Blogging 101 | How to Start a Blog
Today, the Blogging 101 series continues with another awesome guest contribution. I'm really excited about this because our guest is Miranda Uyeh. Miranda is not only a talented blogger at To Be A Person, she's also the author of To Die Once.
As is the case with nearly all of the blogger's I've met or formed friendships with, I don't know when or how I met Miranda, but I'm glad to know her. She's a lovely blogger who has a heart for introducing new authors to the blogging world to say nothing of the Christian entertainment world which she supports with graceful aplomb. This includes everything from music to movies. Miranda, thank you so much for joining the Blogging 101 series! I so appreciate your well written and concise contribution.
Without further ado, read on for Miranda's insightful post and advice. You don't want to miss it!
Blogging 101 | How to Start a Blog
by Miranda A. Uyeh
Blogging has turned out to be so much more than what it was initially intended to be—an online journal to document personal thoughts. From topics on food to sport/entertainment and everything in-between, the blogosphere is one massive network and communication hub that vibrates with excitement! Through blogging, you ‘meet’ wonderful people who will journey with you, and who you can learn tons of beautiful things from. You’ll grow in ways you never thought was possible, and may even achieve heights that were only a dream a time ago! I know folks who turned successful authors because they were first, bloggers.
With so many exciting articles and—on the flip side—so much noise, how do you create a neat spot on the web that you can call your own?
This article is intended as a soft guide to help you start a blog if you’ve never had one before. Take your time to consider the points below so that they can help you make certain that your answers to the questions fit what you hope to accomplish with a blog.
1. What will you blog about? | The biggest mistake you can make in blogging is to blog about random topics. Blogs may have been initially set up to be online journals—and in journals, you can write down your random thoughts—but the blogosphere has changed so much, and so have the rules of successful blogging. When readers don’t know exactly what to expect from you, they are less inclined to follow your posts. With so much information and people fighting for attention these days, readers have become more specific in what they search for, both on a shelf and online. Having a specific topic helps a reader choose to follow your blog because they are interested in the topic you’re blogging about. For instance, I blog about Inspirational Lifestyle, Books & Entertainment. My readers know that every time I release a post, it falls within these three topics.
Putting into words what you blog about can also give you a solid idea of what your blog’s tagline should be. Inspirational Lifestyle, Books & Entertainment is my website’s tagline.
2. What’s your bottom-line message? | Similar to the above point, you need a specific theme that you can pass across to your readers as a direct message or subtly, as an undertone for your posts. For instance, the undertone of my posts is: encouraging people to be exactly who God has called them to be. Every article is prepared in a manner to encourage Christians to not be afraid of who God has created them to be, even in a secular world where Christianity is near hated. Within the frame of Inspirational Lifestyle, Books & Entertainment, my posts appear as Book/Music/Movie Reviews, Interviews of professionals in the Christian literary/entertainment industries, guest posts, and inspirational musings for lifestyle articles. Imbedded in each of these posts is my bottom-line message.
3. What name will best represent your blog’s impression/message? | This is simple. However, take your time to think about a name you believe will best represent what you hope to portray. Now that you know your topic, and you’ve defined your underlying message, combine these two into one element and put a name on it. For instance the name of my website/blog is To Be A Person (TBAP). To me, To Be A Person represents my topics and message perfectly.
4. How often will you post? So you’ve laid out your topics, defined your theme, and picked a name; it’s time to decide how often readers should expect posts from you. This is essential, especially for beginners who have no loyal followers yet. A new blogger on the block with an awesome topic/message and an interesting name, who posts periodically, is sure to garner some positive attention. It could be as often as three times a week or as occasional as once a month. This may be difficult to keep up (and I’m guilty here, too), but don’t worry about it so much if you slack at first. Over time, you’ll get used to it and develop the discipline to handle it. Don’t be afraid to go on a hiatus if you need to. Letting your readers know that you’re on break puts you in the clear. Another way to help keep up is to create a calendar and then stick to it; this helps your reading schedule, too. Also, writing a post ahead of time and scheduling its release via your blog’s admin is another way to win.
5. Create an awesome ‘About Page.’ | When a visitor finds your blog, the first thing to pique their interest is your front page, which could be static or a post page. The second is your posts. If they like what they see, they move on to your ‘About Page’—in that order. After viewing your front page, taking note of your blog’s name, and reading a few of your articles, the reader has some idea of what your blog is about. Your ‘About Page’ seals the deal. In other words, it plays a vital/final role in helping a prospective reader become a devoted follower. Whatever you do, do not write your ‘About Page’ shabbily. In concise and clear language, introduce yourself by name so that the reader knows that it’s a human being behind the blog. Tell a bit about yourself, your interests/passions, and more importantly, what it is you have to offer on your blog. And, finally, invite them to join the party! An ‘About Page’ full of confidence, excitement, and cheerfulness is always a winner.
6. Put a picture to the words. | While this is not a strict requirement, it’s a huge booster. When a reader knows what the author of a blog looks like, it creates a connection that is superbly organic. Imagine if you had no idea what any of your favorite book authors looked like; the experience would not be the same. The fun activities between authors and readers online today are helped much by readers knowing their favorite authors on an organic level. A blog with no picture of its author creates a scenario similar to speaking to a person behind a curtain constantly, but never knowing what they look like. There will be a disconnect, and the experience will not be the same as with a blog that has a picture to its name.
I hope this helps! I wish you all the best in your blogging experience. May you make many, many friends and find no trolls! *wink*
My name is Miranda A. Uyeh. I’m TBAP’s editor, the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a professional blurb/tagline writer. I’m a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards, precisely in 2014, in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.
Blogging 101 continues with @Rini_MAU! http://bit.ly/2bTCtzi Swing by to read her valuable #BloggingTips on starting a blog!
Blogging 101 | @Rini_MAU shares her #BloggingTips on How-To start a blog http://bit.ly/2bTCtzi #Blogger #BookBlogger
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