Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tips for Starting a Blog

I wrote a post the other week about how to increase your blog’s readership and people really seemed to find it helpful.

I don’t normally like going around offering my unsolicited advice but on rare occasions like those, the widespread neglect of fried rice in the blogosphere was just too disturbing to not comment on.

But despite how helpful I’m sure that tutorial was, I owe you all an apology.  In my excitement, I carelessly ignored a whole community of people who are just as deserving of my insight as those bloggers who are trying to nurture their blog children.

I’m talking about the people who want to start a blog but just don’t know how.  These people are at ground zero, far from wondering how to grow readership; these people are still wondering how you conceive a blog child to begin with.

And how irresponsible would it be of me to not help these starving artists out?  I’m really good at blogging, after all.  Just ask my mom.

So for the blogging newbies out there, here are four tips to help with birthing your very own blog world baby.

1. Hire a dog

I mentioned a blogger dog before but allow me to elaborate: the very first step in your blogging journey must be to hire a dog.

I say “hire” very specifically because even though you might already have one, the dog you have probably won’t make the cut as a blogger dog.  Blogger dogs have roles that extend far beyond eating, pooping, and barking at squirrels.  They must, for example, enjoy lounging in human-like positions under blankets, bounding through the snow (without getting any slush on your DSLR camera, mind you), and must generally be able to hold poses for at least 15 Instagram reshoots.

Selecting the blogging dog that best fits your overall blogging brand is a very personal decision and one that you must make on your own.  But if you would like some insider advice, remember: fluffier is always better.

2. Forget everything you know about food

Think you know the main ingredient in fried rice?  Rice, right?

Wrong.  It’s quinoa.

Alex was actually the first to spot this mistake in my earlier tutorial, which just goes to show you that even the most well-informed bloggers make mistakes.  You see, once you enter the blog world, everything you thought you knew about food is basically irrelevant.

For example, your pre-blog self might have once enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

That does not happen in blog world.  In blog world, we eat almond butter and kumquat marmalade flatbreads.  Become familiar with things like kale, Stevia, oatmeal-everything, and energy bites.  And no, sorry, there are no jelly beans here.  That’s what the energy bites are for.

3. Lists are It

Blogging has no place for the Ernest Hemingway’s of the world.  There is no time for paragraphs or eloquent prose here; we get to the point and list that shiz out.

See how I did it here, in this post?  In the blog world, we bullet or numerically order just about everything we write.  You might think that you have a topic that is better suited for paragraph format but I can assure you: you’re wrong.  We list everything and all things: our favorite recipes, our yearly goals, and yes, even the birth of our first born children.  Streamlined, people; no time for fluff and placentas.

4. Always, ALWAYS, invite your reader to grab a cup.

After the importance of a blogging dog, this is the most imperative lesson you will learn.  You have undoubtedly noticed that in most of my Blog Reader Appreciation posts, I invite my readers to grab some sort of cupped beverage and stay a while, because I’ve got something for you.

I’d like to say that I came up with this literary stroke of brilliance but that would be a lie.  To have a blog without ever inviting your readers to enjoy some sort of refreshment is just plain rude and frankly, will never fly in the blog world.  You can be as creative as you want with the placement of the offered beverage: your about me page, your sidebar, heck, even your blog title are all appropriate.

However you do it, just make sure that you do.  Because a blogger who does not offer her readers a metaphorical refreshment really is no blogger at all.

So there you have it: the four keys to conceive a blog child of your very own.  Again, I apologize that this tutorial was a bit late coming but luckily in blog world, that isn’t important.

I said to list everything but I didn’t say they had to be in order.

Cheers and Happy Tuesday!
Hope you enjoy that cup of fresh-brewed blogging tea.

Want more tea? Have a second cup!
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