How To Start A Successful Blog With Happy Readers Blogging is the act of sharing thoughts and ideas with others in written form online. How do you start? Here are some tips to help you with the process. 1. Decide whether you want to be a serious blogger. By this I mean do you want to make a commitment to blogging? This is very important as you will spend time luring readers in and then leave them flat, and they won't return if you don't take it seriously. If you are unsure about this, try to start out slow. Blog just every once in a while and get used to writing in the blogging format. Some people blog only a paragraph, some add photos, some are more lengthy. 2. Decide what your blog will be about. Make it personal. Remember who is writing this blog; that is why readers will follow you. They are interested in what you have to offer or they wouldn't be reading it. 3. Decide if you wish to self-publish or use a blogging software. An example of self-publishing would be for you to host it on your web space. Then you would need a feed burner or e-mail program to let people know when there is a new post available. Or, alternately you can use a blogging software and there are many free versions available, such as WordPress or Blogger. Everybody has their favorite but I have found that a simple interface is Blogger's software and a more technical interface would be WordPress. You can also self-host with WordPress, although WordPress does offer a free version, where you do not need to have web space. The only drawback is that you cannot control what type of ads will be displayed along your blog when it is seen online. 4. Decide if you want your blog to make revenue. There are ad programs who will allow you to be an affiliate and your blog could make money as people click through on ads. Typically the business who is allowing you to be an affiliate will send you a revenue check each month or quarter, based on their criteria- how many click-throughs, how many sales resulted, etc. 5. Decide on a brand. Make your blog recognizable, by its logo, color scheme or headline. Make the font easy to read and always design to your weakest reader- one who has never read a blog before and might not know how. 6. Decide to promote. Once you are up and running, you will need to let people know you are out there! Advertise on social media networks, put it in your signature line on your e-mail, make a bumper sticker and put it on your car! No one can visit if they don't know you're there. 7. Decide to be nice. No one wants to read a blog where people's comments are insulted or denigrated. It is easy to want to strike out at a negative comment, but remember, this is how you learn. 8. Decide to offer great content. Remember 90 percent of your readers, just by nature, will be 'skimmers' and the other 10 percent will want to read everything you have. It is the nature of the blog to offer skimmers lots of options that are clear and easy to navigate. I always list a table of contents on each post so that readers can skim and then choose what they want to read without wading through the entire blog. Remember skimmers and waders alike like pretty pictures. Make sure your pictures are clear and not blurry. 9. Decide to stick with it. If you don't get a ton of readers right away, don't be discouraged. It takes time for people to find you. Just keep looking for ways to remind them. 10. Decide to have fun. I have learned so much since I started blogging. It is an experience in itself and you should have fun along the way!