I have been asked for a few tips about starting out with blogging. So here are a few ideas; there are lots more detailed lists out there in internet land, but these might help people get going:
- You may well be burning up with ideas and can’t wait to get writing – but, whoa! It’s really worth having a look at what’s already out there. You may well already have your own fave bloggers, but do check out what’s popular. Look at those posts that you really like and see what works so well. Conversely, make a note of what it is that turns you away from others. Do your research.
- Inevitably, your readers will be busy people and will scan through your blog. So make their lives easier and give some thought to layout. Go for a sans serif typeface (that is, a typeface without the ‘squiggly’ bits). Verdana is a popular and clear one. Don’t have your columns too wide either and use plenty of white space around your text. So, aim for a simple, clear layout which encourages your reader. You can use bold to emphasise important points – but italic should be used sparingly, as it’s hard work on the eye.
- Check. Check. And check again before you post your blog. Even if spelling is one of your strongpoints, always run the piece through the spell checker. If you’re not that hot on English, do get someone else to check it before you publish. There are lots of pedants and critics out there, and you don’t want your pleasure of writing and blogging to be spoilt for want of a bit of checking. Also make sure that any links you mention, do work.
- You will probably be passionate about your subject, but don’t forget that you are writing for someone else. So, always use short paragraphs. Readers (like Inkpots!) also appreciate lists; again, this makes for easier reading and for remembering the detail.
- Use as many lovely photographs or other images as possible. It’s no wonder that cookery blogs are so popular when you can see so many great dishes! If you haven’t got many of your own pictures, think about using stock photographs from an agency. These need not be very expensive and will make the blog a lot more pleasurable.
- Be generous! If you like someone else’s blog, do give them a mention. One of the nice things about writing is linking up with other people – you may well soon build up your own
- You should also aim to be consistent. Try to blog at regular intervals so that your readers get used to when to expect a post. Once you have started blogging in a certain way, stick to your layout and style – as well as your principles.
If you are new to blogging or just starting out then, good luck! Let us know how you get on and do share your blogs!