Easiest Steps to Creating Your Author or Writer Blog

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Even If You Know Nothing About Blogs and Web Design

By Maryan Pelland

blogging for authors writers

Blogging is power and you can do it!

 

Authors and writers ask me all the time how they can set up a blog without paying a web designer a ton of money and without knowing a whole lot about web mastery. Good question, and you will get as many “perfect solutions” as the number of people you ask for advice. Here, all you authors and writers, are some solid tips for getting up and running with a blog in no time at all.

Yes, blogging is a great way to discipline yourself to write. If you make a commitment to yourself to keep up your blog, it will propagate itself as you add content, and you can share it with people by a variety of social sites. I never recommend creating a blog to sell stuff or to rant about marketing. It’s plain annoying, but you can learn promotion tricks as you grow with your blog. If you build it, and your writing is quality writing, they will come. Trust me. But it won’t happen over night.

What’s the Best Way to Set Up an Author or Writer Blog?

I’ve been blogging since blogs were invented, maybe before. The most elegant solution I have found is WordPress, self-hosted. You get almost total control without needing much in the way of tech knowledge. There IS a learning curve, but it’s quite do-able. Contact me if you have a look at WordPress.org and you have any questions. You’ll need your own domain to go in this direction.

  1. First thing to do is to try to create a url you would like to have. Maybe it’s your name.com or maybe a key phrase that represents your writing. You can check availability here: http://www.whois.net/
  2. Type the domain you’d like to have (including the .com or .net portion) into the box at WhoIs and click to check if it’s available.
  3. Once you find one you want, you’re on your way and can set up an account at WordPress.ORG – that’s where Ontext lives.

If hosting your own domain seems like a big step right now, go to WordPress.COM and start a free blog hosted by WordPress. Piece of cake. You don’t need your own domain, but it is possible to add one at $13 per year. The instructions are clear and easy.

Blogger by Google is as easy as WordPress.com, though I find that Google’s documentation can sometimes be incomplete or hard to follow. Just go to the site and follow the directions. Some people like Blogger better than WordPress, some don’t. Try both, using two blogs. You have nothing to lose and can always discontinue one or the other.

If this still feels too challenging for your first outing, the very simplest thing to do is to sign up for a GooglePlus account (free) and blog directly into the posting sections. You will quickly find out if you want to commit to frequent writing or not. See my Google plus here. I don’t use it as a blog since I have other sites for blogging, but I really like GooglePlus – it’s the most social of the social media.

You can use Facebook as a blog, too, but I find that most people don’t spend a lot of time reading at Facebook, they want quick interactions.

This is a lot of info. Check out all the sites and see what you think. Contact me if you have questions. Above all, get yourself in to writing; it’s good for the soul and for the mind. Comment below and tell us what your experiences have been, or ask any questions you have. Once you get blogging, you’ll have a perfect outlet for your book project — you can share your journey with readers and encourage other writers to put their work out there!

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3 Responses to “Easiest Steps to Creating Your Author or Writer Blog”

  1. I also use wordpress (for a few blogs, actually) and find it’s fabulous. Easy to set up and work with and easy to administer. Great post.

  2. Went from Blogger to Squarespace. A bit of a learning curve but the results are worth the effort. In real estate they say location, location, location. I suppose in the blog profession, it is the look, the look, the look. Design is important. Taking time to create an inviting space makes going to work a pleasure.

  3. Thanks for this. I am going to check out Squarespace right now.