To Blog or Not To Blog: Anyone can write!

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Writing

This column is about blogging and writing, for writers who need to promote themselves and for people who think they can’t write.

If you are writing a book, you need to have a web page. Agents expect you to have a platform to be marketable.  If you are not a writer and have convinced yourself you can’t write, maybe its time to open your mind.

Two women knitters with blogs, holding up thei...

These two women blog about . . .yep, knitting.

People communicate everyday, on the telephone, person to person, and (you should have seen this coming) on Facebook and by texting.

So have you always had a story you wanted to tell, but didn’t because you thought you couldn’t write? Did you know that thousands of people just like you have gone online and started a blog or journal? Journaling is the new popular arm of writing.

You can start a blog, like this one on WordPress, and be sharing your feelings, ideas, hobbies, memories, creativeness, etc.,  as often as you like. Write a daily journal. Do a weekly post about something you are passionate about.

Even if you are a writer, and say, I don’t have time, there is a blog for you. It is a micro blog where you can write as few as a couple of paragraphs at a time.

Okay, time to look at the elephant in the room. “I can’t write, you say.”  Writing is just thinking about what you want to say–a thought in your head–and then putting it down on paper. Don’t worry about grammar, you have a voice: the way you talk–and your voice can carry your words. Spelling?  That’s what spell check is for and blogs will alert you of possible misspellings before they allow you to post.

So, maybe you aren’t a professional writer, and you don’t need to market yourself. Did you know blogs are set up to find readers for you. Yes, amazing but true. First you can invite your friends to visit and subscribe to your blog. The more times you post, the more people will find you. If your topic is especially juicy or popular, they may find you overnight. If not, there are tips and tricks you can learn to draw people to you.

If you don’t care about building an audience, you can write for yourself and seven or eight of your closest friends or family. Twenty years ago you had to be a journalist to get published. Today anyone can be published. There are many community bloggers out their reporting on local sports, news, city hall meetings, politics, travel, entertainment, food, golf, backpacking, biking, losing weight–you name it.

Did you know there are hundreds or thousands of people who do reviews about books they read for their friends? Some of these fan blogs have huge followers, and novelists are starting to court them to get their books reviewed.

Most of these blogging platforms are free unless you want to spend money to customize it for a business use or host it yourself.

So there is no excuse. Yes, there is a learning curb, just like anything. But there are books, college courses, and the blogs also have tutorials.

What are you waiting for?  Put yourself out there!

Here are links to some of the more popular blogging opportunities:

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and has a lot of features, but can be intimidating if you aren’t real techy. Still, I use it so it can’t be that hard.

Blogger is a bit easier to set up and use. It’s now owned by google, so you will have to establish a google account using the Signup box.

LiveJournal is a community blog that mixes journaling and social networking to find friends who share common passions and interests. Here you have to Signup to see the goodies.

Tumblr is a step up from twitter. Most people jot a few thoughts or paragraphs and attach photos to spice it up. It’s a little techy for me, but I haven’t really tried it so my advice is to explore it a bit.

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Comments
  1. […] To Blog or Not To Blog: Anyone can write! (donweston.wordpress.com) Share this:ShareFacebookStumbleUponTwitterEmailDiggPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. fran says:

    thanks for your motivating post!
    I’m starting a blog right now!!! hehe!!
    actually I would love a blog where anyone, without being registered to anything could leave a commnet on my posts… Just like the one im writing to you.. did you have to install disqus.com or anything like that?
    does wordpress give this option easily??? tumblr and blogger are a mess…

    thanks a lot !

    • Don Weston says:

      WordPress is set up to allow anyone to comment, provided the first time the administrator–you– approves them. After the first approval, the commenter is apparently considered trustworthy and his/her post will be automatic. No log in is needed. You can always go to your dashboard and unapprove a comment or mark it as spam.
      Of course you want to encourage people to sign up and follow your blog via email so they won’t miss any of your great blog posts. It also helps when you have a couple hundred followers at the point you are signing a book contract.
      Wordpress has better templates than any of the other blog services I have seen. The only thing I don’t like is you get one type size for the body of the post and four or five heading sizes for headlines. You can purchase other type sizes and at one point you could get free type kits, but to download it was beyond my capabilities so I suffer with 10 point type.

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