how to start a blog. actually, how to start anything.

Posted on April 6th, 2011

A while back Clare Lancaster of Women in Business asked readers to share “the tips you would give yourself if you were starting up your blog today”. I get asked the same a lot.

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It’s funny because just yesterday I was thinking about a feature I wrote on the early blog sensations. This was back in 2008 when I was in New York. I interviewed Julia Allison (the first online megac-celebtrity) and Emily Gould (started the whole “snark” movement at Gawker.com) and Choire, who was just starting up The AWL. I also chatted to Problogger (Darren Rowse). At the time he was one of less than 10 or so bloggers in Australia who were making some money from blogging. Frontier stuff!

http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/goodweekend-dragged.jpg http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/goodweekend-dragged-1.jpg

http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/goodweekend-dragged-2.jpg goodweekend (dragged) 3

I’ve been blogging for a little over 18 months now.

My tip would be for anyone starting out. Or starting anything:

Enter the fray. Step in, get messy, work it out from there. Just enter.

With blogging NO ONE knows what they’re doing. Even now, several years after it all took off, there does not exist a “person” out there who can show you how to set it all up, design it, get the perfect mechanisms in place. Everyone is sucking and seeing. It’s BLOODY frustrating. Not a day goes by where I don’t scream to the gods, “WHERE IS THE ONLINE BUSINESS THAT COMES IN AND SHOWS HOW ALL THIS IS MEANT TO WORK!??!?”. (If you are that business, do get in touch!).  All we can do is share little tips along the way that gradually build things in the right direction.

I spoke to Darren from Problogger the other day and he says his (humungously popular and successful) site is like a house with layers and layers of extensions and patch-up jobs and annexes and lean-tos. Mine’s evolved the same way. I look at my site and it feels like a mangled hodge-podge of ideas that I have to tweak every day. I got a design student to help at the beginning (disaster) and a blog builder in NZ (difficult to manage). Then I tried virtual assistants via Freelancer.com (tough to manage, but seems to be working).

Every blogger feels the same. My mates at aquabumps and the coolhunter say the same. They’ve been tweaking and layering for 10 years. When I asked them what people now ask me  (“how do I build a blog”) they told me the same: “there’s no easy way…just start”.

When I worked at Cosmo, there was a sense among big publishers that they wanted to sit back and see where this whole online thing all heads….WRONG!! You have to be in there, getting messy in the fray, making mistakes, to be part of it. Blogging – like much of what we do now – is a moveable feast. The parameters change constantly and you don’t understand the jargon or the gist or the next move if you’re not already in the moshpit.

Which is to say. Just get into the moshpit. It doesn’t matter where. Just be in there. It’ll be messy. Everyone will forgive you, though. Then piece things together as you go, build, layer, learn from working out the problems. Don’t panic you’re getting it wrong. Continue. This is the new frontier.

That said, what tip would you wish you’d been told when you started out??

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au Chantelle {fat mum slim}

    I think that’s the best tip: Just do it.

    Don’t overthink it, just jump in.

    I’m not sure what advice I wish I’d been given. I think there’d be lots. Just to keep up the momentum. Write from the heart.

    Perhaps picking a niche topic would have been a great tip. x

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  • http://www.secretwater.com.au charley

    Definitely just get on with it. Keep an open mind as to where the journey might take you. Write about something that excites you so it never becomes a chore.

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  • http://richardxthripp.thripp.com/ Richard X. Thripp

    I think it’s best to build either one blog that is about everything your interest in or a bunch of blogs that are about each topic you are interested in. The former is largely a blog about you (a brand image), while the latter is a purpose-oriented blog (can also be a brand image). Topic-oriented blogs have more potential for pay-per-click advertising and short-term profits, but person-oriented blogs have the potential to build long-term, loyal, dedicated readers, so long as you don’t jump the shark.

    Many people feel they can’t write about something because they don’t have a degree, expertise, or credentials. They feel they have to either write authoritatively or write nothing at all. This is utter hogwash. The other option is to write about your experiences, one step at a time, and if you do this you will find other people have the same issues as you.

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  • http://taf.tumblr.com Teresa

    Totally agree. Embrace the imperfections.

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  • http://www.centralcoastseachange.com Tracey from Central Coast Seachange

    I think honesty is a good thing. I’ve always been honest on my blog but I know of some bloggers in the USA who like to present a ‘life’, an image; that doesn’t exist. Being truthful to your readers is essential otherwise they won’t stick around for long.

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  • http://www.shinyhappyart.com Anna Bartlett

    Definitely leave comments on the blogs that YOU are reading.
    I wrote my blog for a long time before I read somewhere that it is MANNERS to leave a comment if you’ve got something to say after reading someone else’s post.
    So I started joining in the conversation, which overflowed back to my own blog, and now I have a little network of blog ‘friends’ that make my life, quite simply, better.
    There are so many places I’d like to go with my little blog, and I do have to remind myself that it really is a hobby, so it can’t take over. But I love it, and it’s a part of me, and I’m SO glad I started in the first place.

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    Jason Reply:

    Anna, your site and blog are excellent.

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  • http://fitforacouchpotato.blogspot.com/ Alice

    I wish someone had just told me sooner to get in there and do it. I held off for ages, waiting until I had a perfectly formed idea – but the beauty of blogs is you can keep them evolving. I’m glad a friend I work with told me to just start one. I did it the next day and I’m so glad – because it’s given me the chance to get creative and really challenge myself.

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  • http://www.womeninbusiness.com.au Clare

    Thanks for the mention Sarah!

    I agree with Chantelle – picking a niche topic is really important. Finding your spot by combining what you love and what you know is how I found mine. That said, I feel like my blog is always evolving too – and sometimes the more that I try to define what I’m doing in a neatly packaged sound bite the less I want to conform to it?!

    Things I wish I’d done when I started… the single thing I’ve done that’s made an impact on my blog becoming a little business is adding a mailing list that readers can subscribe to. Also I wish I’d developed a product range earlier too (can’t earn money if you’ve got nothing to sell!). One more thing (bit obsessed with this topic at the moment) is not to rely on advertising if you want to build a sustainable biz from your blog. You need multiple income streams.

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    katie Reply:

    I do have a question about this mailing list readers can subscribe to. Is this the completely unknown (to me) RSS thing? Or something else?

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    Clare Reply:

    Yep – there are two different types. It can get a bit confusing!

    The mailing list I’m talking about is an email marketing mailing list. E.g. I use Mailchimp to send a weekly newsletter to my mailing list subscribers among other things. So I have a signup box on my blog and when someone enters their email address they go on that list.

    You can also offer your RSS* via email – which means that if someone has chosen to subscribe to your RSS feed this way they automatically get an email copy of your blog post when you publish it.

    * RSS means Really Simple Syndication and allows readers to view your posts without visiting your blog. It takes your blog post and delivers it into either a ‘reader’ or via email – however a subscriber has elected to receive it.

    Hope that hasn’t confused you more!

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    katie Reply:

    Thank you a ton for the clarification. I was beginning to feel like a bit of a twit! I have just subscribed to your newsletter. Thank you both (Sarah and Clare) for your postings! I’m loving the community you’ve got following you ladies.

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Katie, def subscribe to Clare’s newsletter!!!

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  • http://www.hoolifromthehill.blogspot.com Juliet

    I agree that knowing your niche and working with it is great. In hindsight I wish I’d known all the ‘extras’ that come along with blogging, specifically the self-promotion and the time consuming nature of social media to promote it. Knowing why you are doing it, what your goal is and setting parameters to keep on that track without it dominating your life is very important. Until I clarify that for myself and working out how that fits within my family life my blog will be in hiatus.

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  • http://aquestforculture.blogspot.com/ katie

    I just LOVE this entry. Really. I’m about four months in and have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Your kind words that people will forgive our mistakes is such comforting advice. Thank you!

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  • http://kpfusion.blogspot.com kimmie

    I’ve been blogging for a little over 6 months on my current fashion blog (I started blogging on Myspace in 07, then a personal/relationship diary in 08) but I wish I’d started it sooner. I don’t know why I was so hesitant switch streams but I enjoy it. I guess I felt like I had to do a blog like everyone elses but I jumped in with my own voice and I’m glad I did. Be honest and write about what interests you. Trying to fit someone else’s mold will only discourage you.

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  • http://www.freefallingskyward.blogspot.com/ freefalling

    This isn’t the necessarily the tip I would give myself but if I was to give unsolicited advice to others it would be – decide WHY you are blogging and let that set the tone.

    Maybe you are a bit up yourself and just like the sound of your own voice (guilty).
    Maybe you want to make contact with like-minded people.
    Maybe you just like having a visual diary.
    Maybe you want to make friends.
    Maybe you want to be a multi-media superstar.
    Maybe you want a bit of adoration
    or maybe you are selling something.

    I don’t like sneaky blogs.
    You think they are coming from one place and then suddenly out of nowhere they are trying to flog something – such a turn off.

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  • Mia

    I dont blog, I would maybe like to, perhaps get some positivity into the world re. AI disease. But on the other hand, do I really have enough time and attention to devote to it? Blog commenters can be real jerks – people say things online they wouldnt say in real life. Im not sure I really want to devote my energy to that.

    However, I do READ blogs, and one thing I have noticed is that you can really tell when someone is trying to increase their readership through being a bit un-genuine. You can always tell the legitimate voices who blog because they have something of substance to say, as opposed to the ones who want to be part of the popularity contest. Case in point was when everyone was praising Everett Bogue as the amazing wonderful minimalist blogger, and every second site raving about what a genius he was in the world of minimalism. Until he opened a site called fuckminimalism, declared the movement “over” and stabbed everyone in the back, and they were forced to back-pedal and swallow their words. Hilarious, for those who saw through the marketing and hype. But hurtful for many who believed in his message and felt they still had more to learn from it. Sometimes the blogging world reminds me of high school.

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    Jason Reply:

    Please don’t start a blog. It would be bollocks!

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    Mia Reply:

    Well, if I ever do… dont read it. :) Simple!

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    viola Reply:

    Jason, what a nasty thing to say. You surely know how to offend!

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    Jason Reply:

    Oh, it’s just a laugh. No big deal.

    Mel Reply:

    Oops had a bit of a chuckle Jason, just because I expected and you delivered so succinctly, I think Mia can well handle it. You are like a brother and sister.

    viola Reply:

    and Mia knows it’s a just a laugh?

    Madison Reply:

    Viola – calm down already!

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  • Lin

    Images confuse me… How do you illustrate your blog without breaking the bank if you don’t take your own photographs??

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    shez Reply:

    Hi Lin,

    If you google “free stock images” or “free stock photos” you’ll come up with a list of sites that have images that you can use on your own blog for free. They usually come with attribution conditions but you won’t have to shell any money out for them.

    The other option is to just start snapping. When I started my food blog, my photography was passable at best, but I’ve now gotten to a point where I’m truly enjoying the process of taking and posting images I’ve taken.

    All the best!

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    Lin Reply:

    Thanks Shez!

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  • http://heavenlyingredients.blogspot.com Laura

    Definitely jump in. Just like life really, you don’t know where it’s going to take you.

    I love some of the conversations that I have with people I’ve met through my blog – reassuring to meet ‘my kind’ of people, even in this foreign online world.

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  • http://www.sharnanigans.com sharni montgomery

    I blog and love it, its true you haven’t a clue what you are doing, but stick with it. I have found mine has evolved and I have evolved personally with it, in some ways i feel it has accelerated my own evolution.
    When I first started I just put random stories on it, i never had a vision for it. I wish someone had’ve told me that you need to write with an audience in mind and how important it is to spend time getting to know that audience. When Isay “I blog for me” i think , why not just write in a diary, online people are going to read it, so think of what will get them in

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  • http://www.sharnanigans.com sharni montgomery

    *above should read “When people say “I blog for me” …. etc…. too quick to hit enter.

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  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    I have been blogging for about the same amount of time as Sarah.. and I learn something new everyday! Write to Done (which was started by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits) has some really good tips, for people who want concrete advice. But I do agree with Sarah, there really are no rules. Just jump in there, see what works for you and what doesn’t, and tweak as you go along.

    I think the most important thing is just to be authentic, and to have an authentic voice. Sometimes I write things that are so intensely personal that squeeze my eyes shut as I click “publish”, because it is scary to put myself out there like that. But then I get an email from a lady in Belgium thanking me, because she is going through the same thing… It is really heartening.

    My favourite piece of advice is from Elizabeth Gilbert; it is for writers but I think it could be applied to bloggers too: “My suggestion is that you start with the love and then work very hard and try to let go of the results. Cast out your will, and then cut the line. Please try, also, not to go totally freaking insane in the process.” If you are coming from a place of love and authenticity, you can’t go wrong. It’s up to the people who gravitate towards your blog (whether through twitter, email, facebook, Google, recommendations, comments etc) to identify with your words and become loyal to your voice and vision. You can’t force anybody to “like” you; it’s just a matter of finding those people out there who are already waiting for you to cross their paths.

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    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Nice feedback Laura x

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  • Sara

    Speaking of blogs, I would love to hear what other blogs your subscribers are currently subscribed too?? Or where to find a list of amazing blogs… If one exists!

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  • http://www.easythrillsemptypockets.blogspot.com/ Lauren

    Our blog is just a baby, one month old last week! Luckily both of us had had some experience with online publishing and knew what we were in for, but I’d say understanding the time and dedication necessary to generate some really good work is a key starting point.

    Have good goals in place and know where you hope blogging will take you, otherwise it might seem like just a lot of hard work for little return. That said, be flexible within these goals, the internet is such a shifting commodity and you need to keep your eyes open to all kinds of opportunities.

    Our site has only been live for a few weeks, but Ell and I were discussing the other day how it feels like much, much longer. The key, though, is that we’re both incredibly excited with how things are shaping up, and completely energised for what might eventuate next!

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  • Carmen

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a blog platform? I’m thinking of starting one and not sure if WordPress is the best around? I have used this on a professional level but found it quite frustrating and ended up handing it over to a technical team so I could concentrate on writing instead.

    Any pointers would be appreciated?

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    shez Reply:

    I’ve hosted on a number of different platforms and settled on wordpress. It takes a little bit of getting used to but is by far the easiest interface I’ve seen, and the one that involves the least amount of coding.

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    Carmen Reply:

    Thanks Shez, I’ll have to put my patient hat on and get into it!

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  • http://www.stuffthatibought.com Elise @ Stuff That I Bought

    Great post Sarah. Definitely the same advice I would give people – just do it! No one *really* knows what they’re doing, but we’re all making mistakes together and figuring it out as we go.
    Freefalling makes a great point above too – definitely ask yourself why you blog. If you need to express your creativity then yay! If you want to be the next Brian Boy, yay! If you don’t know straight away then yay too! My objectives change all the time, but underneath it all I keep reminding myself why I blog – I love to write.

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  • http://swishdesign.com.au Kelly

    Definitely the best advice is to just start! And it’s super important to find a niche that you personally love to write about. Because if you don’t love it, you won’t stay the course.

    Carmen – I have three blogs, all WordPress. WordPress is the best blogging platform bar none, but can be frustrating to get set up. So maybe get someone to set it up for you … and then you can take it from there :)

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  • http://www.onebitemore.com shez

    Great advice Sarah :) I procrastinated starting a topical blog (as opposed to a personal, unedited, train of thought blog) for months and months thinking that I didn’t have the requisite expertise about the subject matter (food) or the ability to draw in readers. I wish I’d started back when I originally thought to!

    The one thing I wish I’d been told at the start is to focus on content first and design second. I (sadly) neglected writing for a month or two whilst I did a total redesign and found myself frustrated and resenting the whole blogging process. When I got back to the writing, everything started to click again.

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  • Marina

    This is such perfect timing! Thank you so much for talking about this. I have only just decided to start a blog (this week) and have all these ideas swimming around in my head about when, why and how to go about it. I am really excited about the idea of putting my writing out there (writing, another thing i’ve been procrastinating about starting up again) and creating something personal, but I had no idea where to start. All this discussion has alleviated the anxiety considerably and given me a new perspective from which to begin. Thank you all for this priceless information.

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  • http://themindfulfoodie.com Lesh

    Hi Sarah, I love this post. It’s so timely. I started my blog about two months ago, and I love it! My blog is about respecting your health, the environment and animals through eating real food – which I am so passionate about. So it definitely helps to be passionate about what you’re blogging on, as you need the motivation to keep it going. Even if you don’t make money form your blog, it’s a great way to record your thoughts and research in case you ever wanted to publish a book. Think of all the time you’d save if you could use your blog to submit a book proposal to a publisher?

    Just go ahead and do it – there is no right or wrong way :)

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  • http://www.anandawellbeingsupport.com Tameka

    I have a question… How do you get people to read it?!
    And I know that we should all be creative for ourselves first but… Having an audience to bs accountable to is useful in urging one on!!

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    Tracey Reply:

    I agree, I would also love to know how to get people to read and comment. I have had a few but have also had quite a few “jibberish” comments as well. Scared it is someone planting viruses or the like.

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    shez Reply:

    Take a look at what Anna said above – it’s fantastic advice.

    When I started blogging (just over 2 years ago) the only people that read it were my family and a couple of close (or maybe just curious!) friends.

    The best thing to do is to let people you already know, know that you’re blogging. I posted an update on facebook for every post I wrote and my friends sometimes “liked” or re-posted my updates to their own walls. I also did what Anna said and kept up the commenting on blogs I already read & commented on before I started blogging. Not to “advertise”, just to connect and join the Sydney food blogging community. There are also numerous forums and common interest sites that you can join.

    More recently, I’ve started a twitter account and, apart from my musings about day-to-day life, tweet whenever I’ve put up a new post. Some of my followers read my blog from time to time, and that’s a good way of letting them know when a new post is up. (Which, incidentally, is what Ms Sarah Wilson does too!)

    Main thing is to be genuint – I’ve made some fantastic friends from blogging and even been a bridesmaid at a fellow food blogger’s wedding. The key is to see blogging as an avenue for building relationships instead of a broadcasting medium. Hope this helps :)

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  • http://www.skincareonthewww.com.au Tracey

    Interesting reading, I have a “blog” attached to my new little on line skin biz and just started it having NO idea what I was doing. Pleased I am not the only one by reading comments. It’s a real thrill when someone actually comments on it!

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  • http://www.FoxInFlats.com.au Andrea

    My friend encouraged me to start my site when she asked a simple question “How much do you want it?”

    I had been coming up with many reasons why it would be ‘hard’, but when she flipped the perspective for me, I found I could come up with millions of reasons why I really wanted to start FoxInFlats, and from then on made it happen.

    It is only new, and I’m learning as I go, but am loving it.

    Some other great advice: Keep calm and Google it. Everything you need is online, and there are so many people in cyber-world willing to help.

    Carmen, I explored a few different blog providers till I found one that suited me. I ended up using WordPress.org . Has great theme options, and support. Get something like ‘WordPress for Dummies’, it makes it so much easier!

    One of the best things I did though was purchase a premium theme for about $70. The site looks much better I think, and they have a fantastic online support team that helps me out.

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    Andrea Reply:

    That said, I’m struggling with my MailChimp set up. Am trying to do it as we speak, but finding it a little frustrating.
    Sarah, is yours a template or did you get it designed specifically?

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  • http://sweeter-living.blogspot.com/ Kris

    Write from the heart.
    Write about what you love.
    Comment on other blogs you love.
    Write for yourself, even if no one reads your blog.
    Being only 5 months old, I am still very much in the infant stages of my blog.
    I still have no idea what I’m doing. But I write. And I love getting my thoughts out there :)

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  • Caitlin

    Perfect timing again for your post Sarah, am in the preliminary stages of a website and blog, ideas to write about but being stopped with ‘how to I begin’. Thanks again for being the inspiration to get in and get messy.

    I just read this quote from before you post, think its apt…’Start now and think later, Spirit will take care of the rest.’

    On that note, am off to blog! :)

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    Caitlin Reply:

    Ekk didn’t edit that comment before sending!

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  • viola

    Interesting to read about it from your side Sarah – from a reader’s perpective, your blog seems perfectly formed. I realise I have never questioned or thought about how it all comes together, and I

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  • viola

    whoops! Small people messing with the keyboard! To continue:

    …and I wonder how many readers actually do? I wonder if order (if that is the opposite of hodge podge) is necessary.

    When you say tweaking, what do you mean? The words? The design? The themes? The technicalities?

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  • http://finity.tumblr.com/ tee

    I’m just a novice at blogging, but from observing them for a long time I think it’s really important to either, a) have a theme and try to stick to it, or b) have a very strong personal identity that is going to carry through to your readers. there are so many aimless, meandering blogs out there, and most of them don’t do very well.

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    freefalling Reply:

    I guess it depends on your definition of “doing well” – having lots of readers/commenters?
    Not everyone blogs for their readers.
    If it is an outlet for self-expression and no one reads it does that mean it’s pointless?

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    tee Reply:

    no, of course not everyone wants to “do well” in the sense of gaining a million readers. if your blog is form of self-expression, then you should do whatever the hell you want.
    but if you do want people to read your blog, i think the things i said above do apply.

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    freefalling Reply:

    yep. fair enough.

  • http://www.quietmindmeditation.blogspot.com Sarah

    Like most of life …

    ‘You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down’ Ray Bradbury

    And blogging is great fun!!

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  • http://www.quietmindmeditation.blogspot.com Sarah

    Like life …

    “You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down” Ray Bradbury

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  • http://sasasunakku.com Sasa

    I wish I had started with the self-hosted WordPress from the very beginning (switching was a pain) and I also think it’s a good idea to choose a name people can spell by hearing it (I didn’t do that and I regret it a bit). Lastly, it’s a good idea to buy the domain (.com name) for the title of your blog – the title and domain name should match, unless you only blog as a hobby for yourself.

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  • http://www.stephmeetsworld.com Steph

    I completely agree. Just jump in. Don’t think about it too much. Your blog will evolve over time. One piece of advice I would give though is find a mentor or a fellow blogger to encourage you along the road. It can be someone you meet on twitter or someone you know personally, just anyone to bounce ideas off and keep pushing you along when you think no one is reading and no one cares. I’ve become much more adventurous in my blogging since I found my mentor.

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  • http://www.stephmeetsworld.com Steph

    Also, Sarah I loved that article. I didn’t click that ‘Sarah Wilson’ was actually you. I still read Julia Allison’s blog. I don’t always agree with everything she does/says but she sure is an interesting case study in the “media celeb”.

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  • http://jessicamullen.com jessica mullen

    This is such a wonderful post! So many people aren’t sure how to start out but all you have to do is start! It made me so happy to read about “layering” improvements on sites, mine’s exactly the same and it’s so reassuring!
    xo

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  • http://tobeilluinated.wordpress.com dani

    this is a great post.

    it’s nice to share the fact that sometimes there isn’t any ONE ANSWER or SINGLE RIGHT WAY to start a blog. kind of like life really!!

    i agree with the ‘just dive in’ thing. otherwise put, ‘leap and the net will appear!’ one of my favourite sayings :)

    i found with my blog that it certainly began quite messily – writing about too many different topics and sometimes trying too hard to sound ‘cool’. but with time it has become more natural, i’ve gravitated towards a broadish topic that i feel excited and always motivated to write about and i am more comfortable in this little cyber skin.

    it also helped to speak with my friends face to face about the blog – people who were interested in similar things and people i could trust to give me some honest criticism. an editor friend of mine gave me some great tips on topic direction and the ways i expressed myself. she was amazing actually.

    good luck to all the bloggers out there! remember that it’s about fun and expressing yourself. if it becomes a chore – what’s the point???

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  • http://tobeilluminated.wordpress.com/ dani

    this is a great post.

    it’s nice to share the fact that sometimes there isn’t any ONE ANSWER or SINGLE RIGHT WAY to start a blog. kind of like life really!!

    i agree with the ‘just dive in’ thing. otherwise put, ‘leap and the net will appear!’ one of my favourite sayings

    i found with my blog that it certainly began quite messily – writing about too many different topics and sometimes trying too hard to sound ‘cool’. but with time it has become more natural, i’ve gravitated towards a broadish topic that i feel excited and always motivated to write about and i am more comfortable in this little cyber skin.

    it also helped to speak with my friends face to face about the blog – people who were interested in similar things and people i could trust to give me some honest criticism. an editor friend of mine gave me some great tips on topic direction and the ways i expressed myself. she was amazing actually.

    good luck to all the bloggers out there! remember that it’s about fun and expressing yourself. if it becomes a chore – what’s the point???

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  • http://www.themsivory.blogspot.com Ebony

    Sarah, another wonderful post.

    I started blogging last year again, and hate that whenever I step up to the plate, I don’t feel like what I’m posting is good enough. I’m really going to take what you, and everyone else here has said about just going for it.

    It’s so hard when you have people that do this full time, and invest so much energy into creating an ‘online image’.

    Keep up the great posts. Your blog is such a big hug. I’ve come here so many times feeling down and managed to walk away feeling great because what you’ve said has resonated with me, such as the need to slow down.

    Keep being real, because when you are, you reach out to so many people and it’s nice to let people know that we’re all feeling the same :)

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  • http://stethescopesandivlines.wordpress.com Nearly-Nurse

    I’ve been blogging nearly 12 months. When I started I wanted to write sole-ly about being a student nurse. Now I write about everything from being a student nurse with a mental illness, to memories of childhood, to other things that are going on in my life. When I started I had pictures of me on my blog, used names, etc. and I don’t anymore. The risk of being found by a potential employer or something is too great. Really, sure I watch how many hits (averaging over 150 per day at the moment for some strange reason!!!!) but I don’t obsess about it. I write what I want, when I want. I write what feels real and what comes from the heart.

    Great post Sarah :)

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  • http://www.180nutrition.com.au/blog Guy

    The internet is certainly a daunting prospect when starting out, but just like you said Sarah, you’ve got to get amongst it and get your hands dirty and go from there :)

    “Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.”
    -Stanley Kubrick

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  • http://eatingtrue.weebly.com/ Penny

    Hi Sarah,

    where do you find all your awesome blog feature pictures? (Every single one tells a thousand relevant words that bounce off your own writings for the day). Your picture choices are one of my favourite parts of your blog.

    Do you own copyright? If not, how do you attribute them to the owner?

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  • http://www.nutritolavita.com irene@nourishedlife.com

    Sarah your blog is totally responsible for mine. I was reading your post on the toxic apartment you were living in… the same week i was well and truly fed up with getting sick all the time and feeling constantly lethargic. Your post was like someone just hit me over the head with your non scratch, carcinogenic frying pan!! For the next year I went about investigating which of our food and products are laced with toxic chemicals (there were so so many!!!) and I’ve been swapping them with non toxic alternatives. 6 months later I feel totally fantastic & bursting with energy. I’ve also lost all my excess weight and half my wrinkles. I was so excited about all my findings and the differences I could see that I just had to blog about them. But I wasn’t sure if I was doing a site about health, food, energy or avoiding chemicals. But once I started writing I realised I had a clear focus “swapping out toxic ingredients and products in our everyday life with non toxic versions”! Of course I should be posting now but I’m reading yours instead….

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  • http://www.howdoyoustartablog.net/blog Emil

    “Enter the fray. Step in, get messy, work it out from there. Just enter.”

    Such great words :) Thanks for the really wonderful post!

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  • Ximena

    Thanks Sarah, loved the post.

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  • http://www.sarepa.com Sarah Duncan

    Phew! Thanks for the advice. It’s good to know no one really knows what they’re doing. Because I feel like I change, tweak, shuffle things around, every single day. I love your blog Sarah, always great advice.

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  • http://www.goodblogs.com.au/ Alice Cornelios

    Most of us get the wrong perception or mindset when we start to blog. It is mainly because a lot of people blog about the fortune you will get in blogging but the reality strikes when you are about 3-6 months working in your blog and yet nothing yet happens.

    True, there is no easy way to earn money in blog that is why some people call it a hobby. bu, the possibilities and opportunities are still there. And sometimes, you jut have to blog and not thinking about the money, it will eventually come in the right timing of things provided that you work for it in the process.

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  • http://retrowhirl.com/ Priscilla @ Retro Whirl

    Great post! I love your blog. Great to know that others struggle too! The only way to succeed is to give it ago! Focusing on a topic you enjoy also helps keep the blog alive.

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  • Adam

    Andrea, I had the same problems with MailChimp and was about to get rid of it because it was so hard to format each post. I then decided not to use a template and everything has been fine since. I must have done a bad job setting it up!

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