By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
What steps will take you from planning to hitting post?
So far, I’ve been talking about long-range planning for your blog.
What your primary topic will be, what will be your voice or personality, how are you going to go about attracting readers to what you have written?
So where do I suggest you go from here?
Spend some time reading blogs.
Read lots of them, on your topic and on others. Look at what other people are writing about and how they’re presenting the material. Make some notes about blogs you especially enjoy. What draws you to those blogs?
At this point, you are immersing yourself in the blogosphere. Some blogs are heavy on illustrations. If you’re an artist, talking about your artwork, you’ll need to feature images or examples. Do you gravitate towards blogs that include video clips? You will need to decide whether you’re going to create those videos or provide links to existing videos. This is an excellent place to pay attention to copyrights, yours and other people’s.
With your blog use images?
If you’re an artist, you want to be sure to include notices that the work is copyrighted. There are lots of tricks you can use. While you can’t copyright an idea, you can copyright the finished product. Some artists show only a portion of their work or pictures of them in their studio creating. Writers often give away snippets of the story or book. If you plan to use video or images, make sure you abide by the creator’s copyright.
There are several sites where you can obtain images available under a Creative Commons License, free for anyone to use or share. What you don’t want to do is just steal images off the Internet. The last thing a new blogger wants is a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit for copyright infringement. When in doubt read the fine print or contact the person who posted the original and ask them for permission.
You can, of course, create your own photographs or videos. If you decide to do that you have to ask yourself why? If your original plan was writing, detouring into photography and video production can sabotage your writing plans. But then maybe you’ll discover what you really want to do is express yourself visually rather than through words.
Start producing content.
If you plan on your blog lasting more than that first few weeks, it’s a good idea to have some content in reserve. In the middle of your blogging project life happens. You don’t want your blog to go dark, with no new content for periods of time. We haven’t gotten to the mechanics yet, but I will share one thing I learned the hard way.
One year I tried to post every single day. There were many nights I was up late getting that post done, and this was at a time when I had a full-time job as a therapist and a part-time job teaching classes to beginning counseling students. The result was that a lot of posts were published with typos and spelling errors I wish I had caught. I have significantly reduced the errors by writing ahead of time, letting the posts set for a while, and then proofreading it a second time before posting. I’ve also taken the pressure off myself by scheduling posts to appear in the future. It is currently the beginning of August, and I already have at least one post per week scheduled to run on counselorssoapbox.com until the end of the year.
Think about how often and how much you will post.
Learn from my experiences. You’re probably better off to plan on posting once a week then to plan on writing every day and ending up without posts ready. As I write extra posts, I save them for later use or schedule them for future dates. Don’t turn the pleasure of blogging into avoidable pressure.
With all this planning done, your next step will be the mechanics of setting up your blog site.
We will start talking about the mechanical parts in the next post. Think about the mechanics of a blog as similar to starting your own business. If you need a vehicle for business, do you need a nice car to transport clients or a van to carry materials and equipment? Having created some content will help you plan the layout and functionality of your blog.
I hope you are finding some of this helpful and I am looking forward to talking to you again.
You’ll find more posts on this topic under – Writing.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
Wandering through a hole in time they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time but the Sasquatch wants to kill them.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.