Knowing how to start a writing blog – or start writing a blog – is less important than just jumping into the fray! Nevertheless, these tips for new bloggers will help you blog better — whether you’ve been blogging for ten years or ten days (or you’re just thinking about blogging….).
The tough part about blogging is growing your readership and traffic — and it helps immensely to read books like Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs.
It’s important to read as many blogs as you can when you’re starting to blog. My newest one is Squeeze Us, Jesus – practical tips and encouragement for believers who feel squeezed by the world. Learn by reading professional and “hobby” bloggers. Don’t copy, just learn. Then, use your own best judgment. Remember that your blog is a reflection of you professionally and personally – but don’t let this thought scare you into NOT blogging!
How to Start Writing a Blog
Before the tips, a quip: “Writing a book [blog] is an adventure: To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.” – Winston Churchill.
The difference between writing a book and writing a blog is that you’re flinging your blog out to the public before it’s really ready! That’s the beauty of blogging: casual, informal, half-baked. Unless, of course, you want to make money blogging. If so, read How to Earn Extra Money Blogging.
Remember that your blog is a work in progress
I know several writers who want to start blogs to share their writing journey, but don’t feel like they “know enough yet.” Fellow scribes, you don’t need to know how to blog, to blog! Just open up a vein, and start blogging (to paraphrase that old writing quip). Your blog is organic and constantly changing, which means you can adjust its trajectory and appearance any time you like. Don’t get hung up on whether or not you know how to start a writing blog. Just keep reading tips for new bloggers while you create and grow your blog. Sure, you’ll make mistakes — but it’s your blog, your learning curve, and your writing journey. Own it.
Learn the difference between writing and blog writing
When I was a new blogger, my biggest struggle was sacrificing “good writing” to attract readers through search engine optimization (SEO). I wanted readers to find me via Google and other search engines, so I had to learn SEO…which I thought had nothing to do with “good” writing (the traditional definition for good writing, which writers use for print magazines and books). I’m learning that writers who blog can be excellent writers in the traditional sense and employ strong SEO skills — but it’s not easy. Blog writing is different than traditional writing.
Decide on the purpose of your blog
Do you want to showcase your writing skills (build an online writing portfolio), and dazzle potential publishers and editors? Are you hoping to build a community of followers? Do you want to teach aspiring writers how to write? Do you want to make money blogging? My original goal with my “Quips and Tips” blogs was to earn money as a writer. I earn a fulltime income from my blogs — yay! — and I’m slowly learning how to balance good writing with good blog writing. That is, I’m learning how to let my writer’s voice shine through even as I write for search engine optimization.
Stay focused on your purpose
If you want to build a writing portfolio, then you need to keep improving your writing skills, expressing your writer’s voice, and figuring out who you are as a writer. If you want to blog for money, then you need to learn as much as you can about making money blogging and search engine optimization. Figure out what the purpose of your blog is (self-expression, entertainment, information, writing portfolio, etc) — and keep reading tips for new bloggers. Keep learning!
Research other writer’s blogs, but don’t make comparisons
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There are thousands of writing blogs, ranging from “my journey as a writer” to “famous writing quotations” to “freelance writing jobs.” When you’re starting your writing blog, take a peek at what other writers are doing and saying. But, don’t feel you have to measure up to what they’re doing — and don’t compare yourself to other writers and bloggers! Appreciate the blogs you find, learn from them, use what you like, and discard what you don’t like.
Have you started a writing blog, and do you have tips for new bloggers? Comments — and questions — welcome below!