companies and small mom-and-pop operations blog now and then to personalize their business.
There are Food Blogs, How-To Blogs, Craft Blogs, Family/Parenting/Mommy Blogs, Political/Religious/Viewpoint Blogs. Is the sky blue? There’s a Blog for that. Why is the grass green? Do you want the physical, environmental, creative, or religious perspective? There’s a Blog for that.
Knowing why you want to blog will guide you in designing your blog and how you promote it. But don’t feel you’re limited to just one theme. One overall idea, yes. One theme? Stagnant.
A traveler can blog about so many things: the different foods, customs, jet lag, environment.
Food blogs not only have recipes, but great kitchen product reviews and giveaways.
Photographers share their images and the stories behind them.
There’s no wrong reason to want to blog.
Do you have something to say? You can blog it!
But if you want to blog for fun without a sense of a Blog theme, I caution you to think about it first. Your Blog name will be your Brand. And if you don’t have a direction for your Blog, what you name it on a whim may end up not being at all what it’s about.
When I first started “Frankly, My Dear…” everyone expected me to write with an “I don’t care” attitude. And I can honestly say, that’s still me. Yes, the Blog has transitioned from a social experiment to a personal “here’s my day” recap to something much more fulfilling and substantial: my tales of Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and everything in between. But it’s still Me. And I don’t sugar-coat much (ask my best friend Julie. We pull no punches with each other). So whether it’s a new recipe or a movie review or a video of my cats, I blog because I’m a writer. And I can’t not write. I was born with ink in my veins. I have to write. Does it make a difference if others like my posts? Of course! I love the likes, shares, clicks and comments. Who wouldn’t? But I write what I write the way I write it. Because that’s me. And if I didn’t write the way I am, how could I authentically ask you to read my blog?
Blogging can be an adventure. A daily diary of your journey through life even if you never leave your chair. It can be an eclectic collection of poetry and prose that you’ve dusted off from the corners of your mind and want to share with the world at large. Or it can be a story, your story, on a continuing basis. Because you have something to say. And each day that you’re alive, you have more to share.
In future posts I’ll discuss ways to start a Blog and basic design options as well as posting Do’s and Dont’s. So if you have any questions about blogging, leave them in a comment below. Share this post with your friends who you think would make great bloggers. And be sure to subscribe to both the Blog (look in the column on the right) and the monthly email newsletter (click here) to stay updated with Frankly, My Dear… and New Inklings Press.
Here’s a Bonus Bit for today: Don’t be afraid to share yourself with the world. Whatever you write, write it authentically. Readers know what’s trite and what’s true. Don’t underestimate the worth of how you tell your tales.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!
You may also enjoy reading these blog samplings:
Kitchen Craft: Aromatic Mason Jar
Destination: Mission Inn, Riverside, CA
Feta Tomato Spinach Salad in a Jar
Writing Prompt: Songs
When I Get to New York
Mojo Movie Review of the Week: “Eat, Pray, Love”