May Challenge: T is for Ten Tips to Start a Blog

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

After a rager of a three day weekend with three parties, way too much alcohol and not enough sleep -- I took a look at my blogging calendar and realized, CRAP, I have 4 days to blog about 6 letters. I clearly should have thought ahead and had post ready and scheduled, but that would mean I'm ahead of the game and don't bust out a post in no time (my mom was always impressed with my procrastination and how I could pull a great paper outta my ass in no time. It's a god given gift.) So here I am. It may be a lot of posts in a few days, but I'm hoping to make them interesting.

So here I am with the letter T and I'd like to give 10 tips to those of you who MAY consider starting up a blog.

10 Tips to Start a Blog 

1. FIGURING OUT A TOPIC: This is without a doubt going to be the toughest task. It is important to think to yourself:

  • is the topic engaging?
  • will you be able to blog about this topic week-in and week-out?
  • in five years from now will this still be an interest of yours, or is it just a fad?
Take Your Pic is the first blog of mine where I have really gone somewhere with it and that is after having several other blogs: Pic's Pounding Pavement which followed my marathon journey, Pic's Top Picks which I started at The Reporter and really enjoyed writing, and Pic's Precious Pastries which lastest a measly three posts. [Mark my words though, one day I WILL own a bakery with my sister and that will be it's name] What I think makes this blog so great is that I let myself blog about everything and anything -- sports, movies, music, love, heartache, memories, you name it. It's not limiting me to one of my hobbies or interests which is what will kill you with a blog. You need to make it a topic that has flexibility -- write about fitness and health including food, workouts, tips, success and troubles or write about your family that is forever growing everyday. Sit on it, sleep on it and then go with your gut, that is what I did here. 

2.  CHOOSE A PLATFORM: There are plenty of sources to create a blog that give you step-by-step instructions to set up:
3. PERSONALIZE IT: Make your blog your own. Give it an awesome name and tag line --use free backgrounds, objects and tools to be added onto your blog in its sidebar and background. Use the freebees and jazz it up; get creative with your photos and use Picaso which allows you to create some fun effects. Don't know how to do something once you find what you like? No worries,  YouTube it -- I’m 99% positive it will be on there to assist you with easy instructions. God I love YouTube.

4. YOU HAVE TO BE HONEST/WILLING TO OPEN UP: If I learned one thing from this blog, it is to not hold back. Be you, share your stories, DON'T HOLD BACK! Think someone doesn't want to read your post or will be offended? Who cares, they can always hit that big X in the top right corner to stop reading. Share your thoughts because I'm sure someone else can relate.

5. ENGAGE WITH THOSE WHO COMMENT: Getting comments is the best!! (It doesn't happen for me often so I get super excited when I read them.) Be sure to write back to the readers which shows you appreciate them taking the time to read your post. It'll pay off in the end.

6. USE LABELS: On Blogger,  you can label your post with keywords that are included in the blog. (ie.: running, races, Philadelphia, divorce) Your labels will come up in SEO searches getting your blog out there when people search on engines like Google, Bing, Ask, etc. 

7. USE SOCIAL MEDIA: Be sure to share your posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Doesn't hurt to give yourself a little publicity on your posts when you're trying to get your name out there. #whateverittakesforhits #sorryimnotsorry

8. DON'T USE JUST WORDS: Use photos, video and music. It's great to engage all of the senses, plus sometimes words alone can't express your thoughts.

9. WRITE OUT IDEAS: Our lives are crazy and sometimes you forget what you were thinking about two minutes ago. I have a planner I carry with me everywhere and inside that planner I have printed out monthly calendars. When I'm brainstorming about blog ideas/something comes to my mind, I write them in the calendar, spacing out posts and when I would like to ideally write them. This is the best way to not forget about that awesome idea you know will be a hit.

10. HAVE FUN WITH IT. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have many hits or not that many people reading your posts -- do this for you. All of us want to become Carrie Bradshaw, but the chance of it happening is slim to none. Be your own Carrie -- your friends will start believing it. 

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