Friday, November 02, 2007

How do I start blogging ?

I have been asked these questions a number of times

  • How do I start blogging?
  • What do I blog about?
  • How often should I blog?
  • How do I get people to read my blog?
  • What happens if I do not blog everyday and readers come to my blog and don’t see anything and stop coming after that?

I have been blogging for close to 3 years now and I went through pretty much the same set of questions when I started to blog. Let me try and answer these questions based on my experiences.

How do I start blogging?


First you have to find a site to host your blog – there are a lot of them out there like Blogger and wordpress being the more famous of the ones out there. I found this comparison chart that can be a start to compare the features but it is outdated. You can use it to get an idea of the features offered by the various blog hosts. Microsoft and Yahoo have their own blog hosting software within their social networking applications. I have been using blogger for all the 3 years that I have been blogging and have just seen it improve over time to pretty much meet all my needs. If you get confused which to use – create a blog in each one of them and see what you are most comfortable to use. You can open a blog in almost no time at all on any of the hosts.


What do I blog about?


Once you have chosen a host for your blog its time to start blogging. Blogging is about writing anything that comes to your mind it is putting your thoughts down on paper – these thoughts may be about something that you are very passionate about or they may be about everything in life in general. So don’t wait to find out what topic you want to blog about – if you wait you will always be waiting and you will never start. So just start writing about anything – once you have a few blog posts written you can always categorize them under different categories which most of the blogging sites support now. So the key is to start blogging.


How often should I blog?


Once you have a few blog posts down you will realize that on some days you have a lot of thoughts and you have so much to blog about and on some days you have nothing to blog about – this is fine and normal. If you have a lot to blog about and your schedule permits it go ahead and blog multiple times a day and if you have nothing to blog about don’t blog at all – its perfectly fine. Do not try to force yourself to blog if you don’t have anything to blog about that day – you will write something that you will not like or will not be satisfied with.

How do I get people to read my blog?

This is one of the hardest things to do. It’s the same as marketing a product. So unless you have a product that someone is interested in reading people are not going to read it. So the first thing to do is to be able to get a sizable amount of content down. Once you have a few posts down circulate the URL of the blog among your friends and see what their response it – once you have done that put your URL in the footer of your mails – so a few more people would start getting to know about your blog. By this time the search engines should have processed your blog and it should start appearing in their search results so you will start getting more hits as the number of readers goes up. You can always put a status message in your yahoo, gtalk, skype messengers when ever you have put up a new post so that your online buddies can go and read your articles. Its kind of hard to do this initially but after you gain some confidence you will find it easier and easier to market your blog.

What happens if I do not blog everyday and readers come to my blog and don’t see anything and stop coming after that?

This is possible. So there are a lot of ways around this. You can always collect the email ids of your regular readers and send them a mail or an instant message whenever you blog. You can create an RSS feed and ask your regular readers to subscribe to the RSS feed so that they get notified when there is something new to read on the blog. If you have something good that they want to come back to they will come back. So concentrate on the content and the readers will come back.

Conclusion

The key thing is do not wait to get all the answers to your questions before you start blogging – Create a blog, start posting and if you have something good the readers will automatically come. Happy blogging and do let me know if you have any more questions and I will try to answer them based on my experiences.

4 comments:

Kiran banda said...

A very comprehensive explanation on "blogging".I hope that novice bloggers will find this post very useful as it answers most of the "common" questions that a novice blogger will have :-)

"Blogger" site should link to this post as an "FAQ" page

Sumit Sharma said...

Such a nice explanation on "blogging". As i have created a blog for me long time back but was not having any idea about what to post.

Now I can start writing a post in my blog. Very soon I will post somthing which is interesting and useful.

Sudeep D'Souza said...

About blogger linking this up as part of their FAQ - I would love that to happen since it will increase the traffic to my blog and may be earn me some money :)

Sumit, about waiting for something interesting to post about - the key is not to wait. A blog is a collection of your thoughts and thoughts come and go - so when you have a thought write it down in the blog and if you feel comfortable then you post it. In blogger you have a feature to save posts and not publish them - so what I do is as and when I get thoughts I go and write something and save it and then when I have some time I put the meat into the post and then publish it. This way I don't forget what my thoughts are when I do have the time to post.

Swapan Das (स्वपन दास) said...

Somehow I can relate my wavelength with yours with respect to the content of your blog. Really a good blog....

My issue is I want to start a blog but not confined to a particular topic...aka "niche" or on a particular "theme". Like yours, personal but speaking on many domains...

1)Name of the blog: my name or with any dictionary word(s) or catchy titles. It should help in google search, I suppose.

2)Personal or Niche/Theme based Blog? By personal I mean like yours carrying different categories.

3) How to hoist? I want to do it on blogspot, as its free. Some where I read in the net that google search doesn't brings much results for blogspot's blogs.