A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Entertainment

How to begin a blog

   So you’re thinking about starting a blog? Before diving into all the aspects of beginning one, there are a few things you should know.

   My name is Clara Klein. When I was 15, I began a lifestyle and fashion blog for young girls. I enjoy sharing the importance of being yourself and loving who you are.

   I’m so glad I started blogging. It allows me to express my unique self through writing and pictures. If you are passionate about a certain subject or show interest in a particular topic, I recommend beginning one. This will allow you to connect with others who enjoy the same topic, and you can share your knowledge with the world. Blogging is a great way to express your style and personality with the world. But, owning one is surprisingly very difficult.

   Beginning a blog is very burdensome. The search for easy and helpful programs to work through is extremely important. I write through Wix, which is very simple to use. But, it’s necessary to find the program that works for you. There are dozens of programs you can use to begin your own: Wix, Google Sites, Blogspot, WordPress and more. Most are free and easy to use. You must try each program and find which one is for you. This process could take several hours to several days. This depends on the design and features you want to have. You also must create an innovative name for your page and make your web page your own style through personal pictures and interests.

   When I began my blog, I had to challenge my creative mind by designing an attractive page and coming up with a clever name, which resulted in “Bloggin’ with Clara.” I had a long list of potential names, but I decided to settle on a simple and easy to remember name. I spent about a week to perfect my blog. I had to discover my own style before I officially published the webpage to the internet. I spent hours searching for inspiration on Pinterest and trying out new templates to make my creation look perfect.

   Another aspect most people aren’t aware of is the pressure of what others may say about your work. You’re publishing a web page to the internet, which anyone and everyone can see. It’s scary to know that anyone can see what you’re writing, especially when first published. There is a fear of being judged or criticized for what you’re publishing. A week after I published my blog, I received rude comments from a random account. This random account was calling me “ugly” and “untalented.” This caused me to worry about what others may think about my social media platforms. I thought about deleting my Instagram account because I was so scared that more cruel comments would appear on my Instagram. Then, I came to the conclusion that I don’t even know the person behind this account, and I shouldn’t let what they say prevent me from pursuing a goal.

   After I started posting, I didn’t tell my friends because I had fear they would judge me or criticize my writing. It took weeks for me to tell my parents. Although they encouraged me to begin writing, I thought they may be upset with me for publishing my life to the internet. In the end, everyone was very compassionate and kind. They all support me and read my posts daily. So, there is truly nothing to fear. Though the beginning process is stressful, the love from readers will warm your heart with pride.

   Blogging inflicts a lot of stress and anxiety. If I don’t like the way a post was written, or the way a design feature looks, I will have a mental breakdown. For example, last year I spent hours crying over not liking the way my page was designed. I decided to add a new feature where people can become a member and share their ideas or opinions; I also added new pictures and art. These additions were very unsuccessful. After advertising and emailing all my subscribers, I expected most of them to become members. But, none of my subscribers signed up for a free membership, and I felt like a failure. That day I considered removing my presence online temporarily. But, with the support and love of my friends, I decided to continue and devote all my free time to making my page perfect. Today, I’m filled with pride because I know the difficulties I faced to make my blog flawless. I couldn’t be happier with how far it has come.

   I try to post every week, but it hasn’t been as easy as I believed. During the school year, I become preoccupied and distracted, and I don’t remember to post. About two years ago, I was so busy with school that I abandoned my blog for three months. That was the longest break I’ve ever taken. Nowadays, I am guilty of going weeks without posting a single word. It’s a terrible habit, but perfecting a post takes much longer than people believe.

   Blogging is incredibly time-consuming, I’ve spent hours and hours laying in bed working on a single post or trying a new feature or design. I’ve stayed up late at night to assure that I finish a post by the next day. On average, it takes one to three hours to make a perfect post. Most people believe writing a post should take about 15 minutes, but if one wrote a blog post in fifteen minutes it would be disastrous. You must be prepared to devote time and effort into writing posts, posting daily is not as simple and quick as many presume. Last year, I knew I needed to publish a post soon, so before I went to bed a wrote a quick blog post in about half an hour. To this day, that post has the least amount of views and is the shortest in length out of all my 100 posts.

   When I tell someone I’m a blogger, they’re not surprised. “You look like a blogger,” they say. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m flattered. Maybe it’s my sense of fashion or large round glasses; whatever that look is, I’m glad to be viewed that way. If you are passionate and creative, you can produce a wonderful web page. Blogging has truly changed my life, and I believe it will do the same for you.

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