There’s a certain sanctity in breathing life into something. A still hush falls over everything, then POOF, it just IS. Whether that’s a crying sack of meat or a blog, a new life needs to be considered carefully before you move forward. There’s no reason to clutter the Internet with a useless pile of words, or the world with a useless sack of meat.
Conceiving a Blog in Your Word Uterus
Unfortunately, like so many backseat babies, a lot of blogs are conceived without much thought and under the influence of a LOT of alcohol. When this happens, it turns into a seat of your pants experience that takes a lot more than you could have ever known just to keep it alive.
So, before you make a mistake you’re going to regret, let me walk you through the important aspects of blog creation. Take notes, there’s going to be a quiz later
Considering Your Demographic
Before you so much as think about naming your blog, you need to consider your audience. Who is your demographic? Who do you want to attract to this thing? Your blog requires a whole different approach if it’s for housewives over 30 with two or more children than it does for 60 year old retired motorcycle enthusiasts.
Looking at the Competition.
So, you know whose attention you want, but do you know if they’re already getting what they need elsewhere? Google around the Interwebs, see if there are other blogs like yours. Find a way to stand out by approaching your topic at a different angle than the herd or writing it for an under served audience.
Choosing a Name
Knowing who you’re addressing and how you’re going to address them is a good start for naming your blog. Even if your blog is mostly for you, you’re going to be sharing it online, so you might as well make it as interesting as possible. Pick a name that appeals to your demographic and sends tingles down your spine. Above all else, you have to like the name you choose because once you lock it in, it’s too late to change anything easily.
Designing the Interface
Even if you go with a low-input service like WordPress (I recommend it highly for writers who aren’t tech savvy or simply don’t want to waste time fiddling with serving their own blog elsewhere), you’ll have a lot of say about how your blog looks. Don’t skimp on this step, take your time. Even the free designs work better for some types of blogs than others, so you need to pay attention. From the fonts to the colors, every visual element gives out subconscious vibes about your blog and you as a writer.
Planning Your Blogs
Last, but definitely not least, you’ve GOT to plan your blogs out. We pros generally do this a month at a time so we can write them all in a chunk and keep the tone kind of consistent. You can write yours daily or weekly or whatever, but get a plan together and stick to it. Along with knowing how many blogs you need each month, you’re also going to want to write down some topics for those blogs.
Sticking to a consistent blog length is helpful because readers like to see the same length over and over again. “Normal” blog lengths vary, from about 300 words to over 1500. I shoot for about 500 and sometimes I fall terribly short. Sometimes I suck. What can I say? Start paying me and I’ll try a little harder.
Anyway, so that’s how you do it. That’s how to start a blog. Now, get out there, take some careful stock and let your brilliant little thoughts fly free. Remember that blogging usually takes six to 12 months to really show results, so don’t be a pussy and give up when it starts to get a little hard.