Do you like to keep a journal as a record of your life experiences to help you remember and catalog the fleeting thoughts of daily life? How would you feel about sharing those thoughts or observations with others?
If this interests you, you might wish to start your own online blog, which is like a journal that you compose in cyberspace.
A blog can be a place to share your expertise or interests, collect your thoughts, or even market a business. Read on for reasons why creating a blog might be for you.
What will your blog be about?
If you decide to start a personal blog, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can write about. In keeping with the old axiom to “write what you know,” sharing information or insights about your everyday experiences is a great way to start blogging. Linking your observations to facts and information that can educate and entertain others is a bonus that will likely keep readers coming back.
Whether you choose to write a food blog, a travel blog, a political blog or one about garden gnomes, you may very well find an appreciative audience interested in what you have to say.
For business sites, of course, blog topics should relate to the product or service being promoted.
Which blogging site will you choose?
There are a number of different interfaces you can use for your blog.
Blogger, now a Google property, was one of the first blogging sites. Tumblr has a simple, yet sophisticated format, and Posterous makes setting up a blog quick and easy. WordPress themes allow for a very smooth, professional look.
LiveJournal, as the name implies, has a more personal than professional approach. Like a MySpace for the blogging world, LiveJournal’s focus is on community and groups gathered around shared interests. Its options allow users to make their journal as private or public as they like. Diary.com is a similar option that also lets you sync with task, calendar and social media applications.
A live journal…and more
Blogging began as a way to expand a personal Web presence by talking to friends and strangers about what you love - or hate - in a ‘dear diary’ style. With a blog, you can get personal in a timely way, updating it whenever you want. You can create an online journal that just might become “appointment reading” for friends and fans.
Fame can be achieved through blogging. In 2003, a frustrated temp, Julie Powell, decided to cook the 524 French recipes in Julia Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in the span of one year - and blog about the experience, at the same time. Her Julie/Julia Project project gained a large following and was adapted into a 2009 major motion picture, called “Julie & Julia” - the first time a blog had been brought to the big screen.
Powell’s blog ultimately had a dual purpose: it was both a personal expression and a professional outlet for her as a writer. This is common: a popular blog may take the form of a professional (or intentionally unprofessional) observation about a person’s experience in his industry or a citizen-journalist’s update on a particular subject.
Though the blog - and its new media cousins, Facebook and Twitter - have institutionalized the habit of sharing personal information with scores of complete strangers, the most-read posts of today are either truly informative or else very funny, offering readers tips, insight or humor that they can’t get anywhere else. And as businesses make blogging a part of their marketing plans, it seems everyone is bidding for the most eyes.
Perhaps you don’t care about publicity; you may just have something to say and don’t really care how many others will read it. Either way, if it’s time for you to blog, there are more ways to do it quickly and easily than ever before.
Like a pen-and-paper journal, a blog is the perfect venue for stream-of-consciousness creative writing and sharing about any number of topics - for all to read and share. Choose your blog host, your topic, and your style - the only limits are the time and energy you find to post what you have to say!