Should I start my own blog?

By michael  |  May 8th, 2009  |  Published in Blogging  |  Comments Off on Should I start my own blog?

I’ve been blogging for many years. Because of my experience, people often ask me, “Should I start a blog?” In answer to that question, I usually ask people to consider the follow questions:

First, ask yourself why you want to start a blog. If you’re hoping to make alot of money or to attract alot of readers, then your approach to blogging would be different than if you simply wanted to discuss interesting topics with a close group of friends. Either of these are valid reasons to start blogs, but the approach would be different.

Second, how naturally does writing come to you? Do you find it easy to write about a given topic, or do you struggle with saying something in just the right way? There is not a “right” answer for this question in order to start a blog. However, before you start, you need to realize that your writing habits will dictate your ability to write blog posts.

Third, what are you going to write about? If you are a research scientist, then you can probably write a blog post every day about a very specific topic – perhaps even more than one post per day. However, if you have broader interests, then perhaps your blog should be more general as well. It’s great to have a blog about a specific topic, but if you run out of ideas after three posts, then you won’t have a very successful blog, and you will probably get very frustrated with blogging.

Fourth, if you look forward to discussing topics with commenters on your blog, are you patient? It usually takes time to build a base of readers. Similarly, the way you respond to the commenters on your blog will either encourage or discourage others from commenting.

Finally, if someone is considering starting a blog, I suggest that that person begin by writing a few blog posts without publishing them. Write them in Notepad or even with pen and paper. Determine how long it takes you to write a blog post. Wait a few days and write another post. Do this for a week or two. If you find that you run out of things to say, then blogging may not be for you. However, if you find that you can consistantly write new material, then you can pobably be successful at blogging. Remember, consistency doesn’t mean that you have to write ten posts per day or even one post per day. However, if you wait two months between blog posts, then you will pobably end up getting frustrated at blogging and stop not long after you start.

What is a blog?

By michael  |  May 1st, 2009  |  Published in Blogging  |  Comments Off on What is a blog?

You may think it’s strange that you do not know what a blog is. In fact, you’re in good company. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of millions of blogs, recent research has shown that almost 2/3 of internet users do not know what a blog is.

“Blog” is a contraction of the term “weblog”. A weblog, or blog, in its simplest form, is an online journal. Someone writes an entry and publishes that entry on his or her web site, much like someone would write an entry in their journal or diary.

An entry or article written for a blog is generally called a “blog post” or “post”. Sometimes, posts are called “blogs”, but it is more correct to refer to the entire site as a “blog” and to refer to individual entries as “posts”. Thus, “blog” would be similar to “journal” or “diary”, while “post” would be similar to a journal or diary “entry”.

There are many different types of blogs. Besides the standard online journal or diary type blog, there are also photo blogs and video blogs in which the entries consist of digital photos or videos respectively.

Typically, blog posts are listed in reverse chronological order, which simply means that the last post published is listed first. If you wanted to read the last entry that someone wrote in their diary, you would turn to the back of the book. But, if you want to read the last post that someone wrote on their blog, you would look at the top of the list.

People write blogs about many different subjects. There are blogs that focus on news, current events, and politics, while other blogs focus on religion, culture, and entertainment. Some people write their blog posts about one particular subject, while other people write about many different topics. Some blogs include very personal information, while other blog owners do not reveal anything about themselves.

There are corporate blogs that are used to announce new products or services, job openings, or new releases. Some educational institutions write blogs to communicate information to their students to to announce upcoming lectures or conferences.

The range of topics for blogs and blog posts is almost unlimited.

Also, most blogs allow readers to comment on the blog posts. These comments allow blogging to be more of a discussion than a monologue.

Should you start a blog? We’ll leave that question for another post.