I Throw Like a Girl

WFMW ~ Help With Starting a New Blog

Posted by Carol on September 3, 2008

It’s the Backwards Edition of Works for Me Wednesday (insert Game Show music here).  That’s when rather than offering a helpful hint for others, we ask a question ourselves and hopefully some really smart and helpful people will come by with super great answers.

I have a friend who wants to start her own blog and she has asked me for help.  So I am turning to you, my friends in Bloggsville for advice.  If you had to do it all over again, knowing what you know now about blogging, what would you do the same, and what would you do differently?

Please feel free to give advice on any aspect of blogging – from naming your blog, to choosing which platform, to domain names, design, anything that would help a newbie out!

Thanks in advance and for more deep questions about life, check out Rocks in my Dryer.

 

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11 Responses to “WFMW ~ Help With Starting a New Blog”

  1. Mel said

    Think carefully about your blog title and then match it to your URL. I originally named the blog something with our family’s last name, but then got sucked into the blogosphere and my blog grew and I didn’t like my last name floating out there anymore. As far as platform, I like blogger and find it very easy to work with and having a custom design makes me feel more professional than one of their ready made templates. Hope this helps!

  2. Calista said

    I would have picked a shorter name that was easier for people to remember. I like Blogger because it is easy to use, but due to the fact that it is so widely used, I had a hard time coming up with a name that was not already in use. Pick something catchy and easy, but please nothing with mama in it, that is sooo overdone. Do you think my blog name is too long?? Maybe it’s just me, I’m insecure like that.

  3. Decide whether you’ll be “anonymous” or not and who you want your reader to be. I started out just posting family pics and stories for my friends and family to read, then got sucked into doing things like WFMW and had a bunch more readers. Now I post recipes, parenting tips, deals and freebies I find…my audience has grown immensely from just posting pictures of a birthday party!!!

  4. Your blog is so cute! I love the name!
    I have only been blogging for a little while now, but I would suggest to write a few weeks worth of posts before you start blogging so you are ahead.

  5. amy said

    Short to medium posts with good use of paragraph breaks.

  6. Beverlydru said

    I second Mel’s advice to select a blog title that matches the URL. I really need to change mine now. Blogger is super easy to use. I have a blog for business that uses wordpress and it is a bit more complex in my opinion. Also need to consider whether you want advertising to be on your blog. I am too small to have an income but have talked to others who at least earn something each and every month. WordPress does not allow that unless you put it on your own server with your own domain name.

  7. Bitty said

    I suggest not doing daily categories, unless they’re extremely unique and your own.

    I also suggest using photos a lot.

    Make it completely your own; decide who your audience is, why you want to have one, and how you want to portray yourself.

    Don’t bother giving weird nicknames to any kids you have or picture – either don’t picture them, or call them by name but make your location uneasily identified.

  8. Dan said

    I’d agree with everyone above who recommends you keep yourself and your family pretty much anonymous. If I have family or friends reading Freshly Ground, they know who we’re talking about. If the reader doesn’t know who “Aunty A” or “Obi” is, then its none of their business. I also try to balance the family stuff with the more generic cooking stuff, just because I want to cater to my growing audience. Don’t write posts that are too long, because readers have so much information being thrown at them that they’ll get bored and move on. And try to maintain a balance of humour, information, and drama, if you can. Variety is the spice of life.

  9. Wanda said

    Make it you…..be real…….post often……use lotsa pictures…….think about what honors God…..and say it!

    Don’t pay a fortune for a designer!

    Don’t use it as a complaining station……

    Read other blogs…you’ll get the hang of it!

  10. Kay said

    Think your name and identity through. I didn’t do that and had to do a do-over not far into the game. All two of my readers made the move, so it worked out. Make your name and URL match. Less confusing that way.

    I made the mistake of thinking I wouldn’t care about cute headers etc and so I didn’t think some things through and found out I was on a dead end street with my blog name. another reason I started over.

    Use paragraphs. One long river of text is a turnoff. I prefer clear fonts and colors. Easier to read.

    I went anonymous. It was right for me. But I gave them names that make sense to me.. names we’ve actually called our kids.. not just assigning them a letter or a number.

    You can think you know who your target audience is, but you don’t unless you are a private blog. So I tried to keep that in mind when I redid things. It had to be simple enough and make sense. Explaining your blog name is a good thing too. I’ve seen blogs that I might of liked, but I couldn’t figure out why they named it that and then they referred to it a lot like I should just know. Answering the obvious questions to your readers up front is good.

    I tend to skip over blogs that have a daily theme. One or two are ok, but after a while it just gets predictable. That’s the one cool thing about reading blogs.. you never know what you’re going to get.

    ps Carol… the font color to the left of the ‘your comment’ box above the slots for our info is invisible. It might be helpful to consider changing the color just a little bit. : )

  11. I pay to have my site hosted at typepad and I think it’s worth every penny. They have a great help section, very explanatory. Also, I would secure a domain name (I like Go-Daddy) and have it point to my blog from the get go.
    I do not like to visit sites with music playing. I usually have my own iTunes going and the music then competes. Also, don’t make the comments too hard to leave, people simply won’t if you don’t make it easy for them.

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