Thinking of starting a blog?

So you’re thinking of starting a blog. Many questions may be going through your mind: How do I get started? What will I write about? What should I call my blog? Will anyone read it? Do I actually want anyone to read it?! Here are some tips to help get you started…

Sometimes starting a blog can seem a bit daunting, so here are my top 5 tips for getting started as a new blogger:

1. Decide why you want to blog and what you want to blog about

There are many reasons you might start a blog. Firstly, it’s fun! You can feel part of a community of people blogging about similar topics, and you can have conversations by commenting on others’ blogs and responding to comments they leave on your blog posts. Remember to keep it nice though – constructive criticism and debate is good, trolling is not! Blogging can give you a web presence by getting your name out there, and it can help develop your writing skills.

You could use your blog to record and reflect on what you’ve been learning. For example, I started a blog as part of a course I did, to record my reflections on each week’s activities. I found this a really useful way of making sure that I actually took time to think about what I was learning.

Some popular ideas:

  • writing about your studies
  • writing about your hobby or a topic that really interests you
  • reviews of films, TV or music
  • writing up events you go to
  • a yearbook of your time at Warwick
  • reflections on your learning and progress in your course

If you’re struggling to decide what to write about, you’ll find other suggestions here, or think about what you like reading about. You don’t need to be an expert, but picking something you’re interested in will make it easier! Why not look at other blogs to get ideas?

2. Choose a blogging platform

Now you know what you’re planning to write about, think about where to blog. You could set up a Warwick Blog or use a site like WordPress or Blogger.

3. Decide who can read your blog

Is it for your eyes only? Do you want to share it with friends, family or coursemates? Or perhaps you’d like to make it public so anyone can read it. On Warwick Blogs you can change this setting for each entry. With other blogs you can make your site private and invite those you’d like to see it.

4. Name that blog!

Here’s your chance to be creative and get people’s interest or tell potential readers what your blog is about. Have fun!

5. Give it a go!

Don’t worry if you’re a bit nervous about publishing your first post – many people are. If you’re struggling to write a post, pick a time when you’re feeling inspired to do your writing. You could also offer to write a guest post for an existing blog – it’s a good way of giving it a try before starting your own. If this sounds like your thing, why not offer to write a post for somewhere like the Warwick Student Blogs or Postgraduate Warwick Student Blogs.

Good luck with your blogging and remember to enjoy it!

If you’ve started a blog, do you have other advice for those thinking about starting one?

Image: Caution: Blog ahead / Mixy Lorenzo / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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