15 February 2008

Advice to a new blogger

A friend recently said that he was thinking of starting a blog, but wasn't sure. So he asked me for info on blogging to help him decide.

What advice would you give to a would-be blogger? What would you do differently if you were starting a blog now? If you post your suggestions on your blog, leave a link in the comments below.


Sylvia said...

I'd say the same thing writers say to aspiring writers: read, in this case, read blogs. That's the way to learn how it's done. Get to know all the different styles, conventions, designs, and platforms.

And if I was starting again I would choose an easier URL!!

Dorothy W. said...

I think the best thing to do is just try it, and maybe start off quietly without trying to draw attention to yourself, and see where it goes. It's something you have to learn by doing, I think. You figure out over time what you like to write about and how often you like to write, etc. As for what I'd do differently, I'd put less pressure on myself to post regularly and try to keep from getting too obsessed by it.

Emily Barton said...

I agree: read other blogs. I did it backwards, that is, started my blog and then began to read others. But I'd also advise caution in reading other blogs, because I got kind of scared reading some of the absolutely crazy stuff I found out there the first go-around. When I first started, I was blogging at all hours of the day and night. Once I decided to put limits on it (no blogging past 8:00 p.m. or on Sundays, except in special circumstances like I'm on the road and haven't been online all day or didn't go online on Saturday), I began to feel more in control. Also: be polite. I think that keeps the mean commenters at bay (maybe?), and comment on others' blogs, which seems to be the best way to get readers of your own.

chiefbiscuit said...

I think I'd say not to feel bad if you can't get around to commenting on everyone's blog (or reading) on your links ... It's more important to post than to read other blogs - but it's hard to remember that after you've spent three hours catching up on blogs and left no time or energy to post one yourself. It's a bit of a fine balancing act and guilt - or feeling beholden to read other blogs - can get in the way of honing your own craft. Yet ... we all need readers and so you have to be one to get them! Hope that helps a little (I suspect it doesn't much!)

Cam said...

All good advice! Thanks for your contributions.

Sylvia, I hadn't thought about the URL issue until you brought it up. Although I have my favorite blogs in feed reader, I sometimes do want to go directly to a blog and find it frustrating if I can't remember the URL.

Dorothy, I told my friend something similar: just start and see where it goes.

I agree with all of you on reading other blogs, but I think that Emily and CB bring up an excellent point: while the benefits of reading and commenting on other blogs are many, you have to have a balance. To that point, having a schedule when you post can not only be important for your readers, but for your own writing.

LK said...

1) What would be the objective of your blog? (It's easier if it's a focused topic, I think.)

2) Read and post on like-minded blogger sites to develop your own blogosphere.

3) It ain't worth it if it ain't fun!