Baby Steps to Blogging Part 2 — How to Begin a Blog

Baby Steps to Blogging Part 2 – How to Begin A Blog

In Part 1 of Baby Steps to Blogging, I talked about three steps to help you get on the right baby foot with your blog. Today I will start with an example—my own blog.

Platform. I chose WordPress.com as my primary blogging platform. WordPress has tutorials to help you get started. You can choose from over 150 free themes. Pick one you like and get started. You can always change it later.

I chose one I could add a picture header to. I used a photo I took while on a nature hike with Joe. I enlarged it and cut out the section I wanted for my header. I made several copies of it on my computer so if I ruined one, I would still have one to work with.

nice (4)

 

Note 1: When editing a photo, NEVER use your original, or your last copy. ALWAYS keep a file of originals to work from and make more copies as needed.

Note 2: It is not essential that you use a picture header. If this sounds like a giant step to you, leave it out until you are comfortable trying it—even if that is never.

Focus / Mission Statement. Make a list of the subjects you have written or want to write about. From my own list I discovered that I am passionate about sharing the importance of having a relationship with God with others. I want to share it with family, friends and the world. I am passionate about doing this through other things I love: writing, photography and teaching.

With this in mind, I wrote my mission statement:

Helping others find their passion by sharing my own.

I added this statement below the name of my website on my header photo.

Martha Jane Curtis

Because I am passionate about encouraging others to find their purpose and go about performing it, I have added this statement to my header:

Spread your wings and write

You can scroll to the top of this page and to see what it looks like put together. It took a lot of patience for me to get my header the way I wanted it. I am not good with a computer. I have just made up my mind not to let it get the best of me. I take breaks when I get frustrated, but I don’t give up.

If you aren’t ready to get this involved, you can simply use the name of your blog and include your mission statement. It isn’t that big a deal. There is nothing wrong with simple. In fact, simple is often better.

Begin Blogging. Finally the easy part—what you wanted to do all along. Write!

Let your readers get to know you. Tell them your passions, admit your failures. Let them know what you like and what you don’t (without being ugly about it, of course). They don’t want to know how perfect you are, but that you are a real person, just like them, or their aunt or grandma… Write stories about something funny or embarrassing that happened to you. Tell how you learned from your mistakes—or at least what you are trying to learn.

The post International Coffee Day, was about a mistake I made—one I should have learned from. You can click on the link to read it if you missed it. The very next day, I made the same mistake again! It was aggravating. I felt like a dunce.

Now, with all this in mind, make a list of all the things you can think of to write about. Jot down a few notes about each story. I like to put mine on note cards so I can flip through them when I need an idea.

Find a time to sit down for a couple of uninterrupted hours and write about one or more of those subjects. Try to do it a few days before you intend to post. Make a habit of doing this and you will always be ready with something to post. Take the time to read through it and make any needed corrections before posting.

Your goal should be to give visitors to your blog something worth reading. Whatever you write, make it interesting enough that they will want to come back for more. It never hurts to add a bit of humor, even if the joke is on you!

You are doing a great job! It is work to set up a blog. Don’t get discouraged. After all, if you had never began to blog, you wouldn’t have made it this far. Give yourself a break. Ask questions. Keep writing. Blog with confidence—in baby steps. Your story is waiting to be told.

 

This post is part of a series titled Baby Steps to Blogging. I hope it will help you on your blogging journey. I encourage you to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section of this post. You are invited to come back next Thursday for Part 3 of Baby Steps to Blogging.

Choose to follow me by e-mail if you would like to be notified of new posts to my blog.

Advertisements

Baby Steps to Blogging–Part 1

Introduction to Baby Steps to Blogging

Computers and the internet have been a daily part of my life for nearly twenty years. I use them to pay bills, connect with family and friends and to buy and sell on sites such as e-bay and Amazon. Despite my everyday use of them, I still struggle.

My first computer was a bit of a novelty. I played games and used it as a word processer—after I learned to control the mouse (don’t laugh). Seriously, that silly thing had a mind of its own!

It was some weeks, maybe months, before I realized the words in blue were links (what is a link, anyway?) that I could click to open another page with more information.

Fast forward to August of 2012–I began green blogging. The name I chose was more appropriate than I knew at the time: Journey Through Clutter Jungle. This was / is the name of a current work in progress. I plunged through several posts before the evil spirits of doubt and indecision blocked my path. Over a year later, I got the courage to try again. When I did, I somehow lost the best clutter post I had written into the vast unknown of cyber space. Attempts to re-write it resulted in a writing so inferior to the original, I just. gave. up.

Green blogging is a term I use to describe myself (and others like me) who attempt to do something we know nothing about. It seems the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know enough. Admitting this taught me to be happy marking my progress in baby steps.

Today I am beginning a series of posts titled Baby Steps to Blogging.

 

Dictionary.com defines blogging as a website containing a writer’s own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites. This gives us a basic idea of what a blog is supposed to do. So just where do we begin those baby steps?

 

The first step is to choose a blogging platform.  Everyone seems to have different definition of platform. Since we are taking this in baby steps let’s consider the platform to be the place you stand to present your message, or the online site you use to share your message.

There are many blogging platforms to choose from. I  have tried several, but narrowed it down to two that I like the best. Blogger.com is easy to use. Wordpress.com seems to get more attention from other bloggers. Either can easily be made to work as a website later on if you so desire. Look several over and choose the one you like the best.

 

The second step is to find your focus.

  1. What do you write about? Which of these topics reflect the message you want to share with your readers?
  2. Ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?” Is there a connection between your passion and the topics you write about? The blend of these two is most likely what you want focus on as you blog.
  3. Use your writing skills to make up a sentence or short paragraph that describes this. Consider this your mission statement. Use it to help you focus on the message you want to share, lest your blog become like the Urban Definition of a Blog.

 

Begin Blogging. It’s OK to write about subjects not contained in your mission statement, but tie them into it whenever you can. Be yourself. Your readers will get to know you by what and how you write. Try to give them something worth reading. Pick a time to blog each week or month or whatever interval works best for you. Be consistent to post at that time. Start slow by Blogging in Baby Steps.

This post is part of a series titled Baby Steps to Blogging. I hope it will help you on your blogging journey. What have you chosen as your mission statement?  I encourage you to share it with me in the comments section. I want to invite you to come back next Thursday for Part 2 of Baby Steps to Blogging. Choose to follow me by e-mail if you would like to be notified of new posts to my blog.

Marthajanecurtis.com