The impact of social media has been felt everywhere, from university dorm rooms to the streets of Egypt. But one of its most important areas of influence has been bringing moms together.
A blog (a combination of the term web log) is a type of website or a part of a website that is usually maintained by an individual. Many blogs provide news or commentary, while others function more as online diaries. You can find a blog on just about any topic imaginable – entertainment, sports, music, news, food, art, travel – you name it! If you’ve ever flirted with the idea of starting your own blog, the other 156 million bloggers out there welcome you!
First you’ll need to find a blogging provider. The most popular are WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. These sites are pre-made with templates and easy button publishing that don’t require much technical expertise. But read the small print fi rst – your blog’s content may be owned by the company that puts it on the web.
If you think you might want to do more with your blog in the future, decide whether you want to have your own domain name (or URL). If you do, consider using WordPress.org, web software you can use to create your website or blog. This requires usinϖg a web hosting provider. WordPress.com, on the other hand, will host your blog for free, and your URL will be wordpress.com/yourblogname.
Choose a ready-made template, colour scheme and layout for your blog. Make it visually interesting. Besides the typical posts and commentary, add graphics, photos and video.
Decide whether you want your blog to be open to any Internet visitors or strictly family and friends. Most blog sites offer the ability to password-protect your published posts so only certain people can read your posts.
Keep comments open so that visitors to your blog can leave comments, making it more interactive than a static website.
Visit other blogs to build a blogging community. When you leave comments, add your blogging address so they can visit you too. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will start a new circle of blogging friends! Then, use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to promote your blog.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- Once your blog and posts are on the web, they are public. Whatever you write, others will read and comment on. So be sure you know what you’re saying because once it’s out there, you can’t take it back!
- Be cautious about what or who you write about. You may be an open book and not mind writing about your children, for example. But keep in mind that one day they too will grow up and can always read what you’ve written about them.
- Be prepared for both good and bad comments. If you’re blogging about controversial topics, expect to receive some negative feedback.
- Be yourself! You have a unique voice – use it!
Maria Lianos-Carbone is the the social media editor for ParentsCanada.com. Her blog is amotherworld.com.