What is a blogger? A blogger is a cross between an educator, an entertainer and an orator; each blogger ‘owns these three hats’ and ‘wears’ each of them while in different moods. One other commonality between bloggers is: each blogger is in search of an audience.
Pack your bags! If you recognize yourself in the preceding paragraph you are ready to begin your journey into the blogosphere. There are only a few things you need to do to make your journey a success:
Find a home for your blog
Find a focus for your posts
Find a home for your blog! You need a host for your blog, some are free, some charge a small amount per month for their service, some are simple to use and some require more technical knowledge, some have more features than others; choose carefully, once you’ve established your blog and have a few regular readers you may not want to change your address (your URL).
Start by surfing the Internet and the blogs to see what bloggers have to say about their hosting programs. Don’t get in over your head by picking a blog host that requires a technical expertise that is beyond your current capabilities. There are many free hosts that are more than adequate to start you off and are customizable — as you gain new technical skills you can edit your blog template to make your blog look like you want it to look and do almost anything you want it to do, all without changing your URL.
If you are using free hosts start blogs at two or three host sites just to see which one you like best and which one gives you the most capabilities right ‘out of the box.’ When you find one you are happy with, be nice and go back and cancel your other blogs.
Find a focus for your posts! Most every blog has a theme, a theme that sets the tone for most (not necessarily all) of the posts on that blog. Your blog can be a topical blog that focuses on a special interest of yours (politics, religion, health care, science, engineering, cooking etc.); a personal blog that focuses on what you are doing that day, where you have been, where you are going or any aspect of your life’s journey; or a showcase blog that displays your writing, art, photography, or etc.. Some posts will not fall into your blogs main theme and that’s OK — your blog is a reflection of you, and we all have different moods . . . we all ‘wear different hats;’ don’t decide not to post just because you feel like writing ‘something different.’
“Bletiquette!” The objective of most bloggers is to attract a regular readership; to do that you need to display some basic (really common sense) blog etiquette (bletiquette!):
When commenting on a post, stick to the point, don’t get personal or abusive.
Never comment as “Anonymous;” if you are ashamed to use your actual blogger name, don’t comment.
Try to respond to all comments on your post, even if it is just to say “thanks for commenting” (but don’t expect all bloggers to do this).
Don’t get personal by asking personal questions unless you have a long-standing relationship with the other blogger; bloggers enjoy the relative anonymity of a blog and a blogger name.
If you are “flamed” (verbally attacked for something you wrote) don’t get into a “flame war;” respond politely or not at all.
Never take a block of text, a unique phrase, a picture, a graphic or anything else from another blog or from any web page and use it in your post as is, without clearly indicating where it came from.
Persevere! Bloggers blog! That’s what they do! If you post every day you will improve not only your technique but also your readership; don’t give up.
Bloggers are very much like novelists. Novelists write every day and finally reach the end of the novel. Then they submit the novel to publishers, file their rejection notices and resubmit to other publishers. Eventually, every novelist who perseveres gets published . . . eventually every blogger who perseveres gets a loyal readership and his or her own measure of success.