(Disclaimer: This weeks blog post is not exclusively for students, or bloggers for that matter – it just so happens that I started mine during second year, and the title sounds quite catchy – so read on as you please).
I’ve envisaged this blog post in my mind as something similar to Blue Peter:
‘Today guys, we’re going to make a blog’ *Audience claps*
‘So here’s one I made earlier’
(Note to self: Blue Peter was a very special childhood programme)
OK, so to make your own blog, you will need the following:
- A domain (be creative, but certain that it’s right for you)
- A preferred server – I love all things WordPress, but everyone’s different
- An idea – just one is fine for now
And that’s it. No PVA glue and certainly no obscure items you have to beg your Mum to buy (I’m not still bitter).
Great. Now you’ve got your blog going, I’m ready to share 12 tips to get you going.
- Write your first post this week. I’d advise starting a year ago but thanks to Physics and Laws of Time – it’s not currently possible.
- Keep your posts short and sweet or you run the risk of waffling. And there’s nothing more stressful than trying to write sense through waffle. Let’s say 500 words.
- While you get comfortable developing your writing style, write as you think and save the posts as drafts – you can always come back to them later (especially drunk nonsense)
- Consistency is key. I sound like a bit of a hypocrite (ahem) but don’t start a blog if you’re not planning to make it a regular hobby. If you do, it’ll look sloppy and uncared-for and won’t impress employers. And they check up on blogs, trust me.
- Once you’re satisfied with your content, you need to start sharing it. Who likes talking to a brick wall, eh? Social media and sharing websites reach peak times during the morning – especially Monday morning (urgh) – so it might be an idea to schedule for your posts to get published then – especially as you might not be out of bed by then. (This week’s featured image shows the best time to share on each social platform – helpful for selfies too.)
- Invite your audience to engage and interact with you. A simple ‘what did you think?’ at the end of each post will suffice.
- If you’re going to allow comments on your blog, accept that there might be negative and constructive ones too. It’s not always the nicest experience and can feel a little demeaning but just accept it as a learning curve and don’t let them stop you writing.
- Be sure that you’ve got a moderation system in place – any offensive comments on your blog are your responsibility.
- Remember that one idea I told you to keep hold of? If it runs out of steam, it’s OK to admit defeat and try something new. Else you might be flogging a dead horse (Apologies for the gross analogy).
- So, you’ve got writer’s block. Now here’s a tip: Just close your eyes, blank your mind and write about the first thing you see when you open your eyes again. (It lead to me writing a blog post about bacon, which has been the most popular of my posts ever, go figure).
- If you are a student (that catchy title’s back to haunt me) then remember you’re at uni for a reason. It’s healthy to have hobbies but not if they get in the way of your work. If there’s an option to cut down or take a break then do so – but get your priorities straight first.
- And finally, sharing a mediocre blog post and learning from your mistakes is better than not posting at all.
So, now I’ve adopted the role of agony uncle for the day. Are there any other problems I can help you with?
I hope these hints and tips have come in handy, I know it can be a bit stressful starting a blog – especially if you’re a student. ‘What day is it again?’
Feel free to leave comments, get in touch in the usual places or better still – send me the link to your brand new blog! (I won’t charge commission, yet..)
Until next time