I'd like to start a blog...where to begin?

That’s pretty much it. My friend and I are going to embark on a domestic adventure soon, and I think a blog might be fun.
I’ve looked at various sites online but I’d like some feedback from others who may have already done the process…just the basics, I guess.

  1. try hard not to be boring. Just because it’s your life does not make it fascinating to anyone except yourself.
  2. proofread for chrissake.
  3. don’t be confessional, you will regret it quickly.
  4. make a point to create continuity. As in, "In my last entry, two years ago, I was pregnant and was planning to dye my hair black, and George didn’t know whether he got that job in Zimbabwe. So I’m going to now bring you up to date, not just post a picture of me with my new kitten with the caption “look what I found in Greenfield!”

I started a blog 4 years ago about my favorite baseball team. I just went to blogger.com and set up an account. I’m actually a professional Web developer with a stable of my own Web servers and I didn’t want to bother with anything but a hosted blog.

I took some time to design it how I want - colors, and position of stuff - but still basically used the standard template. There are tiny tiny tweaks by me but not much.

I also got a Twitter account and use twitterfeed.com to automatically make a post to Twitter when I make a new blog post.

I don’t get that many views but I am consistent about writing and pretending as if I had a larger audience. A lot of my stuff gets read after-the-fact (my posts are kind of timely) by people searching Google.

Having a lot of unique pictures and gifs helps in my case. YMMV (but people do love pictures)

I write a couple of blogs using Wordpress. I created a Facebook page for one of them and have it set to post to the fb page every time that I write a new post.

Are you asking about the technical and practical aspects of setting up a blog, or the ongoing process of writing and keeping motivated?

If it’s the latter, WordPress.com regularly posts prompts and tips for bloggers. (Disclosure: I work for the company that runs wp.com)

It’s really easy to recommend WordPress. It’s easy to get started with, and offers different paths for control down the line. You can easily pay to make your blog look more professional OR put in some elbow grease to do so yourself.

All of this is helpful. I’m looking for beginner how-to info, so the website referrals are very helpful. I literally was googling “how to start a blog” and that leads to a zillion sites, so narrowing it down is really important. This will give me some places to start investigating. Motivation and keeping it up, etc…all that will be part of the process, I’m sure.
I don’t know that many people will find it fascinating or bother to follow, but some of my friends and interested folk may eventually find their way to it. A few of my fb friends have requested/suggested a blog, and I thought it would be worth considering. I’m cutting back my hours at my daytime job so would like a project or two to work on.

I’d say the first thing you must think about is WHY you want to blog?

To keep your own online diary?
To earn money?
To provide a vehicle for linking back to a website or some other marketing goal?
To keep family and friends up to date?

I was using the free wordpress.com template for a while - but recently switched to my own domain. ($5 per year for the URL plus another $100 for two years of hosting).

For me, I provide webdesign services (I’m not a programmer though), as well as SEO, and content provision. So the blog is primarily a way for me to boost back links. The stuff I write for it is relevant to the industry, and some of it also gets hosted on the websites that I (my company) designs and manages

I started my blog because occasionally I needed to rant, to stop something that was occupying my brain cluttering my thoughts. It started out frequently updated, then soon became infrequent, and now it’s only one entry a year. Most of my thoughts can be reduced to 140 characters or less, so it goes on Twitter.

You could try getting away with starting a thread in the “mundane shit I must post forum” and keep adding to it. It couldn’t be too much worse than a lot of stuff that get started over there.

Share your failures as well as your successes - too many blogs (especially culinary ones) are all sparkly and idealised - here’s a perfect cupcake! Here’s the perfect pancake! I am the perfect chef! - life isn’t like that.

Whatever form your domestic adventure takes, it will probably be more interesting to read if your visitors get to see the challenges and setbacks you face up to - as well as the times when you hopefully prevail.

My failures tend to be much more amusing than my successes, so keeping it real shouldn’t be a problem. :slight_smile:
I’d like a place to keep sort of an online diary, but one that is suitable for most friends and family provided they can deal with the occasional f-word. Although I have some hobbies that tend to crop up on my facebook page, I don’t want a specific food/knitting/frugal blog…more of an all-around…hmmm–lifestyle?–focus.
Making money would be a wonderful benefit but I can’t even imagine that at this point, so that’s not a main reason I’m thinking of it.
I like facebook but I feel like it’s limited in some ways…I’d like to have an entire post show up, for instance.
I’ll have some time to explore this weekend. Thanks for all the thoughts and tips. I’d love to visit some Doper blogs and will try to do that if anyone wants to post a link (can we do that?) or send me a pm.