Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging for Beginners

 “For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I'm surprised where the journey takes me” says Jack Dann.

All of us, at some point in time, have had a burning desire to write. Some of us made it. Some of us just started. Some of us only thought about starting. And some of us never even thought we could actually write.

If you are in any of these categories, you are the perfect material to become a writer. Read on why and how.

Why Blogging?

Blogging is the most informal way to write and yet get published (on the net, ofcourse). It also enables us to get views, comments and feedbacks on our articles. It supports various forms of writing and can be integrated with various plugins which enhance your blogs better. It gives you a lot of flexibility. Write, Re-write, Amend, Delete, Add. It gives us an opportunity to get in touch with our hobby - Writing. Simply, it gives us a platform to start off with.

Start Blogging

The only thing which is required to write is to write. Use the blog as a piece of hi-tech paper. Start by using simple, friendly, casual writing style. Some of the things to keep in mind when you start writing are:

1.       Make Your Blog: Sign up on any one of the blogging sites. The registration is very simple and generally can be done in a couple of minutes. My recommendations are either Blogspot or WordPress.

2.       Choose a Specific Topic: Before you begin to write, have the subject clear in mind. Generally people confuse broad subjects like “The Indian Economy” or “Social Networking” as a clear subject. So, further simplify with personal topics like “The Effects of Budget 2011 on the Textile Industry” or general topics “Textile Industry: Growing with the Indian Economy

3.      Divide the Article Into Paragraphs: make a skeleton before starting to actually write. Divide the topic into pieces. As a good practice, always start the topic by introducing the topic to the reader. Then write about your views/experience about the topic. Give relevant examples, if required. Always end the article by a good conclusion.

4.       Start Writing: This is the place most of us generally get stuck. We always think that whatever we write has to be perfect. People actually don’t get past their first paragraph, as they are not convinced with the introduction. Remember, you need not write perfect in the first attempt. What is important is you WRITE. Then you can anyways rewrite it.

5.      Start Small and Simple: To begin with, always write simple. This is not a test of your vocabulary. This is not a test of your command over language. This is just expressing what you feel about a topic. And keep it small, to start with. Even 300-400 words should be enough. This will enable that you keep writing continuously on a regular basis. Also, with new styles of blogging coming in you get a lot of flexibility how to write. We will discuss the types of blogs in the next section.

6.      Review your Blog: Observe how it looks once it is on the website. Ask for feedbacks from your friends. Improve upon it. Put some relevant pictures.  Another way of reviewing is read it out to someone. They will point out some value additions.
7.      Read a Lot: Nothing can compensate for this. Read to know about what people write. What are their styles. What topics they touch upon. Read about the topic you want to write. Read, Read, Read. No alternatives to that.

And it is YOUR blog. Go ahead, experiment.

Types of Blogs

1.       Personal Blogs: Blogs are anyways personal. But what we mean here by personal blogs is writing about your views and reviews. The most casual way of writing. Highly recommended for the beginners.

2.     Specialized Blogs: These are the blogs that are maintained by people which give specific information about a specific topic. Like I follow someone called CCTVBlogs. These blogs give detailed information and news on those specific topics.

3.       Photo Blogs: Make a photo blog. It is also called a photo story. You have been to a fair or a get together and have clicked some photos of the event. Make a sequence of photos explaining the event and its happenings. Tag people in it. Make it social. Make it look like a story. Add attractive taglines to the photos. Take blogging to the next level.

4.       Reviews: This is the simplest form of the second level of blogging. Have you visited a new location lately – do Travel Review. Have you visited a new restaurant – Do Food Review. Movie Review. Book Review. Event Review. And the list goes on. They are the best for beginners – Small and Simple

Quickies – Points to Remember while Writing:
Here are some of the quickies to remember before you start writing.
  •       Choose a specific topic
  •       Keep it short and simple (KISS – I love the way they put it)
  •       Review, amend and repost
  •       Take feedbacks

Let me sum it up here.

Writing is your expression. Writing is a stress reliever. It is an art. Like Jack Dann says in the opening lines of this article - "Most of the times, you will be surprised where this writing journey takes you"

Remember, you don’t have to write lengthy columns to be a writer. Only thing you need to do to write - is to write.

Leave a comment if you like the article or have gained out of it.


Anonymous said...

quite illuminating.

Vibha said...

I shud have read this before i started blogging :) i write real long ones. good tips. really helpful.

Purvesh Gada said...

Thanks, Vibha.


nice post Purvesh...
you have touched almost each n every part of it for the begginers... when i started blogging about three months back, i had no idea of it... still in learning process...

one thing i would like to add here that even if someone is new to blogging, should never hesitate to give comments on other bloggers write ups... giving ur views on other's blog helps a lot in generating traffic at ur blog....

Bets wishes,

sm said...

agree with you
just write