Thanks to my wonderful friend Jeff for inspiring my writing. Sometimes you just need people to tell you that you’re just fine to pull yourself out of the pity pot. Jeff is starting his own blog soon, as well, and said he’d be asking some questions, so I thought I’d give you a little bit of an inside look into my blog writing process.
I (obviously) use WordPress as a blogging platform. I really like it, and prefer it’s look, feel, and function to Blogger or Tumblr. I’ve considered buying my own domain name so I don’t have the .Wordpress.com suffix, but I just haven’t been willing to make the commitment yet.
I choose to write about everyday stuff that goes on in my life and sometimes news articles I find interesting. I go through content phases. Sometimes I’m really interested in health and fitness, sometimes I’m all about sharing recipes I’ve discovered, sometimes I just want to share cat pics. I know you guys love those, right?
My blog doesn’t really have a well thought out mission statement or purpose. I just want to connect with people and try to be a well-rounded, healthy example of a 20-something in America. Sometimes even that goal is too lofty, so I keep it pretty loose around here. I know a lot of people focus their blogs around a single theme—healthy living, recipes, parenting, creative writing—but I just can’t usually manage to stay on one topic for too long. I get more diverse opinions and information from the people I’m looking to connect with when I keep my blog topics more general, I find.
As a general rule, I try to write every day. Sometimes I write at night before I go to bed, but a lot of the time I set aside 45 minutes to an hour to write in the morning. Sean heads to work early, and I usually sit on the couch or the bed with my cats and write a blog post. I don’t post on the weekends because I consider that my “time off.” If there’s something I just can’t wait to share, I’ll post on the weekends. Sometimes I miss weekday postings, but it’s generally not something I beat myself up over. It just means I’ll have even more to tell you the next day!
So, my main tips for starting and maintaining a blog are as follows:
- Set a writing schedule. Whether you post once a day or once a week, your readers will look forward to reading your content at a certain time or a certain day.
- Use pictures. I don’t always follow this rule, but let’s all agree that it’s much more fun to read when there are pictures illustrating what’s happening. Sometimes I even throw in a random cat picture just to break up the text.
- Find a voice/tone and stick with it. My blog is pretty informal. I don’t try to sound like a big, old fancy pants out of the blue. If I did you’d probably be like, “Who does Carolyn think she is?” And stop reading. And I just couldn’t manage if I didn’t have readers…
- Don’t expect to have a bunch of readers right off the bat. I was looking at my stats over the past few years, I had an average of 7 views a day back when I first started this blog in 2010. Now it’s a little more. Write for you not for other people.
What other questions do you have about blogging?