Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Starting a Blog Week: Questions 3 and 4

This is the next installment of my article Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Blog.

3. How often will I post?

Decide in advance how often you will post on your blog. If you’re intimidated, start by posting once a week. No, you won’t get oodles of followers this way, but you will gain confidence in your skills. It’s important to find your comfort zone before you worry about site traffic.

If you’re pumped up about blogging, go ahead and post more often. Frequent updates attract readers. Many bloggers post every day of the week. Some write every weekday. I post three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It works for me. Find out what works for you by experimenting.

The number one complaint I hear from writers who’ve been blogging for less than a year is they started out posting every day then ran out of ideas and stopped for long periods of time. What do you think readers want more—a great blog with posts every day for two months then nothing for weeks or great posts twice a week every week of the year? Be consistent. If you stop posting, you’ll lose readers. It’s okay to take a few weeks off if necessary, but let your readers know when you’ll be posting again so they’ll come back.

I also strongly recommend you write your posts at least a day in advance. This gives you time to edit. You don’t want to post sloppy work. Take time to put your best work on your blog. Writing your posts in advance is also a great way to avoid long breaks between posts because you can schedule them.

4. How much blogging knowledge do I have?

When you start a blog, there is a learning curve. You have to sign up for a service (such as Blogger or Wordpress), decide on a URL, pick out a template, play around with the layout, and figure out how to post. It can be stressful, but it’s very fun and rewarding. Don't worry; your blog service will have a guide to get you started and an extensive help section.

If you don’t know the first thing about blogging, start small and add bells and whistles as you go. Don’t worry about learning everything in three days; you’ll just stress yourself out. You can use an easy to set up template from a site such as, , or

When you become comfortable with blogging basics, you’ll naturally desire to expand on your skills. You’ll wonder how you can add great photos and links to your site. A quick Internet search will show tons of blogs with detailed posts on these subjects.

One more note: the address people type in to get to your blog is the URL. It will look something like or, depending on which service you use. My blog URL is When you sign up with a service, include the name you want to be published under in your URL. This means either your real name or your pen name. Why? Readers Google author names, so it will make your blog easy to find when you’re published.

Join me on Friday for the final installment.


Write Already! It's Wednesday!


  1. I wish when I started mine years ago I had used my name and I didn't! I don't think I can change it now without everyone losing me and me them. Good points!

  2. Great points here. I want to know how to get those little yellow smiley faces. I saw a blog that automatically makes those anytime someone typed this symbol :) It converts it to a cute yellow smiley. How do we do that????

    funny! my WV is plize. So, true, I should have said please!

  3. Using your name is so important! I'm so glad I heard about this on the ACFW loop before getting my blog and website going, or I might not have.

    And I love the cutestblogsontheblock layouts. They are so nice and free!

  4. Terri: It's more important to have your website under your name or pen name than your blog. When you're published, readers will be Googling your website. They probably won't look for your blog but will find it from your website. As long as you link your blog to your website and vice-versa, it will be fine.

    Tess: I don't know how to do that either! You'll let me know when you figure it out?

    Eileen: Writer's associations are so worth it! I've learned so much through ACFW and RWA.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. These are great tips. I wish I'd been able to see these when I was first starting my blog. It was a lot for me to learn because I know very little about computers (except how to type in Word, naturally). But now it's easier. I also finally got my website up. With some tips from others and the ones I got from your blog, it's looking okay. I am still working on it but it's a good start. Thanks!

  6. Great points. I'm debating right now on cutting back one or two days from my posting schedule. I don't want my blogging to overwhelm my writing.

  7. Excellent advice. My personal blog is still fairly new so I am learning as I go. Right now I don't have a schedule and post when something hits me. Guess I better get myself on a schedule and save the blogs for later.

  8. I think it is important to consider how often you want to post b/c I agree if you start strong and then fizzle...people will drop off. Consistency is key (like so many other things.)
    ~ Wendy

  9. Cindy: Well, you can't tell me you started a website and not give me the web address! I'm nosy! I want to check it out! Congratulations, by the way. I'm so proud of you that you took such a big step--woohoo!

    Joyce: Yes, blogging can take over. I ask myself if any activity is hedging in on my daily writing goals, if yes, I cut back. What's the main goal? To get published or to have a great blog?

    Amy: Your blog is lovely. I'm glad you started one. Play around to find a good schedule.

    Wendy: I found a non-writing blog last year that I loved and she stopped posting for months on end! I took the blog off my bookmark. Consistency.

  10. Yep, wish I'd know these things when I started my blog a few years ago.

    Excellent advice, and well given! :)

  11. Great tips! I love the Cutestblogontheblock. They have a big variety and are different. I just started using the scheduler on my blog and love it, though it still takes TIME!!! :)

  12. I wish I'd had all your advice when I first started blogging! What a great article, Jill! You're a wealth of info. and should really consider finding a market to publish your articles!

  13. Erica: I hear you. When I started, I knew only one or two people who blogged and had no idea all of you great bloggers were out here giving advice. I would have loved to read an article like this--that's why I wrote it.

    Sherrinda: Look at you, scheduling your blogs--good job! I agree, blogging is a time commitment, but for me it's worth it.

    Jody: What a compliment! Thank you!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. Great advice! I wish I had used my name as well.

  15. Your posts have been excellent. Thanks for sharing your advice. :D


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