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Lesson 13: How to Write, Part 2: Start a Blog
Did you go to the library and look though one volume of the publication, Book Review Digest?
If not, why not?
Blogging has become more than a fad. It is literally changing the way people communicate and learn.
One estimate is that 40,000 new blog sites begin each day.
Blogs are affecting politics. They are affecting businesses. They are creating whole new ways of communicating.
You had better start one.
It's free to begin. You can go to www.blogger.com and have your own site in a few minutes. Rivals: TypePad, MindSay, ModBlog, LiveJournal, and Xanga.
I like TypePad. It's free to start. Downside: Each site has mandatory ads. For $5/month, you can get rid of the ads. Why do I like it? I like its software: MovableType.
This means you need a debit card. Do you have one yet?
There is blogging software that is powerful. There is blogging software that is easy to learn. It would be nice if there were one software package that offers both. I'm still looking.
Here is what I recommend. Focus. Narrow your topic to the topic that interests you most. . . other than yourself. Create a blog on this topic.
I don't like third-party comments on blog sites. Some people do, especially the people who post their comments. I think these comments are written by people who are not dedicated enough to start their own blogs. Their comments are less valuable than the blogger's. But do it your way.
My point is, write every day. Develop your writing skills by writing. If you have something to say, then say it. If you don't have something to say, say it on-line until you find something to say.
Maybe people will come to your site. Probably they won't. But it's there, just in case. Google will index it. If you write something of interest, people will find it.
Here are several uses of blogs:
Establish yourself as an expert.
Create a clearing-house site: links.
Report on what experts are saying.
Review new products.
Save other researchers time or money.
Impress a future college scholarship committee.
Impress a future employer.
Build a readership base.
Sell readers your services.
Get a summer job.
The main thing is to get going on a blog. It's fun. It's educational. Get the skills that you will put to commercial or professional use later on.
You have to start somewhere. You have to start sometime. Why not now?
Note: Your site should be clean and easy to read. Don't get colorful. Use black print on a white background. If you feel compelled to post a photo, make it small. The site had better not be about you.
Don't put anything on your site that isn't true and provable.
Don't write anything that will hurt the feelings of a non-public person. You are legally entitled to write anything you can to make a politician look stupid, silly, or corrupt . . . if it's true. But newcomers' opinions are more likely to be taken seriously if they are positive, helpful, and backed up by facts.
If you can save someone time or money, do
Look at various free blogging sites. Test the software. Se if you like one program better than the others. Then think about a one- word or two-word name for your site, a name that offers the reader a clear idea of exactly what the site is all about. If the software offers space on the masthead to describe the site, think "big benefits to the reader." Then put in one sentence what the biggest benefit is.
Don't forget to lecture to the wall: one page, one book.
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