Tag Archives: blogging for the newb

Top 10 Tips – Blogging for the Newb

DP Weekly Challenge

  1. Write what you know. It’s been said so many times it’s almost become a cliché but the fact of the matter is it’s hard enough to try and write something interesting, witty and intriguing when you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re about to embark on this possible long and definitely sometimes frustrating journey into blog land, the last thing you need is a handicap. Even if you’re creating a blog that isn’t oriented solely to your writing, your writing, even if they’re captions, matter.
  2. Brevity is the sole of wit. I cannot stress this enough. This is a society largely based on instant gratification, people do not want a five-page long synopsis leading up to your top 10 list, sista please! When I was researching this topic I turned off of so many pages precisely because of this. Get in, make your point and get out. Even if you are doing something a little more in-depth like a story make sure it’s organized and has structure. (If you are a writer and want to be among your peers there are blogs specifically for that, but again, if you can break your story /novel / screenplay down into short, concise sections you’re much more apt to keep people reading.) People not only bore easily but with this high-end electronic market there are a million distractions out there. It’s the “oh look, something shiny” era and if you start waxing poetic no one cares.
  3. Set a schedule and try your best to stick to it. A lot of “blogging advice” states that you have to do it a lot, all the time, every day. Come on, who has that type of time or patience or stuff to blog about anyway? In point of fact, if you can just blog once a week on a consistent basis, you’re more likely to be able to maintain a following and get people reading on a regular basis. By the way, my research indicates that posting in the early morning is prime time for posting and it’s best to launch a blog on a Monday morning.
  4. Do your research (and on the other side, consider your source). Now that you’re out there and you’re rampantly pouring over this plethora of information at your fingertips, be sure your research is thorough. Check facts, consider who’s giving you the information (I mean everyone has an agenda right?) and make sure to give credit where credit is due. If you are using information from another site, link to it. And don’t plagiarize that’s just tacky and repugnant not to mention illegal.
  5. No really, do you research! Adjacent to the do your research regarding your blog topic itself is do your research period. There’s a million sites out there talking about key words, RSS, SEO, spiders, etc. Know your terms, no what they mean as it pertains to your blog and know how to enhance these aspects on your blog. Perhaps advertising for you is the way to go if you’re trying to generate quick money. Perhaps you want to incorporate ad sense to your blog specifically to avoid advertisements on your page. Do you know who your target audience is? Figure out what’s important for you.
  6. Read, read and read some more. Read other blogs, find ones you like, figure out why and be sure to leave comments. People will often return the comment in kind or perhaps even link to your site. Instead of reading 1,000 of blogs, find a number of them that you like and subscribe to them. Again, be sure to make time to read them. Create a sense of community for yourself so if you get frustrated you won’t feel lost and isolated. Make friends and get to know people so if you get bogged down someone can throw you a lifeline and encourage you when you need it. Surround yourself with your peers, people trying to accomplish the same thing. A great thing to do also is to guest blog or have people guest blog for you on your blog.
  7. Whatever the purpose of your blog proof your work.There is nothing more off-putting than going to someone’s page and immediately stumbling upon typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical and syntax errors. Don’t get me wrong, I love swearing and isms, I’m a great user of slang and everyday terminology that’s not yet accepted as the Queen’s English but obvious carelessness, if I see it, man I am so out of there, so fast. Okay, nobody’s perfect and I don’t know about you but I still have issues with semi-colons and am prone to the occasional run-on (or fragment) sentence. However there’s no excuse today for spelling mistakes (and grammar check if you’re comfortable with this), most programs have them built in, use it! If English is your native tongue and you are writing in English on an English word processor all spelling mistakes can and should be avoided.
  8. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s really important to think big and have confidence but it’s also okay to make mistakes, maybe even colossally [swear]-up. At first I was totally nervous about doing things on the internet. People can see it, what if I make a monumental ass of myself? Well let’s be honest here, more than likely very few people are going to be looking at your blog to begin with and guess what? You can always start over. There’s really no excuse for not doing it. I thought at first the ‘plan’ would be to do research, get it altogether, get my ducks in a row – and then I realized, hey, that’s just procrastinating anyone can put things off. Don’t be afraid to take a great leap of faith and believe in yourself!
  9. A picture’s worth a 1,000 words. Even if you are doing a blog that you want to be based on the written form, people like pictures. These pictures can be based specifically on something to do with the post or perhaps it might be a picture to relay an emotion, or maybe even just one that was pretty that you thought might offset the post nicely. There really are no rules, no matter what people try to tell you, especially these know-it-alls with their top 10 lists, sheesh!
  10. Have a defined notion of what this blog is for and what it means to you. I have a specific notion of what my blog is for (well at least at this juncture, it could well change). I found when I looked into it ‘blog’ has become a very generic term basically meaning any hosted website, i.e. essentially any page on the net. (Well that wasn’t very [swear]ing helpful was it?) I then set down a very narrow parameter of what a blog meant to me and what that would entail and how I was going to go about it and for now that’s good. Having said that, this could all change as I continue to grow and learn. But you need structure and a rigidly defined notion of what you are doing or you will flail and flounder.

Be happy, do it for yourself, don’t be afraid of change, good luck!

Addendum, this was originally written a few weeks ago – 60 hours has come and gone some 200 hours ago.

Okay so I’ve put about 60 plus hours of research and asking people in the know about starting a blog. A lot of people say just start a blog and flounder from there but what I’m realizing while doing this research (and not putting it on my blog just yet) is a little patience will probably go a long way (oh and a little expense). The old adage, ‘you can’t get something for nothing’ seems very real in the cyber world.

I did not adhere to any of the bracketed information below, in fact I’m still floundering along while being “live”. What I realized after all is that let’s face it, if you don’t know what you’re doing, no one’s really paying attention at the beginning anyway, and your friends are understanding and forgiving (and hopefully sometimes amused by your blunders) so it’s as good a place as any to get your feet wet. I’m still not sure about how I feel regarding advertisement. I may end up setting up two blogs and seeing which one fares better. But I am definitely going to be picking some brains before I figure it out. Be sure to reach out to friends and family when rooting around in the blogasphere, you’d be surprised how many people would like to help. I did get a domain, that seemed very important to me.

[So after several weeks research, here’s my conclusions:

Don’t “go live” until you’re absolutely sure that you have all your ducks in a row. For me this means, getting a domain name, getting a website set up with a correct way to set up banners and ads and a hit counter. Make sure your links are maintained and first and foremost make sure you proofread and spell check your stuff.]

I will repeat the above again and again because I found whenever I went to a site if it was sprinkled with bad grammar and spelling I immediately closed out and found their site of no value. How can their advice be credible when they can’t even spell check before they post? (Okay, crappy grammar, not such an issue for certain things but would it kill people to use a little punctuation from time to time?)

However, I also use slang, “isms”, popular acronyms and so forth as well which is often discouraged – it’s a personal choice. I like to think my audience, while blog uneducated like myself, is otherwise smart and sophisticated. I read something yesterday that really appealed to me wherein the blogger said, write for you and that’s what I’m doing, writing what I’d like to read, what amuses me, what I’m interested in.

Plus, in case you haven’t noticed, people today have the attention spans of fleas. Paragraphs should be short, concise and pertinent. If I was reading a blog, even a well written one and it tended to go on, I’d lose interest, skim through it or close out altogether.

Very few will read pages and pages of information. This is in fact one of my longer entries as I’ve found the blogs I liked were the ones that were short and sweet, oh and a sense of humour never killed anyone either. Gawd you would think all these bloggers were friggin’ teetotalers (that’s straight-edge and boring for you kids) from the way they write. Did no one here remember how boooooooooring those teachers were in school that just droned on and on?!

So What is a Blog?


The above gives 27 different interpretations of what is a blog.

However, I disagree vehemently that a blog is a journal, there are specific sites for that. If you just want to wax poetic about life there’s livejournal or Penzu or dailydiary or whatever. To me the idea of a blog is to create and maintain a readership, a flow of traffic and with any luck, an income! In order to do that you have to be dispelling a certain amount of information that people might be looking for, say how to create a blog, or where to go to buy the best suitcase, etc. I hardly expect anyone to read my daily ramblings about how my knee is out, my boyfriend and I are fighting and my cat puked again. (Okay, I tricked you there, but I swear it’s the last time. 🙂 (And I might be a bit hypocritical in that capacity as my rants are slightly in the same vein, however …)

Having said that, there’s nothing stopping you from journal blogging, but I suspect if you want feedback about stuff you’re writing about you want to seek out a community of like-minded individuals that actually give a shit about what you’re writing about in order to get said feedback. It’s really important to remember that there’s so much information out there people are going to focus on what interests them. [If you’re curious, peruse the WordPress site and see how many “journal” like blogs you can find. I’ve already looked and the answer’s not many. This is not the medium for it. If I had the time and the inclination I would probably do both, but for now, my focus is on blogging and the disseminating of (what I hope is) interesting information. But listen, if you guys keep reading and make me popular maybe I can give up the ol’ 9-5 ball and chain and keep a journal blog too … and write that screenplay … and that book. Yeah, yeah whatever GG *snickers*.

Are You Sure This is Where You Should Be? (Remember you can always set up a blog privately and delete it if you like – the world is your oyster!)

Preliminary Advice for someone new to computer land as well as blog land:

Before you start anything, make sure you know about your search engine’s capacity, how to clear your browser and delete your cookies (or that you’ve scheduled clearing on a regular basis, I have mine set up to clear every time I shut down the internet). Make sure internet access is current and up-to-date. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, speak to your internet provider. Make sure you have good anti-virus software and that you have password protected as much of your stuff as you can; this would include, access to the computer itself, all of your email accounts, access to your wi-fi (if you’re using it), etc. If you’re not sure, do research, this is a buyer beware market. Keep your passwords in a safe place and don’t write them on the back of things. Make sure you have pop-up blockers and honestly, if you want to watch porn – buy it! It’ll cost you less in the long run and p.s. it’s so much easier to hide DVDs than your browser history, trust me! (But be advised you may need to disengage some of your pop-up blockers and change certain settings in order to load certain programs and files. Getting to know when and how to do this takes time. Be patient.)

Make sure you have a good computer (or a lot of patience); your memory capacity, internet access and internal hard drive all affect the loading time of web pages, how many you can load, etc. if your computer is too old it may not even be able to load and run your internet access properly.

Again, most people may think this is stating the obvious but I think it’s so mean how people talk on the internet like you’re already supposed to know all this stuff automatically. How’s that supposed to happen if no one tells you? I don’t think many people consider how overwhelming the internet might be to a newb and why it’s so hard for people who aren’t computer savvy to get interested. Sure you can find all the information after researching for a billion hours. Like who automatically knows that if your pages aren’t loading properly it’s probably just a matter of clearing your cache or deleting your cookies and highly unlikely that you need to call tech support? But most people who are on the net have known this for a long time and therefore assume you should too.


If you are comfortable with all of the above and feel comfortable in the land of the world-wide web then perhaps you are ready to consider blogging. Now I’m looking at blogging in hopes of earning an income, so I am going to do a lot of research before I do anything active and then start my blog (where this information will eventually go). But if you just want to set up a blog and start writing go to http://www.wordpress.com , set up a blog for free and fill your boots.

There are million sites out there telling you “steps to doing a blog for beginners” etc. i.e.:

Step 1 – determine your audience (I don’t agree with this myself, at least not at this point in my journey)

Step 2 – determine if you are capable of blogging.

This means, do you have a lot to say? Do you think you can keep writing on a daily basis? Are you ready for people to criticize and slam your blog? (I assume this will happen to me, at this juncture this is all being done on a word processor and I’m plunking a multitude of pages on my blog all at once when I go live.) This means I’ll have comments and questions. Are you going to have time to respond to people in a timely fashion? (Follow-up note, that was wishful thinking, so far I haven’t really been able to engage people on my blog.) (I plan on researching this later today.)

Now of course, nothing’s written in stone – you can just stop blogging anytime. You can change your topic, you can win the lottery and not need to blog – or maybe you want to blog about winning the lottery and how it’s affected you at any rate, you can be fickle too – in fact web hosts, domain name sellers and the like are counting on it. It’s sort of like gym memberships, if everyone went the gyms would be screwed, they depend especially on the likes of me and my last membership and how I only went a handful of times the whole year but still paid $45 a month. Okay, I guess this is more a note to myself more than anything else but meh, maybe it’ll help you too.

Toodles for now my lovelies, back to the net to do more research and see if I can’t do something to get this show on the road!

Blogging for the Newb – Part 2

(… and other assorted blatherings because I’m of the “Oh look, something shiny” crew).

(I was going to put a youTube link here to but no matter how much I tried it wouldn’t let me. I finally realized that I can’t embed video into my blog but it still didn’t explain why the link below *points finger and indicates* did work. I’ve spent the good part of day trying to figure that out so this blog entry is, at least partially, thwarted but I thought I’d get it out there.)

Bad news people, if you’re just on the .com site, it’s very limited and if you ARE going to transfer over to .org of course that’s some complicated programming b.s. too. FTP – File Transfer Protocol … for instance. (Remember, everyone’s out to make money. If you have it, use it! I don’t have that luxury. Plus you have to consider the cost of the domain, host, etc., etc. versus the profit – which in this case and for the foreseeable future is likely to be negligible at best.)

Now what was I rambling about again? Oh yeah, it let me insert this link *points accusingly at link below* but not the “Oh look something shiny” one WTF? Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this section (even if I did waste a day trying to figure it out …)

***** (still haven’t figured out how to centre text so this will have to do for now)

And if you have not seen Finding Nemo, I feel bad for you, oh and if you really want to up your game, it just came out in 3D! Now where were we?

As defined by urban dictionary


“Someone who is new to the activity that they are currently partaking in. Very often this term pertains to gamers using computer games. Contrary to popular belief, a newb and a n00b are not the same thing, as a newb can and will get better where as a n00b will partake in activities meant mainly to aggravate other players.”

newbs deserve a chance to grow and become better.

As a noun.

“You jump with the space bar, don’t be such a newb”
“Obviously, this item is better… newb.”
“Since your just a newb, I’ll help you out.”

In case you didn’t already know.

Blogging does not really have one straight definition, I talk about that later on.


If you want to make money most people say, you must commit to writing on a daily basis. You must be focused, willing to invest a substantial amount of time and some money to your blog and you CANNOT come and go as you please. Successful blogs generate daily revenue by maintaining interest from their readers and advertisers alike. (How often you should write is another contentious topic.)

If you’re placing ads, Ad Sense from Google is the way to go, this is not up for debate.

In here I will have links that detail every topic so you can go back and read in detail about the topic without having to search around the net. Please note, I do not necessarily agree with everything that stated in these links and I plan to directly juxtapose some of the advice given, but I want you to have choices without being overwhelmed. I’ve just picked links that seemed to have the information I was looking for without being too extensive.

Hopefully this will expedite your education – good luck!

For example, here’s how to build a successful blog.

As I will state time and again, if you know absolutely nothing about blogging, or computers in general – you’ve come to the right place, for the most part, neither do I. And remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Feel free to ask me anything and I’ll try my best to find the answer. As well, this is me learning as I go so any constructive criticism, advice or just plain kudos are all welcome.

(Oh, word to the wise, don’t write a page-long entry in your WordPress and then close out of the window before saving or publishing … d’oh! I write all my stuff in Word first and then put it on my blog, that way you have a back-up if need be and all the links there so you don’t have to keep going back and forth. As well, I back my stuff up on an alternate hard drive. You may even want to have a printed copy of everything you write if that makes you feel better. Remember there are no rules cast in stone but be sure to find something that works for you.)

Second of all, I would really make sure you have a good firewall and internet security system in place, yes it might be a little more time-consuming in the short run but it beats hell out of paying $300 to have your computer wiped and possibly losing all your information.

If you’re good with all of the above and are relatively comfortable in your present surroundings, let’s move on together shall we? (Yeah, I’m scared too.)

Okay so we’ve come to the decision that this is it, this is how I’m going to change my life, this is how I’m going to lose the repression of the Monday to Friday, nine to five burden and write a blog and make money doing it and I’ll be free, free!

Oh but wait a minute, how do I do that? Well apparently it all works from banners and hits. People read your blog, advertisers see that people are reading your blog and they advertise. People click on these advertisements from your blog and then you make money – easy peasy! (Oh wait, did you say people read my blog? Yeah, I know, I haven’t figured that part out yet either.) Not only do they have to read, but they have to keep coming back, that means not only do you have to hook the reader but you have to leave them hanging for more. (I am for the time being holding off on the whole banner thingy, etc. because I’m going to a conference this weekend and I want to see if there’s a way to do it without polluting my page with advertising …)

Which makes me wonder, so if I’m writing a blog is it protected in any way from plagiarism or can anybody just saunter along and just casually yoink my words verbatim and repost them? Hmm, I think that’s a question for much much later.

See you tomorrow!