This post is part of the Starting a Blog series.
Part 5: Posting to your blog.
Seems simple enough doesn’t it. You’ve set up a nice, shiny new blog and now its time to start writing. I’m presuming you’ve followed Part 1: What to blog about so you’ll have a rough idea as to whether you are looking at posting about a particular topic area or sharing your thoughts to the world, but knowing what to write can often be particularly hard, and I haven’t met a blogger yet who honestly hasn’t at one stage suffered from bloggers block. Repetition, practice, habit….3 words that make posting to your blog easier as time goes on.
Sourcing post ideas
For some people knowing what to write about will be easy, particularly if you are writing about your personal life experiences or a hobby or interest you already pursue. For the rest of us, we often need a little prompting.
1. Get a RSS reader account
If you haven’t got an account with a RSS reader/ aggregator yet I’d suggest you go an get one because its the easiest, quickest and best way to read other blogs daily, particularly if you want to read more than a handful of sites. Personally I use Bloglines, but there a lots of different services available now.
2. Find some similar blogs/ sites
If you aren’t already reading blogs and other sites that cover similar items/ stories/ ideas to what you are blogging about, get looking. Use Google or Technorati to find blogs and other sites which cover your area of interest. If you are writing about specific topics services such as Google News, Yahoo News, Topix and MSN News all provide RSS feeds based on your topic area or keyword search and I personally use these services for many of the blogs I write.
3. Get reading
Spend some more time reading what’s being written in the blogosphere in your area of interest. Learning from others isn’t about copying, its about being inspired and perhaps taking in things like writing styles, formats etc so you can mentally form a picture of how you might like to write, and what you might like to write about.
So now it’s time to post. Don’t feel to bad if your first post is a welcome to my blog post, we all do it, but don’t stop here. Start writing. You can provide commentary or links to other blogs and sites if you like (but remember to link). You can provide your thoughts, give advice, be controversial….what ever you want. The key is not to worry too much about it and to learn to enjoy posting. The longer you stick at it the easier it will become. Sure, look out for things like grammatical and spelling errors, but don’t obsess over them either. Its way to easy to find reasons not to post to a blog than it is to actually do it, particularly when you are writing a blog for the first time.
After the post
After you’ve posted a couple of posts, make sure you go to the main page of your blog and take a look at what you’ve done. In one way its always important to make sure that the posts are presenting correctly, but most of all its your chance to appreciate what you’ve done. There is always a sense of self satisfaction at looking at your work in a public space, the same way an artist is proud to have a painting hung in a gallery. This is you open to the world. Sit back and take a minute to enjoy it!