If you’ve ever read the about page for this blog, you know that it was never intended to be anything more than a way for me to share posts about technology and occasionally give my thoughts. At the time I didn’t consider it blogging, I thought of it as sharing. It wasn’t until my blog moved from Tumblr to WordPress that I began thinking of it as a blog…kind of.
The awful truth is that I hadn’t thought of my Tumblr blog as a blog even after moving it to WordPress. I dressed it up in a theme, gave the theme a few tweaks and looked at it with a bit of confusion. After realizing that I hadn’t a clue as to what I was doing, I started looking at other WordPress blogs and comparing them to the pretty mess I’d made. These other blogs seemed to have a purpose, which mine seemed to be lacking. And that was when I took the first step to creating a blog.
The First Step
Before you can do any serious work on a blog, your blog needs a purpose. Although I’ve heard stories about people who start blogs before they know what it’s going to be about, the best way to develop a successful blog is to begin with an idea of what it’s going to be about. Or, as I like to say, it needs a purpose.
My blog was originally a hodgepodge of interests that got narrowed down to three things: publishing, mobile photography, and blogging. How I boiled it down to these three things is that I simply started writing about what interested me. I’ve been in the publishing industry since the early 1990s, enjoy editing my mobile photos, and after dabbling in blogging for a bit and learning from my mistakes, I decided to share some of what I learned. And so Books & Bytes went from a hot mess to something more specific.
If you’re not sure what the purpose for your blog should be, just start writing about what interests you and it will eventually rise to the surface.
Make Sure Your Blog Looks Good with a Template
Once your blog has a purpose, it’s time start searching through the templates to find one that you think will work. The template will be the overall look and feel for your blog, so choose one that will make you proud of it. I have a post on this called WordPress Themes, a Fresh New You. Keep in mind that the template you choose may change as you and your blog get to know each other better.
Get Your Blog Out There
Although the intent of this blog was never to stroke my ego with followers, I had to make sure people found it. After all, your blog will never be useful if nobody knows about it. Do not be ashamed to promote your blog. I started with the typical tweet and Facebook post, then found more free and easy ways to promote my blog by reading The Nerdy Lion.
Since I just want Books & Bytes to be visible, promoting it takes up very little time. I will say that if I cared about followers, it would consume more of my day than writing a weekly post. In fact, the blog would turn into a full-time job, which is not what I want this blog to become.
The easiest way I’ve found to let people know about Books & Bytes is by making sure every post goes directly to my social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ automatically get links along with a description for each post. I set this up under the Sharing section of my WordPress account. Also, every now and again I’ll go into my Twitter account and re-tweet a post.
Schedule Your Posts
All bloggers have a different posting schedule. Some, like The Ink, post daily, while others post two or three times per week. And then there are bloggers like Milly Schmidt, The Cat’s Write, who blogs often, but doesn’t seem to have a set time frame. Each blogger finds a posting schedule that works for them and runs with it.
I post weekly because I don’t want blogging to become a chore, or have it feel burdensome. Posting weekly allows me to give thought to each post, read it enough to catch as many typos as possible, and enjoy the process of blogging. I sometimes read the post I’m working on to my husband for his insight.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to read your post three to four times before it goes live.
I usually write my posts on Friday, then spend Saturday and Sunday reading them for clarity and typos, then schedule them to post Monday morning at 05:40.
Keep Your Blog Organized
Once you have a few posts under your belt and are happy with how everything is progressing, you’ll need to organize your posts so people can find your content. You might want to check out my post Organize Your WordPress Blog Using the Menu Bar. It’s not difficult to do and will make your blog look a lot more professional.
Read Other Blogs
It’s good to read other blogs and see how other people use the blogging platform to express themselves and share information. Aside from the blogs mentioned in this post, I also enjoy reading: Bluebrightly, IOT Rant, GarimaShares.
Feel free to use the comments section below if you have any thoughts or questions.