Starting Your Own Blog

A commenter asked for advise in starting his own blog.
The first step in starting a blog is deciding what its going to be about. Is it going to be about everything, your life, or just one topic. While some people post about everything, and separate their topics in categories, I think a work related blog like this should stay on topic. People came here a specific reason. They dont necessarily want to hear how my day was, what the dog did on the carpet, or what I think of Hillary. To do otherwise is kind of self-indulgent and abuses the loyal readers.
A lot of bloggers give their full name or use real whois info if they buy a domain. If the purpose of your blog is self-promotion, than you’ll have to attach your name to your opinions. I think when your real name is attached to your blog, it makes it more difficult to blog about work. Its too easy for someone to gather information about the company you work for. Even if you blog pseudonymously, I would recommend blogging as if who you write about will read it later. You dont want your management, co-workers, etc mad at you later if you do end up sharing the URL with them.
When it comes to setting up a blog you can go with a hosted solution (typepad, blogger) or you can go buy hosting space and set it up yourself (movabletype, wordpress). I use movabletype although wordpress seems much more popular. I enjoy tweaking the design templates, installing plugins and doing the upgrades.
In terms of content, original content is preferred over linking. If your blog contains nothing but links, why should I read your stuff? There are already a ton of blogs out there with little to no original content. Yeah, it annoys me that they get more visits based on their (copyright violation) cut and paste of other people’s work. When you do link, have a opinion and insight. Keep your quotes brief and clearly labeled. If your target audience is the general public then its not as bad to spend time aggregating data for them. Ultimately though if you’re blogging for the right reasons, then post what makes you happy.
In terms of promotion, I am really antispam and gaining eyeballs wasn’t my goal in writing. I added a link to this site in my sig on a couple of sites where I was already a member and frequent poster and I made sure google found my site. That’s about it.
So that is my two cents. There are plenty of articles out there on ‘movabletype versus wordpress’ or other things like ‘getting your blog noticed’.

One Comment

  1. Roger, Thanks for the info. I want to start a blog about getting young people involved in politics. I would like to discuss history and current affairs,allowing young poeple to develope and express their views and learn more. The hope is that some would be able to start learning at a younger age and develope a leadership quality that may lead to future careers serving in government. Thanks again for you info. Joe Canete

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