How to Start Your Own Blog!
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Have you ever thought of taking up blogging? Yes? No? Afraid you won't know what to write or don't have the time?
Well chances are, you already have all the right ingredients! Now you just need to find yourself a recipe and bake a lovely, plummy, bloggy cake.
Way back when (okay about 2007) I loved reading blogs, and in a time when facebook and Instagram weren't as big, the blog community was a fairly interactive little place. People chatted, built communities, hosted craft swaps and weekly link ups, where bloggy types would share everything from what they'd been making, to their creative space. Ah those were the days.
I've had a couple of blogs, and this is the first one that has really stuck for me. Want to know why? Because I am unafraid. It's a place I share my own creative journey and my thoughts. I always feel like on my social media accounts, that I am in a shared space. That there is an unspoken code of conduct to adhere to and you should have your visiting manners on.
On my blog, I feel like it's my own little internet house. I can write what I want and not apologise for any of it. Of course, this'd make more sense if I wrote something extremely controversial but fabric love doesn't leave a lot of room for that, does it? I mean, you either love it or you don't...and you do, right?
Blogs are wonderful little places to be you and the really amazing thing - you can self-publish without the need for contracts, a journalism degree or an editor going over it with a fine tooth comb.
It's like your very own online magazine...*squeal*
If you don't know what to write, I will let you in on a little secret! Half the time, I don't either! I just start writing. Practice makes perfect with anything and if you just start writing whatever comes into your head, you will get some momentum up and the post will 'reveal' itself. Much better than sitting there, staring at a blank, white screen page thing. With the little cursor blinking at you, willing you to put those thoughts down. So just start writing, any old thing. It works, I promise. Honestly, some of my most popular posts have been when I really have no idea what to write about and I had to just sit there and start TYPING whatever. Of course, I always get my broom and just go back through it afterwards to tidy up any loose ends or bits that don't make any sense at all.
Another writing tip I've found useful. Pretend you are writing an email. Yes do it! Put in "Dear Jane" at the start and write as if you are sending "Jane" a letter. It works really well to allow the conversational style to come through, your natural way of writing. As far as I know, good grammar as we knew it in school is out and the cool thing to do is write as if you were having a conversation. That way, your personality really shines through and it is much, much more interesting. Just so you aren't too interesting for your readers, remember to remove the "Dear Jane" part before posting. You know, unless you are specifically talking to Jane...
Have you ever jumped on Instagram and started typing this longish post? I have and nowadays, I sometimes pause and realize that what I am typing could be a really good blog post or topic that I could expand on even further if I moved it to my blog. So if you are a pro at Instagram, look no further than your very own profile..it could be you have already been creating the content all along! A blog is a wonderful place to really get talking on a topic, instead of making it just a paragraph, you probably have enough for a whole page!
Again on the practice thing, you really just have to write and publish to flex that underused writing muscle! This means you'll have to accept your writing imperfections, because done is so much better than perfect. Perfect is just a nice little road block to so many things in life, that we let get in the way of actually trying out something that we would like to do! Most blogging platforms are free so really, there is no reason NOT to try it out! I used blogger, but wordpress is also a popular option for many.
Now I have gracefully busted a few of your excuses for starting a blog, here is a final one. You are worried it won't look nice. You know, how will your new baby blog hold her head up when all the other kids seem to dress so fabulously? Well here's the thing - it's called a blog template and you can find them on boutique design websites for under $50 or on Etsy. Have a search - pre-made blog templates - they are out there and they make your blog look f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s. - Seriously it's like one of those cheaty makeovers you find on Pinterest that makes it look like you spent hours at the salon when really, all you did was buy some fun makeup, a curling rod and a cute outfit.
So what do you think? Ready to dip your toes in the blog pool?
Here are (just!) a few blogs I rather like:
Say Little Hen
Sew Mimi K
Cole and Taffy
Red Pepper Quilts
Do you have a favourite blog? Share it below and if you've got your own, be sure to link it too!