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Want to write blog? Mechanics of blogging for beginners….

Introduction to Blogging

Have you ever wanted to blog and did not know where to start? Are you passionate about something and want to share your experiences and ideas? Do you have a story to share? If you have been looking for help on how to start blogging, then this blog is for you! In this blog, you will learn about blogs, the history of blogging, and learn how to start your own blog!

What are blogs?

Blogs are web pages  written and maintained by individuals or groups. They are used for sharing  information on various topics, giving opinions, teaching, etc. The blog entries are called posts and are usually updated in reverse chronology, the newest blog post appearing first on the webpage.

Blogs are like an entry in a personal journal or a diary uploaded to a webpage for public reading. In short, blogs can be the expression of the author’s thoughts – a forum to voice the author’s opinion in a public domain.  Blog writers are often referred as bloggers.

Blogging  started as a platform for hobby writers, but has now  transformed and expanded its horizons into  full time professions.  Blogs are a great platform for people to express themselves.  A blogger has the liberty to write on a variety of subjects like cinema, education, beauty tips, photography, travel, politics, business, or whatever else is of interest to the blogger and his or her readers.

History of Blogging

The word blog has its origin from the root word weblog.  Web log was the term coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. It refers to a web page with a series of entries on various subjects in reverse chronological order, the newest being the top most entry. The short form of web log, blog was coined by Peter Merholz in 1999.

Although the term was first coined as recently as  1999, blogging can be equated to the  age old practice of writing. While the urge to write has been around since the time language was invented, blogs have allowed this expression to be free flowing and unfettered by traditional controls on writing. Below are the links which will provide you with more information on history of blogging.

http://nymag.com/news/media/15971/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

People enjoy reading traditional text such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, and other forms of literature because these works offer a view of the world through the author’s eyes and the text is expressed in the author’s unique style. Similarly, a blog is the expression of author’s opinion,  on a digital platform. With the advent of the internet, digital writing and the ease with which these writings can be shared has gained tremendous momentum.

Learn to blog.

Have you  ever had the desire to write a blog but have never attempted  this  – either  due to the fear of failure or criticism? or just did not know where to start?  You may be a good writer and have  written at your school or college, but never shared your writing on a public forums.  

Now is the time for you to start your first blog. Choose a topic, an idea, or a thought that you deeply care about and are interested in, or something you love to talk about and want to share.

Open up an editor like Microsoft Word – and type up your thoughts. Let your ideas flow. Don’t worry about making this perfect. You could also do this on a sheet of paper. This would be your first draft!

Blog – Simple Tips for Beginners

Who can write a blog?

The most important criteria to become a writer is the urge to write. This urge is a person’s need to be heard and to share information, thoughts, and feelings with others.  Anybody who has this urge to write and has an idea or information to share can write a blog.

If you meet any one of the above criteria, then you too can be a blogger.

New Blogger? Here are few tips!!

  1. Choose your  topic

Deciding the subject of the blog is your first step. If you already know what you are writing about, skip to our next topic. Most of the bloggers write on topics  which interest them. These could include discussions about politics, social events or current issues.  Alternately, if you would like to become a professional blogger, you could prepare a list of topics in advance.

  1. Do some research

To write a blog with accurate information, it is very important to do research and collect the relevant data on the chosen subject. It is also important to verify that your information is from an authentic and reliable source.

As you gather information, take notes on all sources that you quote in your blog as you will need to cite them. These steps will ensure that your writing is ethical and legal.  Also think about whether or not your blog would be interesting to other people.

If your readers are inspired to share your blogs, the more readers you can attract. Blogs with useful information, practical applications, good writing, humor, current events or even controversial opinions are shared more on social networks.

  1. Understand your audience

Audience analysis is crucial for any kind of writing.  Get to know your audience, and understand details such as age group, interests, location, culture, and any specifics that would be applicable to your chosen topic. This would help you in determining the information that you share, your writing style, the tone, and also the context and timing of your blog.

  1. Organize your content

Well organized content can be easy to read, powerful, and can convey your message to your audience. Organize your content so the user can grasp your content readily. Start with an introduction that has a “hook” to get your audience interested in the topic. Also include a short list of topics that you will be talking about in your blog.

Add the meat to your blog, with your intended topics and relevant examples and citations. Finally, end with a conclusion. Add videos, images and links for suggested reading if necessary. This will and variety to your blog and will help in keeping your readers engaged.

  1. Conclude

One of the most challenging parts of writing a blog is writing a good conclusion. Set aside some time to write the conclusion alone. Think, evaluate your own writing, recall your intentions when you started writing the blog, the message you would like to pass on to your reader.

Once you have done this, conclude by conveying the message in a nutshell or ask a question, ask reader’s opinion,  provide a twist in the story, suggest an activity or further reading, or by referring to links for more information.

Whichever method  you choose, be honest and be yourself.

  1. Proofreading and editing

Once you are done with the article or blog post, proofread for grammatical errors, remove or replace repeating words or ideas, edit unnecessary statements or explanations, check the data and information provided.

Read your article loud.  Reading out loud will help you figure out the errors.  Ask someone else read your blog. They will show you the errors which your eyes skipped notice. Also remember to cite any information that is not your original thinking.

Refer to this article –

http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/cite-newspaper.aspx

Finally, check that  your writing conveys your intentions. Be responsible with your words, as words can have the power to hurt others and yourself. Be aware of your audience and cognizant of their feelings.

Mechanics of Blogging

Effective headlines

Now it’s the time to publish the blogpost. First, make sure that your blog has an effective headline. Effective headlines are the magnets which attract  interested readers from the pool of online browsers. A powerful headline can make your article popular among the reader’s community.

Direct headlines are most powerful. So, there is no need of extra intelligence or skills to understand what the article is all about.This leads to SEO [search engine optimization] and increasing traffic to your web page.

Be Consistent

Consistency in your blogs can create a personal brand – for your writing, or for your web page if you have one. This can be done by maintaining a customized blog design and content.  Blog consistency always brings the advantage of reader’s loyalty by changing them from readers to subscribers!!

Keep things simple

Use relevant information and data, write in simple words, yet give a new insight so that people will easily understand and appreciate your thoughts and opinions

Be yourself

In addition to your content, people will start liking you for your style of writing. Readers may be able to get similar information on the internet, but the way your write may get you more readers. So, be yourself, and enjoy writing.  

Experiment

Writing is an art. Like any other, it can be learned and improved. The tips mentioned above will help you become a blogger. But, to be an expert blogger and truly professional, one should not set any limitations regarding content, style and presentation.  

Experiment. This adds value to your blogs, gets more people reading it, opens up new possibilities and opportunities.

Sharpen the saw – Read often and read more

Readers make the best writers. So read often and read more. Read about different topics, read different authors, different literary works like novels, short stories, essays, blogs, poems , read newspapers, magazines, reports,  reviews, comics, and other material.  

This will greatly build your vocabulary, expand your knowledge, improve critical thinking and creativity. All these skills will surely make you a very good writer.

Just like in any other profession, writing needs certain skills. Identify the skill sets needed to be good writer, skills in which you are already good at,  and those on which you will have to work.

Following are some examples of skills needed to be a good writer:

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Grammar, spelling and punctuation
  3. Creative writing skills – to use quotes, references, images and others
  4. Storytelling and narration skills
  5. Data presentation and analysis strategies
  6. Content Presentation
  7. Logical Reasoning and critical thinking

                                                                                                  and the list goes on……

Let the rubber, meet the road.  

Well, now it’s time! Go ahead and start writing.  Don’t be disappointed if your work is not of the expected standard. Remember that your first draft is not your masterpiece. So, write, rewrite, edit, and work towards  your final copy.

So, what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and bring out the writer in you.

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