Based on seven years of continual blogging experience on the Curmudgeonly Professor blog and on a variety of other blogs, here are a few bits of advice I offer for what they are worth:
- Don't start a blog and then drop it into the dark hole of millions of blogs that were started, two or three entries posted, and then dropped. You have to feed a blog, if not daily, then at least two or three times weekly or there is no point in starting one.
- Avoid politics. You are not going to convince anyone that you have been given the only true light and that everyone else out there is a dim light bulb. Your goal on your blog should be to entertain, educate, uplift, cheer up, and offer positive help to people, not to get them irritated over your views on politics.
- Don't regard your blog as a big ego trip. A wise blog reader told me early on, "Remember, you are blogging primarily for yourself." So don't sweat page view counts and look for high praise as a reward for your blogging genius.
- Avoid details of your daily life, including schedules, addresses, and any information that makes it easy for predatory readers to find you or your family. Write about your life and your family only in general and non-specific ways.
- If you never advanced in English comp past 7th grade, brush up a bit. Check your grammar, punctuation, verb tense, and stuff like that. Double check all entries one more time before you click "publish."
- Please, please do not write about completely trivial details of your daily life. Make sure your content has some basic level of interest in terms of your activities, your thoughts, your advice.
- Keep it clean. Avoid slang and fabricated and offensive terms. Same for photos: keep photos in good taste.
- If you start a family blog, don't depend on family members to keep it going. You started it, you keep it going, and don't get irritated if others don't follow suit. Sooner or later your slow and recalcitrant family audience will get the point and start dribbling in comments and information to keep it going. But it takes time and a lot of patience.
- Be on a continual lookout for useful and interesting information to post. Learn how to link valuable information from websites. Learn to watch all the wonderful details of life around you that you may have taken for granted and now see as a new photo or writing opportunity.
- View and read other blogs for ideas.
Blogging may not be the most wonderful thing you have ever tried, but it will open up new worlds for you and you never know what door it will open, what new window will reveal something of beauty or of value, and what you can accomplish until you start in and keep going. Good luck!