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April 10, 2015

Starting a Blog

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Back in 2008, I decided to start writing this blog. I would write three new articles a week on various topics, most of which relate to my books. Starting a blog is easy. Keeping one going, especially on your own, is tremendously difficult.

The blog sprung out of my old Weekly Wambooli Salad newsletter. That newsletter was very popular and I enjoyed writing it, but it was a pain in the rear to maintain. Spam. Spoofing. Angry AOL users who didn’t understand that they actually signed up for the newsletter. My desire was to deliver content but not send email. A blog provided the perfect solution.

I perused several blogging platforms before settling upon WordPress. It’s feature-rich and easy to maintain and customize. (Well, for me it is.) It’s also popular: Almost 30 percent of the web sites (not just blogs) out there run WordPress. That makes it a huge target for hackers, which is why I don’t provide open registration.

My observation is that the key to blogging success is consistency. I don’t count hits or page views. In fact, I’ve noticed weeks can go by without a single comment on anything, but I figure people are reading. The blog posts are linked to relative topics here on Wambooli: When I post something about Word or Android, the post is presented in that part of the site. Still, aside from a brief stretch about 5 years ago, new posts appear consistently every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Many blogs fail because their owners lose interest. Then they feel guilt about not blogging, so they just don’t. Eventually, the blog dies. I don’t know how many times I get interested in a blog only to discover that the most “recent” post was from several years back.

As far as making money is concerned, don’t worry about: You won’t.

I’m sure a few bloggers actually make decent coin, not by blogging but through advertising revenue. That’s a weak model, and it’s remarkable how poorly it generates income, but I’m sure a few big-hitter blogs actually do make some money. This one doesn’t, and I never intended it to.

The nifty thing about blogging is that anyone can do it. To make a blog happen, you just go out and create one. You can park a site at WordPress, or download the software for your own site. Plenty of sites (blogs, actually) can help you get starting, such as the FirstSiteGuide.

Offer your readers fun. Offer them something interesting and different. Above all, offer it consistently and you’re well on your way.

2 Comments

  1. The thing I suppose is that many who use the web don’t keep the page where the blog is as a home page and get distracted (“Ooh Shiny!” I call it) I keep Wambooli as a home page because its up in one form or another, which is why I read and some times reply (especially times like these when I have got another new PC and am Installing software, something to while it makes horrible sounds on another PC). It strikes me as odd some would charge for a blog…

    Comment by glennp — April 10, 2015 @ 1:56 pm

  2. Thanks for the support, GlennP!

    I know that installation routine well. Just got a new phone today, the Galaxy S6. Nice. But I’m adding accounts and installing stuff. It’s easier than it once was, but I think the industry still has room to grow on the whole upgrade/transfer ordeal.

    Comment by admin — April 10, 2015 @ 2:03 pm

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