Monday, April 13, 2015

Basic Blogging - Lesson 1 - What Will You Write About?

I have several friends who have dabbled a bit in blogging ... and several friends who I know could create a fantastically interesting blog.  I hear it quite often, "I'd like to start a blog but I don't know where to start..."  Well you can start here.  I'm going to share with you a basic primer for starting a blog as well as a few important links and people to follow and study.

Much of the advice I'll share in this series is based on "if I had it to do over again".  Making money blogging involves a lot more than just writing a clever post and collecting a check. Admittedly, my blogging income has not yet reached where I want it to be or where it needs to be - but it's moving in that direction more rapidly every day.  The more I learn, the more I ponder in my noggin "Oh how I wish I'd known about some of the keywords and navigation and such when I started..." 

If I had it to over again I would have brainstormed far more before creating Nucleus of my Noggin, Ochorific Song of the Day and KCoJax Photography.  Anywho, we can't cry over spilled coffee ... if you're just starting out - please learn from what experience I do have and let me direct you to people who will make your journey easier... 

Blogger or Wordpress

All of my blogs are on Blogger.  In September of 2014, the Katydid and I moved Love, Home and Health from Blogger to Wordpress.  Many say that you "can't make money blogging if you're on Blogger".  I always like to test theories before I believe them, so I'm leaving mine here for the time being and implementing what I've learned along the way.

There are a lot of benefits to using Wordpress!  As for now, I'll instruct you in setting up on Blogger.  (Complete the steps at Blogger

If you choose to start with Wordpress (and I don't "not" recommend that) then you should google for "starting a blog on Wordpress" and check out a few videos.  Watch the first couple of minutes and see who you connect with and carry on with setting up on Wordpress.  I personally am not yet knowledgeable enough with Wordpress to teach someone to set it up.

What Will You Blog About?

Think about what you plan to write about... and write down two "hard topics".

I'm going to use examples for a friend as I walk you through this.  Much of it is brainstorming, which you must do based on your keywords and whatnot.

I'm just nearly certain that two of my friend's topics would be Crime and Travel as these are two things that she can talk about tirelessly.

Step 1 - Grab a Thesaurus, a pen and paper and sit down for some uninterrupted time to brainstorm.

I suggest getting into the thought process of what you want the look and feel of your blog to be and just start doodling.

Write down words that you might consider keywords - for example, if my friend is writing about Crime, some of her keywords might be "cold cases".  She might also write about "Old Hollywood Murders".  She's from Southern Illinois, so maybe also "Southern Illinois Murders".

So we've broken down the crime category a bit to get an idea of what she'll be writing about. During the process of this exercise, jot down things that come to mind.  It might be an idea for a post title or a particular case that you want to really talk about in depth.

Take the other category and do the same thing.

For example, if the other topic is travel - What about travel?  Now, in this case - my friend travels extensively with her job.  She's been in places that many of us will only dream of ever seeing and I've seen her check into a place or two in the world that I didn't even know existed.  So if "I" were her, I would start the travel section with simple posts of photos and captions. 

As each travel post is published, create "categories" (or "tags" or "labels" or "keywords") for each post.  For example, if the post is "Photos of the Hollywood Walk of Fame" - you might use the "tags, labels or keywords" "Hollywood", "California", "Hollywood Walk of Fame"; thusly allowing your reader to click the "tag, label or keyword" "California" to see more California photos or "Hollywood" to see more Hollywood photos, etc.

There will be a third "category" of the blog for what I'd call "Hodge Podge" stuff.  Take a few minutes and write down things that you can imagine you would want to write about "every now and then".  Maybe it's "favorite books" or "Favorite Documentaries" ... frustrations, funny stories, random thoughts and whatever else that doesn't fit into the hard categories of Travel and Crime.

Now, you have your topics and you have a place for a bit of randomness.  These next pieces are extraordinarily important if you plan to blog for more than recreation. 

Your next step is to name your blog and decipher your "brand" ... what will your blog look like, what colors will it be?  Start a brainstorming sheet for this now and start to make your notes.

We'll talk about this in our next installment and I'll include some fantastic links to further your learning experience.

You will note now and as we continue that I'm including some links to resources - one of which is Learn to Blog Hangouts.  I find Kelli and Crystal incredibly helpful and I highly suggest you check out the section I linked to.  You'll find a list of their videos and such and I highly suggest you watch them and consider each a class, during which you take notes and "do the homework". 

Have a Grand and Groovy Day!
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Don't Judge Anyone But Yourself...
Don't Horse Around at the Top of the Stairs...
and Don't Text and Drive!

For More Info on my projects Google KCoJax Flawn Ocho Ocho-rific

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Thinker, Photog, Blogger, Marketing Nazi & Empress - living in the hometown of myself and Superman with my love & inspiration, Evan & our cats Shazbot & Sha Na Na...

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