Our Tiny House

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

How to Start a Blog











I tasted my first avocado after I was grown, married, and had graduated from college. 

When I encountered a sugar-cube size of avocado in a salad, I thought I have bitten into a raw fish. But when I discovered guacamole, the avocado world opened her doors and played celestial music.  
  
Now we wrap raw fish and avocado in a pillow of rice tie it up with seaweed and call it a delicacy.  
  
See how times change.  
  
When I began reading Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones (The 30th year edition), she told of tasting her first avocado in the 1960s, and with that, she gave us permission to write of such things.   
  
This was before blogging became a national phenomenon.  
  
To become a writer, you write. You put pen to page and begin and keep on keeping on.   
  
If writing about avocadoes will do it for you, write about avocadoes.  
  
You can write for fun, as self-examination, to journal, as a way to access the subconscious, or you can believe as Natalie Goldberg says, “Writing will take you where you want to go.  
  
I believed Goldberg those 30 years ago, and I’m still writing.  
  
Seth Godin, premier daily blogger, says everybody ought to blog, and it appears that 600 million people are. Last week I read someone’s post where they named the 5-best books on writing, and that set me off and running.  
  
I had read his five best books. But wait—my favorites weren’t there. So, I added five more. They are the ones that will set your pants on fire.  
  
Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones—has been the most sought-after book on writing, Goldberg was one of the first writing instructors to tell her students that writing is a therapeutic endeavor.  
  
Look where it got her.  
  
I lost my copy of Goldberg’s book in Temecula, California, but after being reminded of the best books on writing, I want to read Writing down the Bones again, so I bought the 30th year edition.  
  
My desire here is to do more than tell you how to start a blog. It’s to encourage you to write.   
  
But first, #How to Start a Blog.  
  
Bloggers try to get to the point. Sometimes we ramble about what’s going on around the farm, or house, or area. (A life-blog.) We do try, however, to give people what they want. If you don’t know what people want, lay out a smorgasbord—they’ll choose.  
  
Blogging in a Sunflower seed shell:  
Get a Host  
A domain  
A template   
A nitch  
A brand  
A media presence.  
Now, write content.  
  
What to Write:  
How-to’s 
Advice  
Entertain.  
Teach.  
Whatever floats your boat.  
  
So, here are the basics in Three Easy Steps  
  
One: Choose a Host.  
  
A host is the property where you build your blog. They carry your mortgage.  
  
You’ve heard of Go Daddy, and there are many others. Look up the best host providers, and they will give you a list.   
  
Blogger.com, is simple, can be free, or you can purchase your own domain, that is your dot com without their name attached. I also use Site Ground. Blue Host is great in that it blends seamlessly with Wordpress templates.  
  
You’ve heard of Go Daddy, and there are many others. Look up the best host providers, and they will give you a list.  
  
Two: Choose a Domain Name:  
  
Your host will either give you access to a domain selector, or you can buy your own. It ‘’s easier to go with the one provided on your host.  
Your domain is the https://www.yourname.com, or dot net, or dot many others. Dotcom is the most used.  
  
Your first choice may not be available—remember your name is one-of-a-kind—no one else can have it.   
  
Keep trying.   
  
Some hosts offer free domains with the purchase of their templates. If you go for free, they will have their name in the .com line. A domain isn’t expensive, about $12.00.  
  
I’ve made a lot of mistakes. For example, the blogger gurus say not to put numbers in your domain name—I’ve done that. They say not to use hyphens—I’ve done that too.   
There’s a lot of trial and error in this. Now I see why people want a directive.  
  
Three: Chose a Template:  

The template is your floor plan. That’s where you see your content, pictures, and the layout of your blog. If you don’t like the one you’ve started with, you can change without losing your content. Whatever floats your boat.  
  
Initially, I had trouble with the templates. I didn’t know the commands. I didn’t know how to set up the first page, how to make pages, or use widgets. The templates frustrated the heck out of me. It takes time. Keep at it. You’ll figure it out.  
  
Some sites will say your pictures are too large, so you must go back and reduce them. Some will refuse to put spaces where you want, All the templates I have found have qualities I like and some I don’t like. And most templates have limitations and quirks—one of mine writes in italics, and I haven’t found how to turn that off yet.  
  
It’s the price we non-tech-folk pay for some savvy someone to set up coding. But look at the opportunities they give us.  
  
Begin with a simple free blog. I began on Blogger, and continue that one because I simply can’t part with it and have a readership I don’t want to lose. That’s https://www.wishonwhitehorses.com 
  
I think to learn while doing works the best. If someone told you how to use Wordpress in one setting, your brain would explode.  
  
Just google Blogger, or Wordpress or Weebly, or Go Daddy or BlueHost. There are many that I haven’t tried. But once found, they will direct you.   
  
Good luck with blogging. Tell me how it’s working for you. If you have suggestions, please share.  
Thanks for reading,   
Joyce   
  
Here are the best books on writing.   
  
1.On Writing by Steven King  
A shoo-in for someone with that name and body of work  
2. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr & CB White.  
Remember from freshman English? “Omit needless words. Omit needless words.”  
3. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield  
Overcoming resistance—could be called procrastination. And you find ways you didn’t know you were procrastinating, but when you get moving, you will also notice a lightness of spirit will envelop you, even if your writing sucks.  
4. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury  
Zen didn’t seem quite right for Bradbury, but hey, his enthusiasm for writing will set your pants on fire.  
5. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleoh 
Not, don’t plagiarize. However, everybody gets inspiration from somewhere. Take it from the best and make it your own.  
6. Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg  
7. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont.   
Love that girl.  
8. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  
Many quotes, much practical and spiritual advice.  
9. Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, by Steven Pressfield 
“Your sh*t is your self-centered, ego-driven, unrefined demands for attention.” –Steven Pressfield  
And it is more, “Believe in yourself when no one else on the planet shares that belief.  
10. BrainStorm by Don Hahn. “Unleashing Your Creative Self”  
Written by a Disney Imagineer. This is not strictly about writing but to encourage creativity.  
I love it.  
  
Now, dear writer, go out and kick some ass.   

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