So You Want to Be A Blogger?

So You Want to Be A Blogger?

It’s a new year! You have opinions and things to say, and you’re going to blog! It’s been resolution-ed! Er….resolved. So, how do you do it? I humbly propose some ways to make your voice heard on the interwebz.

Know your medium.

Do you write long things or short things? If you expect to write more than 500 words regularly, I say go for WordPress. Less than 500? Tumblr is a great place to do that, and offers a very different sort of audience. If you write often and at length, get comfortable with creating an interesting lead paragraph or two, and then use the Read More tag (this is what Teen Skepchick does).

Write when you feel like it.

I’m going against a lot of New Blogger Code here, but I don’t think you should write when you don’t feel like it. This extends all the way back to whether or not you should blog in the first place–do it because you think you’ll like it. Of course, not writing regularly may lose you the occasional reader, and when you’re just starting out, this can be stressful. However, I’d counter that forcing yourself to write instead of seeing friends or baking a cake is going to make the blog seem like homework. That’s no fun.

Make friends.

I don’t mean coffee-date friends–though those are cool too. Find a few (or more) blogs you like, and comment regularly. Comment under the same handle, preferably one that’s linked to your blog in some way. Insightful comments can lead the blogger, or even other commenters to follow you back to your own blog.

Decide how anonymous you want to be.

I should have done this earlier than I did, actually. Decide how many details about yourself you are willing to discuss. Will you say your gender? Your age? If you don’t say your age, will it be easy to guess from other things you write, such as where you are in school? Will you use your name? First and last? If you use a pseudonym, will you have a corresponding email? How will you make sure that you only reply to blogging emails with your pseudonym and professional/school emails with your real-name address? (Hint: check, double check, then triple check.) Will you tell your friends about your blog? All of them? Just close friends? Will you advertise your work on social media? Will you need a pseudonym account for those?

As an example, I use Kate Donovan. I’ve an email account connected to that, a Twitter, and it’s the name I use on Facebook. In fact, nearly everyone, including myself, thinks of me as Kate Donovan. (I recently introduced myself in class as such, and then had to send a very silly email explaining that [Real Name] had been present in the first class of the semester and didn’t want to be dropped from the course.)

Now, blog away! (And introduce yourself in the comments!)

More tips from Dan Fincke and Libby Anne are here and here.

Featured image from here

Kate is an outspoken atheist, feminist, demisexual, stigma-busting student in Chicago studying psychology and human development. She juggles occasionally, would knit you something warm if she knew you, and reads anything she can get her hands on. She was raised believing alternative medicine worked, and now spends her time making skeptical faces at it. You can find her on Twitter at @donovanable
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