3 Things to Consider When Starting a Blog

by Abby on February 6, 2012

Mom blogger with babyAs I told you last time in my first installment of Blog Wisdom from a Wizened Old Blogger, one of the unexpected benefits of my first blog was connecting with other new moms. And apparently, I have research on my side: a study in the Maternal and Child Health Journal showed that first-time mothers who participate in blogging show greater levels of connection with family and friends, increased feelings of support, and other positive effects.

You might be tempted to think that blogging has jumped the shark since it’s been around for years now, but that’s not the case. New blogs are started every day. And not just by all those new moms! I have several friends who’ve recently started blogging for reasons including a) wanting to get in the habit of writing regularly, b) publicizing a new business or venture they’ve begun, and c) to build an audience or author platform.

While some of the following advice may seem basic to longtime bloggers, I remind you that not everyone – or even most people, I’d say – consider all the factors involved in longterm blogging before they start. If you have decided to start a blog, after you’ve first determined WHY, I’d recommend you consider:

1. Privacy. Will you use your real name? First only or first and last? Or will you use an alias or blog anonymously? (That’s what I did at first.) Just remember that it does no good to start an anonymous blog, then promote your posts on Facebook and Twitter using your real name. People will figure it out. Same goes if you post pictures of your kids. I once had a mom come up to me on the playground and say she recognized my son – who was wearing a Batman mask – from his photo on my “anonymous” blog.

2. Subject matter. Unlike many blog experts, I don’t think you have to have one specific, clearly defined niche. If you want to write a food blog, fine. If you want to blog about potbellied pigs, fine. But most bloggers need a broader range of topics to sustain their interest and keep generating material. This blog, for instance, regularly covers a handful of topics including parenting, writing, being a work-at-home mom, raising boys, and healthy living. However, if I feel like blogging about business or movies or the latest celebrity breakup, I will. I suggest coming up with a handful of topics that interest you, and focusing your blog on those subjects. Break it down into 3-5 categories. Say, parenting, fitness, nutrition, and fun, for instance.

3. Frequency. Will you post daily? Every other day? Three times a week? I’d recommend NOT posting daily if your posts are over 250 words, because most people following more than a few blogs can’t keep up. (I speak for myself here.) But if you post only sporadically, you’ll lose your audience. Decide on a schedule, then stick to it. Even if you have only a few readers in the beginning, you have an audience counting on you to post. I like this accountability; it keeps me writing when I feel like blowing it off to watch Golden Girls reruns. (Betty White is 90!! Can you believe it?)

If you’re itching to get started on the nuts and bolts stuff, there are many, MANY how-to resources for bloggers out there. One of my favorite sites is Momcomm.com. Browse through the archives to learn from the blog critiques, or download the DIY Blog Critique Workbook for tips and specifics. (affiliate link) Other sites I find incredibly useful are Problogger.net and Mom Blog Magazine.

Readers, please share: what are some of your do’s and don’ts for new bloggers?

LINK O’ THE DAY: From the SITS Girls, “20 Things I May Hate About Your Blog.”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello February 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

Good advice and if I ever decide to do my own blog, I’ll come back to this and take it to heart. You are right about keeping a schedule, I know that I will see a post from my regulars basically 3 times a week and I check daily on them. For those that post sporadically, I may simply not check their site for a few days as my time is limited.
I enjoy a variety of subject matter and check out story tellers of all types, whether it be fiction, about their kids or a short thriller series.


Abby February 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

Lou, you mean WHEN you start your own blog, not IF, right? 😉


Lou Mello February 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm

One never knows, do one? 🙂


Ali February 6, 2012 at 8:26 am

All good points

re: Privacy. My sister would probably tie in “safety” there as well. I post photos of my baby onto my blog and she thinks this is making it easy for kidnappers (she watches a lot of Criminal Minds). She’d have freaked if someone had approached her in the playground to inform her that they recognized her kids from online.


Abby February 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

I’ve actually thought a lot about that and I don’t understand that kidnapping argument. I just don’t see how that puts kids any more at risk. Especially since I’m careful about mentioning addresses, schools, and specifics like that. Also, I’ve heard that argument from people who put tons more pics on Facebook than I do on my blog. I guess every parent has to determine their own comfort level.


Ali February 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I agree.


Mrs.E February 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

I already have a blog but still found this interesting and helpful 😉


Shoshana Jackson February 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I’ve had my own blog for awhile now and my major issue is still frequency in posting. There are times when I’m a prolific poster and other times when I can’t get motivated to write. There are times when I feel like not paying my hosting fees and letting it go, but I have some regular readers so I stick with it.

What’s strange is I write articles for a living. I just find it hard to keep up with writing for my own blog, in my own voice. I like the idea that you have about not writing on just one topic. I think that may have been one of my problems. My writing jobs allow me to explore many subjects, but I’ve limited myself in topics for my blog. This has been a very helpful post. Thanks


Abby February 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Glad you found this helpful, Mrs. E & Shoshana. One good thing about blogging for a while is that you build up a backlog of content, so you can always repost something from your archives if you’re not feeling inspired. Since you get new readers all the time, and you can’t expect everyone to read every post you write, this is actually a great way to maximize your writing and not to get overextended.


Holly Rose February 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I’m new to blogging and I’m really glad I found this. I have been trying to find some good basics about blogging b/c sometimes I feel like I’m in way over my head. I love to write the posts but often times wonder if they go out into a black hole lol. I would like to know what the frequency is on most bloggers.


Abby February 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Hi, Holly Rose! Glad you found me and you found this helpful. Check back tomorrow for my next installment of “blog basics,” on how to make the most of your content.


How To Create A Blog June 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with
the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did
you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one today.


Abby June 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Thank you so much! It’s Thesis, but I paid a web designer to customize it for me. I’m much more of a writer than a designer!


How To Create A Blog June 13, 2013 at 12:54 am

It’s difficult to find experienced people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!



My Movie Pass Review August 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and
come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks
for the post. I’ll definitely return.


melanoma on September 23, 2014 at 8:38 am

Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the challenges.
It was definitely informative. Your website is useful.

Many thanks for sharing!


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: