1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

How to start blogging September 12, 2008

 image bykatisommer

Blogging has proved to be not a hype but an important online activity, very creative and useful for many. At some point regular blog-readers get inspired to start blogging and naturally seek for some advice.

Being a 2 year old blogger :), I have the following to share:

1. GURU-blog. 

Fall in love with your favourite blog!  – the best inspiration is by love, and naturally you will pick out a blog which appeals to you, because you can actually do the same. When I started, my inspiration was Meditation Photography by Suresh, with his excellent pictures and great philosophical texts, which he always kept short enough. In the beginning you always have to learn, and it is better to learn from the best!

2. WHAT IS YOUR BLOG ABOUT?

The subject of your favourite blog is probably also the best for you 🙂 So what do you want to blog about? Normally, a blogger has a certain theme, which makes the orientation easier both to the blogger and to the readers. You may also like to blog on random topics – in that case you need a strong personal expression to make the blog interesting. People will read you just because of your special character, your style of writing and self-expression, does not matter whether you blog on the US president elections or your last shopping for shoes My favourite example here is the blog of my best friend Sладкая жизнь. – she may blog about any silly or any deep stuff – it is for the language and her gorgeous metaphors that I love to read this blog. My blog Shaktipower is clearly dedicated to one narrow topic of woman and her spiritual beauty. That was also the reason why I started another blog, because I felt too limited by the topic. 1000petals falls more under the category of random thoughts, although I blog about everything from the spiritual perspective, which serves as a golden thread to this kind of blog.

3. TECHNICAL PART.
Register on Wodpress.com  – it is really the best blogging platform for the reasons I gave here. At WordPress you can choose your blog design out of variety of layout/themes (I guess they are more than 100). If you still need more uniqueness, you can go to WordPress.org and create your very special blog with great plugins and the most beautiful themes – but only if you are familiar with CSS and stuff like that.

4. USE PICTURES!

Your blog is the manifestation of your personality. Some people love pictures, some not – but we all have left and right brain hemisphere, we all need word and image to please our intellect. That is why it is hard to precept a blog without a single picture… So, do not hesitate to implement nice photos into your blog posts. The best way to do so is to use your own pics – even if you have never tried it out, it is high time to start taking photos. For 2 years I did not know what “megapixel” is – now I have 2 photo blogs! 🙂  Another way out would be using photos made by others (my favourite source is flickr.com), however there is always a copyright issue. Intrestingly, it is after a couple of copyright incidents (I linked to the photos but did not ask for the permission beforehand), that I satarted with my own photography.

5. WRITING STYLE.

First of all think whom are you addressing. Even if you never know who may land on your blog, keep in mind a person you are narrating your story to. There will be certain type of people visiting you, and when you address them, they will feel your are talking to them personally. That is beautiful. Some excellent tipps for writing well I found by Nita here – by the way, she is another blogging Guru to learn a lot from.

5. SPELLING.

Try to write well and take care of spelling! I am still too bad at that and sometimes forget to check. Thanks God, I have some good friends who double check 🙂

6. PATIENCE.

Blogging is like bringing up children, you will need lots of love and patience – with yourself, with your readers and with fitting your blogging into your daily life… But you will be rewarded, because blogging is one of the most joy-giving and fresh activity of today` life! Some more reasons to start blogging you will find here.

In this sense, go ahead! 🙂

P.S this post is dedicated to Ramya, who has been very persuasive about starting blogging with my tipps.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

axinia

 

29 Responses to “How to start blogging”

  1. John Says:

    As another veteran blogger I agree with pretty much everything Axinia says.
    However, I’m a blogspot blogger.
    Why do I use blogspot? Its owned by Google who seem to give priority in their search results to material held on their own servers. Its logical really, faster response time.
    So if you blog for the sheer joy of blogging, then wordpress is for you. However if you blog to share information or a viewpoint, then blogspot with its google connection could well be for you!

    John

  2. Nita Says:

    Axinia, thanks for mentioning me. I do agree with all your points…the most important I think is one’s unique style. Imitations don’t succeed. Also one needs to focus on the blog, not on the hits etc. Well, that is what I think. Also I was on blogspot for the first few months and I wasn’t on the search engines even after two months of blogging. Well, not in the first 10 pages at least. Once I came on wp, I came on the search engines in two weeks. In the first five pages.

  3. axinia Says:

    @John,
    thanks! I know you are a blogspot veteran 🙂 However the time changes – like Nita, I too noticed that wordpress Blogs rank much higher that the Blogspot ones. There is a new trend listing “all posts at wordpress for… ” to a certain search term, which often appeart straight after wikepedia results!! – on of the top on the first google page. Apparently it is not the case with blogpost.

    @Nita,
    thank you! You know how much I value your work and your opinion.
    Regarding imitations: it did not mean to imitate somebody, but to simply get inspired by one blog. Imitations are always poor, and uqniquness is the key word for a blogger anyway. It reminds me of a musical teaching tradition – you learn form one master, and then, if you are talanted and dedicated enough, you do it better. 🙂

  4. sahajhist Says:

    ladies, you had me worried there!
    I’ve just checked some of the specialist phrases I blog on, and my blogs are still high on the first page of results, as are other blogspot blogs – and whats more I didnt see a single wordpress blog alongside them… :)-

  5. Ramya Says:

    Thanks a ton Axinia…..:)….Its true that readers feel that the blogger is talking to them personally….I dunno about others I certainly feel :)….
    I am on my way now….
    Love
    Ramya

  6. Bad Karma Says:

    @John
    That goes against the Google philosophy their search is unbiased. They do not give priority to their own products.

  7. axinia Says:

    @JOhn, I guess the simple reason is that there are no wordpress blogs on the specialist phrases you blog on – I mean not the ones who have the wording in the URL, or be directly dedicated to your topic.

  8. Hi Axina,

    On the Blogspot vs WordPress discussion going on above, I am in a unique position to share my inputs. I have been maintaining two blogs – one in wordpress and one in blogger. I write all my posts in both of them and publish it at the same time. Simultaneously. I started this experiment right from my second post in blogger (first in wordpress) and this is going on for about nine months. I comment on other wordpress blogs as a wordpress user and blogspot blogs as blogspot user. My personal favorite is wordpress. And that’s where bulk of the search traffic also lands up. It seems blogger is good for techie people as it allows some more customization than wordpress. But I am not techie! Maybe I should publish the stats etc. from both the blogs around december – when I would complete one year.

    Destination Infinity

  9. Nita Says:

    Axinia, yes, you have the right distinction. Inspiration is one thing and imitation another. But often the imitators don’t admit they are imitators…I think you know what you mean.In fact rarely would an imitator say he is imitating, he would use the word “inpire.” How does one realise who is imitating and who is being original but simply inspired? The readers can make out.

  10. Nita Says:

    sahajhist, I think maybe there aren’t any wp blogs that are as good on the subject, exactly like Axinia says. I also agree with what bad karma says, google will never be biased like that.

  11. Nita Says:

    sorry for the third comment but I just read DI’s comment. DI, it is very interesting what you said. Please do a post on this!!

  12. axinia Says:

    @Destination Infinity,
    that is a very, very intresting exprience. Looking forward for your stat summary in December! 🙂

    @ Nita, you feel sory for the thirs comment?!? It is a special plasure, to get many comments from you 🙂

  13. Great post, Axinia. I read a blog for the first time when Iraq was invaded and occupied. I was really irritated by the biased news reports of the so-called “mainstream media” (Al-Jazeera did not have an English website at that time). The blog was written by a young Iraqi woman who described the horrors of the unethical invasion (by the way, she was a Shia and she hated Saddam Hussein). Suddenly, she stopped posting and I don’t know what happened to her after that 😦

    But I was inspired to start blogging after reading Nita’s blog, one of the best out there on the blogosphere.

    Ofcourse, I agree that WordPress is the best, way ahead of the rest! 🙂

    By sheer coincidence, I have discovered that an easy way to appear at the top of search results is to write posts on topics that are not common. It is easier for Google to list your post at the first spot when there are only about 5,000 search results, when compared to 500,000. But the number of netizens searching for rare topics is not high.

    I’ve just had an issue with copyright infringement of a photograph 😦 I used a photo on a post and I credited the photographer and acknowledged the source of the photo. The website administrator wrote a very polite e-mail asking me not to use their photograph. I apologised and removed it both from the post and my image gallery. He was kind enough to provide me with alternatives – the link to copyright free photos on Flickr for the same topic 🙂

  14. axinia Says:

    Thanks, Raj, that is intesting.

    May be your recent copyright case will inspire you to start taking your own pictues:)

  15. Nita Says:

    One thing I can tell you now that the topic of photographs has come up. It is wrong to take a photo from a site and use it in an enlarged version, to make a post out of it as a kind of photo post. It is like taking a post from somewhere else and using it. This even if credit is given. Permission needs to be taken first. Luckily I read this on a copyrights issues site within a few months of blogging (also I used to follow the discussions in the wp forums regularly as I never read any blogs during my first 5-6 months of blogging and had the time) and have therefore have not had any problem with anyone even though I use photos from other sites, mostly news sites, but never big ones. They need to be very small, insignificant in the whole article…even then I am afraid that someone will come and scream at me for doing so! 🙂
    the wp forums and faqs are a wealth of information.

  16. axinia Says:

    Nita, your advice is very valuable, I used to read wp forums in the beginning too, but now no more. Good tipp, I completely forgot about it!

  17. Thanks for your tips, Nita and Axinia. But I don’t think I can take pictures for every topic that I am going to do a post on 😦 And I’m a very ordinary photographer 😦 I’ll have to be careful and search for photos with a creative commons licence on them (by the way, there are quite a few of them, and good ones at that, on Flickr) that allow free use with modification after giving credit, ofcourse. Or I’ll have to use photographs from free photography sites, after providing a link back to their site.

  18. Ramya Says:

    Hi Axinia,

    Here’s my blog with first post….
    I hope to improve 🙂

    Thanks a lot for your support and being an inspiration 🙂

  19. axinia Says:

    my heartfelt congratulations, dear Ramya! -good start!
    I will give your a more detailed feedback per email, if you wish 🙂

  20. Nita Says:

    Raj, you don’t have to be a great photographer to blog, unless you are making posts around a photograph or photos. And taking small pics from news sites is okay according to me as they don’t mind, its like an advert for them if they are linked.

  21. Thanks, Nita. But I like one (sometimes two) large, relevant pictures on each post as I find that this adds to the appeal of the post. News sites usually don’t mind 🙂 My copyright issue was with about.com 😦 but the administrator was very polite and provided some good alternate photos. He even told me how to search for photos with a CC license on Flickr 🙂

  22. hermione03 Says:

    Ya sure Axinia…..I would be more than happy to get a feedback!!!

  23. Ramya Says:

    ohh thats me above….it was my new user id…

  24. Raman Says:

    Hi Axinia,

    I know I am commenting pretty late, but I wanted to ask you about copyrights – I strongly feel we should do away with copyrights. After all, it is so good that someone feels they can use something you have created – unless it attracted/affected them in some way, they would not be doing that. I believe copyrights are against creativity – imagine: if the creator of english language had taken a copyright or if Da Vinci had taken a copyright of the Monalisa – the painting is so widely used in so many contexts!!

    While it is great if you ask, recieve and mention permissions to use something (may be a picture, may be a word, may be a sentence) that you really want to pass on and you were not given the permission to do that – what would you do then?

    I feel popular blogs such as yours should propagate the “no copyrights” theory if you like it – since you don’t watermark your pics, I assume you also prefer the no copyrights path.

    After all, everything is god’s creation, including the though in my mind – who am I to claim ownership that doesn’t belong to me in the first place? 🙂

  25. Raman Says:

    missed a T…

    After all, everything is god’s creation, including the *thought* in my mind – who am I to claim ownership on something that doesn’t belong to me in the first place? 🙂

  26. axinia Says:

    Raman,
    happy to hear form you again! 🙂

    Actually I strongly opose copyright, I even wrote a post on it here: https://1000petals.wordpress.com/2007/08/16/i-do-not-understand-copy-right/

    May be for somebody who is in a creative job, they may want to protect their products with copyright, but for someone like me – I am more than happy if my photos or texts could be somehow used by others, that is really the best. And I also need no acknoledgement at all. For in fact, NOTHING belongs to us (as you also said)…

  27. Roop Rai Says:

    i also like blogs that are not too crowded and are organized well … both that i need to work on. 🙂

    good post.

  28. Bad Karma Says:

    The founding mother of the blog revolution, Movable Type’s Mena Trott, talks about the early days of blogging, when she realized that giving regular people the power to share our lives online is the key to building a friendlier, more connected world.

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/mena_trott_tours_her_blog_world.html

  29. axinia Says:

    thank you, Bad Karma, a great input!

    I agree to 200%, people do change when they start interacting more intensly online.


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