problogger recently organized another Group Writing Project on the topic of ‘if I had to start my blog again’. Since this promised to offer lots of useful tips for new bloggers, I decided to peruse, summarize, and excerpt to give you a flavor of each post, some of which you will want to go read in full.
This is a long post; there's a lot in here --but I remember when I started out, I wanted to read everything that might be helpful. So this is all severely edited, but I included every post. At least, I tried.
It took a long time. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see the end of that list scroll up on my screen.
Unsurprisingly, there are several themes that repeat from one post to the next, and a bit of consistent advice:
- Host your site at your own domain name, and choose both your domain name and your site title with care. I suggest a quick Google search on anything you are considering to be sure you won't be lost in a crowd. A dictionary and thesaurus search might not be a bad idea, either; you don't want your site name to have surprising connotations.
- Choose a platform that has categories and named (not numbered) URL's, so that both readers and search engines can more easily find your posts. In other words, not Blogspot/ Blogger.
- Start yesterday.
- Have fun -- if you don't have fun, your readers won't, either.
- Think ahead: what is the goal/purpose of the site? How can you increase the chance of meeting your goal?
- Learn or hire the skills to do a good (appealing and usable) design.
- Read, read, read (other blogs.)
- Comment, comment, comment (on other blogs.)
A few things that were seldom mentioned, but seem important:
- Backup your site (umm, I keep planning to do this...)
- Get a photo hosting account
- Select and use a good feed reader, to keep up with other blogs
Excerpts are below the cut, but I'm going to lead with the one I already suspect will be my favorite, even though I've just begun reading. From My wabisabi blog:
Wabisabi: (侘寂) An aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
My purpose in writing this is to encourage anyone who’s new to just take the first step and not worry about setting up a “perfect” thing, and anyone who’s redoing their blog not to be frustrated. We’ve already got too many other things in life that already exert this type of pressure ... Let’s not get lost in the numbers for once. Why not take advantage of a rare, low-risk opportunity like blogging and approach it with a creative eagerness rather than cautious fear about all the mistakes you might make? As long as it’s true to you, you probably can’t go wrong. It’s worked for me.
[Read the rest of this post at Blogging Blog]