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How to…start a blog

Written by Amy Mackelden

Amy Mackelden, microfiction writer and co-founder of feminist/trash TV blog Clarissa Explains Fuck All , gives us some top tips on how to start your own blog.

Blogging is the best. When you figure out what you want to blog about, it’s like having a friend you can say anything to. It’s also a great way to build up your writing portfolio and try out different styles of writing. Here are some things to think about when starting your blog!

1. What should my blog be about?
Your blog needs to be about something you totally love. If it’s not, what will motivate you to write regularly? Sure, some people use blogs like diaries, updating about their lives daily, but if like me you’re prone to procrastination, it’s best to make sure your blog is about something you care reading and writing about.

It’s a big decision, although no-one’s limited to one blog (my most embarrassing venture to date was a series of love letters to Tom Cruise, which lasted about two months before I got bored).

Some questions to ask yourself when starting your blog might be: What do you care about most? Do you have a hobby that other people might be interested in? Are you obsessed with books or films or games or clothes or the hairstyles of celebrities? And what will keep you, and your readers, coming back for more? If you can answer these questions, you have the basis for your blog.

I started a blog with a friend two years ago, about my two great loves, feminism and trash TV, and I still love coming up with new ideas for the site, because I’ll never get bored of those two things.

2. The title
Thinking up a title is super important. It needs to be memorable and snappy, so your readers remember it. We named our feminism trash TV blog after ‘90s show Clarissa Explains It All, by changing one all-important word. My microfiction blog is called July 2061, which is a talking point: people always ask why. A quote from a favourite song or book might work as your title, or maybe you have a nickname?

3. How often should you blog?
Kat of rocknrollbride.com says it’s important to blog daily – then your readers have access to new content regularly. I started a microfiction blog a few years ago and made myself write a new story every day for a year, each one inspired by a movie or TV show. This turned out to be a great way to hone my writing skills – even though some of the stories were ropey, first drafts at best, or random ideas, I was writing everyday, and once I got in the habit, writing became so much easier. I really recommend setting yourself a challenge like this. Plus it might lead to finishing your first collection, or several, as in the case of Calum Kerr’s Flash365, which featured a new flash fiction every day for a whole year.

4. Publicising your blog
There are so many ways to do this, so decide works best for you. Maybe you’re great at networking on Facebook and Twitter, or you have a Tumblr, Pinterest account, or already write articles for someone else’s blog. Getting your friends to share your posts is a great way to reach a new audience, as is making links with blogs on similar topics. Good luck and get writing!

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