Today is the day students in my Digital Journalism embark on a new journey…they started their blogs. Blogging is something that, I hope, will start out as an assignment for them…and then will turn into something they will continue after the semester ends. I love that this class, with its focus on digital publishing, goes hand in hand with blogging. In fact, our online newspaper is hosted through wordpress. It allows them to publish frequently and also have others read and comment on what they are talking about. Even though this is an assignment for them, it works the same as those who are starting a blog on their own.
Here are some steps to starting a blog of your own:
1. Decide what you’re going to write about. This is clearly the most important part of blogging. You need to find your audience, if your goal is to get readers. What is your passion? That will be the easiest topic to write about for you. I started out my blog as a photography blog…and then it evolved into what it is today. I know that if I blogged about certain topics (the posts that get more hits for me) I might have a higher readership, but I would rather come to blogging fresh each day with a new topic than blog about the same thing day in and day out.
2. Choose a hosting site. This is all about your comfort zone. I have found that I’m most comfortable with WordPress, but many of my students choose to blog through Blogger. I encourage everyone to get their feet wet with the free hosting sites first to see if you really are passionate enough about blogging to put money into it.
3. Choose your domain name – this may be tricky because there are so many blogs out there, but it can also be a lot of fun! Find a name that will help brand your site.
4. Pick a theme design that complements your topic. Are you planning on incorporating a lot of pictures? Choose a simple theme to highlight your page. There are so many different themes to choose from – HAVE FUN with it!
5. Start writing…That’s it – just start writing. You will soon find your voice and be able to share your thoughts and ideas with a wide audience!