How to start a Blog? Hmmm, that is the million dollar question. Okay, maybe it’s not. Who cares. Just be honest with yourself and have fun. I have been writing The TRUTH about Motherhood for going on two years now. In the beginning, it was slow moving. I had NO idea what I was doing writing my blog. There were things I wished I’d known about blogging.
I knew I wanted to write but had no idea how to get my writing out to the masses or what to write. But then I got the hang of writing my mommy blog. Here’s some wisdom that I’ve picked up along the way. Not the least of which is make your follow me, contact me, subscribe to me areas very clear and easy to find. Mine is located on the sidebar and under the “About” tab ( in case you were wondering and wanted to follow, subscribe, or contact me:).
Decide beforehand what YOU want to write about on your blog. What interests you? What’s your expertise? What’s your niche? What can you talk about endlessly and NOT bore your readers to death? Don’t go into this blindly.Try to have some sort of direction in mind.
Choose your community.Getting a blog following is hard work. Keep writing, keep working and get involved in a community of people who you’d want to read your blog. This was a piece of sage advice given to me by one of my favorite bloggers, Heather Armstrong of Dooce. I will admit at first I scratched my head and had no idea what this meant. Then I realized, build a tribe, surround yourself with a community of readers who are reading you for the reason you intended.Retain your integrity. This is VERY important.
Me, I want readers to read my mommy blog for my writing. But you also have to interact with your audience, reply to comments, go visit their blogs. Get to know them and let them get to know you. I want to grow a community of sisterhood through motherhood.
Be honest.Be Fearless. Let your guard down.There is nothing I hate more than someone who ONLY writes about sunshine and rainbows. Yes, some days life is sunshine, rainbows and bubblegum farts but some days, most days, I’m a woman on the ledge and my kids are tantruming and pushing me to jump.
Other days, they make a grilled cheese sandwich seem magical. It’s not always pretty. If I want inspiration, I’ll go read Enjoying the Small Things. Mostly when I read a blog, I want community. I want to know that I’m not the only one whose kids still sleeps with me, that someone else’s 3-year-old is subsisting on chicken nuggets, that it is perfectly normal to not like your kids every minute of every day. I want to understand your misery and share your joy..not feel like I’m a loser and you’re a liar.Write with your heart on your mommy blog or whatever kind o blog you have. A great example of being fearless and honest Jennifer Kindhouse and JessicaGottlieb.
Make it well written. I understand that some people feel that their blog is “their” space, like a diary. To an extent, I do agree. But if you want/expect your blog to be read by a lot of people, you have to play by the rules….of grammar. Nobody wants to read run-on sentences, misspelled words or choppy, nonsensical ramblings. Believe me, I edit for a living, it’s no fun.
Pay attention to how you write. It is as important as what you write. Hell, be brave use some of those big words that you learned in college and knew before you had children. You know the ones from way back when you actually conversed with other adults on a regular basis? Great examples of this would be Laura @ A(n)(Un)common Family and Fadra (Fay-dra) @ All.Things.Fadra
NO CAPTCHA! People will not comment on your blog if it’s a whole big brain teaser ordeal and optometry test. In fact, they will probably loathe you for it. Believe me, I learned this early. Thank you Mommakiss!
NO self-starting playlists! There is no reason that my ears should be assaulted by your blaring music on your blog. We probably don’t have the same taste in music. Every blogger is not the same. I don’t want to be subjected to banjo music just to read your blog.
No matter how wonderful the blog may be, I will move on ( mostly because I am already listening to my own playlist. FYI: Iron & Wine + Crambone blaring=Ear bleed for me!) Don’t do it. And yes, I have been guilty of this myself. You know there are no rules if someone has not already broken them, hence the need for the rule:) I’m sharing my hard-earned wisdom of how to start a blog.
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For the LOVE of GOD, NO AUTO REPLIES! Do you know how insulting it is to take the time to read your blog, leave a comment, get excited to see a reply in my inbox only to open it and realize that it’s a generic “thank you for commenting” response? Not cool! This may be the cause for myself and your blog to divorce. I won’t be back. How rude!
SOCIAL MEDIA! You must have a twitter @DeborahACruz and FB fan page, at the very least, if you plan on growing your blog. You must have the appropriate buttons available for your post to be shared on these venues. It is very annoying when I read a fabulous post that I want to share with the world and I have to copy and paste the url. I know it sounds absurd but trust me, make it all as easy as possible for your readers.I’d also recommend getting an instagram account and a Pinterest account. You get the picture?
Don’t be afraid to network. To get love, you’ve got to give love. Be yourself and make some comments. Meet some people. Jump into some conversations.Like some fan pages. Make some friends. Get to know some fellow bloggers. Your biggest asset to building your following is your networking skills.You can’t just write to the abyss and expect hoards of people to find you. You are the face of your brand.No one’s buying if it’s not out there on the shelf! Remember that. Write it down! I’ve met most of the wonderful people I know, and learned a lot in the process, from networking on social media sites. It’s very important to know how to utilize sites like Twitter.
Join some focused communities! Not only is this a great way to network, it’s a great place to find like-minded individuals (fellow bloggers) who will want to read your posts. It’s also a great place to hone your writing skills, get advice and build your audience. There are many great organized communities to join.
Earn Yourself a Comment Mafia! What’s a comment mafia? It means you better get your ass out there and comment on your friends’ blogs and support those ladies that you want to share a community with if you expect them to do the same.This goes back to building your community. I can not stress the importance of this one. These are the ladies who will help you with everything from a kid with diarrhea to how to design your media kit and they will RT, Sparkle, love on posts and point you in directions of opportunity. Do the same for them. Don’t hoard your success. Share what you learn.
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There is room enough for all of us in the bloggy world.Karma baby.Put out into the world what you want back. I am blessed with a great group of women who have helped me tremendously. They laugh at my jokes, cry with me when I am sad, lift me up when I am down. I try to do the same.I’m not perfect, and we are all busy women, but damn it we’re there when we really need one another.Love my girls! You ALL know who you are and listing you would just be name dropping:) Check out my This Blogger’s Life series.
Be Proud of what you do!If you are ashamed of what you are writing or feel like you have to hide your true feelings on a subject, don’t write about it.People can detect smoke being blown up their asses and most people will feel that it’s disingenuous and they will not return.
Never try to be someone you aren’t and you must remember you can only tell YOUR story.
Now, that’s all the wisdom that I have time to share today but why don’t you let me know any words of wisdom that you might have. What pointers would you give a newbie if you were explaining how to write a blog?