Fancy writing your own blog? Do you look at this one and think ‘I could do that’?
If that’s you, all I can say is – go for it. If I can do it, so can you. Truly.
This post isn’t about the technical side of setting up a blog. Dearie me no – my son put this together for me, it’s all smoke and mirrors as far as I’m concerned. This is more about the day-to-day reality of keeping it going.
If you want to start a blog – and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t – there’s a few things you need to think about.
- What’s your niche? You need a niche. Basically, that’s the overall idea behind your blog. It could be lifestyle (beauty tips for women over 95), it could be hobby-related (tattoos? tatting?), it could be travel (‘By Bike to Baku and Back’) it could be anything – but you need to know what it is. Mine started as a ‘finding myself’ blog, and it still is, broadly speaking, but it’s starting to morph into a ‘let’s help each other’ blog. I love that.
- Who is your audience? Once you know what your niche is, your audience will probably be obvious. If you’re writing beauty tips for older women, then your audience will be older women. But more specifically older women who have the time and money to worry about their looks and do something about it. I imagine my audience to be mature women who are newly single – or on the point of becoming newly single.
- How often will you post? I post every other day – which is a lot. Many bloggers only post once a week or once a month, or less.
- How much private information will you share? Once it’s out there, it’s out there. You shouldn’t put anything out there that you’re not comfortable with sharing. Be very careful about naming your children/partner/colleagues. I decided from the start that I didn’t have the right to tell anyone else’s story. I tell my own story – so you won’t find me writing about why my husband left, only about how things have been for me since he went.
Once you’re up and running, you need to keep writing. As I said, I post every other day, which is intense. I also write a column for ‘60 & Me‘ once a month.
I’m going to assume that putting your ideas down on paper is something you feel comfortable with doing. That’s the easy part. But you need to keep those ideas coming. You need to plan, and you need to think ahead. Keep a list, and when you have an idea, write it down. Then, next time you’re stuck for something to write about, you can go back to your list.
You need to make time to write. It’s easy to find the time to do the things you want to do – and I’m assuming you like writing – but still, life is hectic and there are lots of other things that need to be done. I write late in the evening, or early in the morning or (more often) both. Right now it’s 10 past 6 on the morning, this post will go live at 8, and I’m just doing a final check (and adding this sentence).
Once you’ve written your blog, it’s a good rule of thumb to spend as much time editing it and polishing it as you did writing it. Write it, go and do something else, then come back to it. If in doubt, err on the side of snappy and brief. People simply don’t read like they used to.
Writing for the internet is different from other types of writing. You have to start with the best bit, basically. Don’t build up to the punch line. Your title and your very first sentence need to interest people enough that they want to read more – because if they’re not interested, they simply won’t.
And keep your paragraphs short.
Don’t forget you’ll need pictures too. You can take your own – but most bloggers use free stock images available on the internet. I mostly use Pexels.com (you’ll often see an acknowledgement at the bottom of the blog), but I’ll take my own if it’s more appropriate.
And once you’re Out There, the internet is an amazing place. People anywhere in the world can see what you’ve written – isn’t that just phenomenal?
In the last month, people from 22 countries have viewed this blog of mine – not just the UK, the US and Australia, but Denmark, Cambodia, Kenya. I’ve had close to 5,000 visitors. I know that some of you have settled down and read every single one of my posts – and I love you for it.
So – if you want to start your own blog, do it. And if I can help in any way, I’m happy to.
Scroll all the way down to Follow, Share, Like or Comment on this. And check out my ‘Sixty and Me’ badge.
I always reply to Comments from nice people.