Sunday, June 17, 2012

To Blog or Not To Blog

While checking out my FaceBook Posts I saw a comment asking how I set up this blog. I was all set to post the two links I use but realized they might not translate well in the comment box, so this post was spawned. LOL.


To begin, the platforms, there are a lot of ways you can create your own blog, the following are the ones I came across with the first and second being the ones I use.
  • Blogger - I had used this donkey years ago for another project but I did not have the commitment for that project. Then one day I was inspired to post my poems online after coming across the Sartorialist, who's original site was a blogger site. The platform is easy to set up and navigate. Pretty much all you have to worry about is your content (what you got to say) and your layout (what will make you different from all the bloggers who start a blog and then forget about it).
  • Tumblr - This is another great platform, but I don't use it for original content, it's more a collection of images and quotes that inspire me. I reblog like a mad woman when I'm on tumblr. My tumblr is for another project of mine called KOLA. Once again, easy to set up and easy to navigate. When it comes to the reblogging aspect you can check out other tumblr sites and follow them and they will appear in your dashboard when you login to Tumblr. You can also tailor it to a specific like, e.g. natural hair/african descent imagery, menswear, fitness, sex. If you can think it there are tumblrs about them.
  • Wordpress - This is one of the popular blogging platforms. It's relatively easy to set up and manage. I have not used it because I would have to figure out how to navigate it and I don't like to leave from blogger to go to another platform and back and forth. Feel free to check it out and see if it works for you.
  • Typepad - I'm not familiar with this platform but from just a glance it looks like you have to pay for this one. The others I mentioned before are free. Feel free to check it out, but keep in mind you will have to pay to use it.

Next up, layout this is what sets you apart from all the new blogs out there. This is a lot of trial and error, I went through a lot of layouts before I settled on this one. To be honest when I started blogging this layout did not exist. That is why you may have to keep checking to see what is available. Okay, I don't know about you but if I was reading this I would be thinking checking what and where. Don't worry I got you covered.

What - Templates. Like all things if something comes out, along comes a lot of things to support it and make it easier. I have to thank Google for this, I was not satisfied with what blogger had to offer so I put into Google "Blogger templates". There are tons of sites that come up but I always return to one site which is always coming out with new templates. This leads to where.

Where - Blogger Templates. Here you have a lot of templates to choose from, you can check out the demos to see how the template look and you can download the template. My only issue is that now that Blogger is changing up their dashboard I'm not sure how to upload the template using the new dashboard. But once again it's all trial and error. I know for sure there are Tumblr templates so there should be templates for the other platforms.

You will have to sit down and go through a lot of templates to find the one for you but trust me it is worth it. Especially if it reflects you and/or your message.


So you have a blogger account, you chose the template and set up your layout, now what do you have to say? That my friend is up to you. My content is poetry on this blog and random stuff on my other blog - Kimolisa Was Here. I won't lie and say it will be easy in terms of finding something to write about and being consistent. In my case for this blog, I had a lot of poems going back over 15 years so I spent a good part of a year just posting them. I was lucky to have a job in retail where there was some down time which allowed me freedom to create new content.

As for Kimolisa Was Here, I just wrote about things that interested me. I would write about things from my perspective, some personal stuff, a couple reviews about movies I watched. Some of my favourite posts were Male Appreciation, Why I'm Single and a few here and there.

But enough about me, what about you? What do you want to share with the world? Is it original content - poetry, short stories, photography, recipes, artwork? Is it your opinion on matters that are close to your heart? Keep in mind it is all up to you and you have to ask the serious questions
  • What are you going to put out there?
  • Can you be consistent?
  • Are you willing to post personal things about yourself?
  • Can you handle any and everybody seeing your content?
  • Are you doing this for yourself or for exposure?
  • Do you really want to do this?
A lot of people set up blogs, only a few actually put out content on a consistent basis. Some bloggers take days to create the content you view in a couple of minutes, some (myself included) take from a couple of minutes to a couple hours. Don't worry you don't have to post content every day, some of the most popular bloggers only post once a week.

Okay, I've written a lot of stuff and I'm wrung out, LOL. I can't think of anything else to say but check out 10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic by Michael Hyatt. This post pretty much covers all the points on how to generate blog traffic. Also you can always check out your search engine of choice and put in a search on how to get more readers to your blog, that is if that is what you want. Also don't forget social media, share your posts with friends and family or even pages that you follow on FaceBook. Twitter is another way of getting your content out there.

Okay, okay, I'm done. If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I will try to be of service.

p.s. this is the last thing, I promise, but when posting pictures from other sites, always post a link from where you got the pic. It's just the decent thing to do, well in my book anyway. Now, I'm done. LOL

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