Starting a personal blog is a great way to collect your thoughts, ideas, and interests in an casual yet public way. Using sites like Tumblr, Blogger or Wordpress, it's easy to quickly put together a great looking personal blog where you can share links, images, and of course, long form writing. As easy as it is to start a blog, it's key to choose a topic you'll stick to, and even more so one that others might find interesting enough to read. Thinking about starting a blog? Consider these suggestions for picking a topic you'll stick to for sharing and logging your thoughts online.
Share your experience and expertise
Many bloggers draw from personal or professional experience to offer tips and suggestions, and to review the tools of their trade. These kinds of blogs offer a great way to elaborate on your knowledge and open the discussion to peers in your field. Are you a cook, or chef? Share recipes, or cooking techniques. Work in admin or HR? Share ways to improve workflow and organization. A working parent? Tell others how you balance work and home life.
Sharing your experience and expertise through blogging is not just a great way to build content, it's also a great way to keep track of the skills you're learning in your professional career or personal life. Think of it as keeping a professional or personal journal to track your development. Don't forget, a post doesn't need to be long. Even just sharing a link with a quick description can be enough to help you remember something great you found on the web, while sharing resources with your potential readership.
Many blogs (like Apartment Therapy) focus on DIY projects, offering crafter how-tos, or demonstrating weekend projects. Find yourself thinking of clever crafting ideas to keep the kids entertained? Constantly coming up with attractive and practical furniture hacks? Take photos documenting your project process, and explain your steps. This will help others be inspired by what you're doing, while allowing you to elaborate on your ideas project to project with an ongoing record of your DIY methods.
Key to any successful blog is to post content frequently. Use your blog to stay on track with your plans, and to ensure you finish projects. Sometimes just knowing others might look at your work for inspiration will help remind you to focus on the details and to stay motivated.
Log a change in lifestyle
Planning a new diet, or exercise routine? Consider sharing and logging your progress online by setting up a blog to track your change in lifestyle. More and more people are finding niche eating habits for better personal well being. Whether it's switching to a vegetarian diet, or accommodating allergies or aversions to certain kinds of foods, it's likely that others may share the same concerns as you.
Perhaps you're working to eat more locally, or perhaps you're experimenting with yoga. Keeping track in a public way will help you keep to your goals, while sharing the insights you learn along the way. Don't be afraid to encourage comments, as often others will be eager to provide encouragement or even suggestions.
Create lists of things you like
Sometimes blogging can be as simple as just finding things on the web you like and sharing them. Pinterest is great, because it allows us to share inspiration in a highly visual way. Do the same on your blog and share collections of images from around the web you find interesting or appealing (always remembering to provide a source and a link back to wherever you found them). You might start a fashion blog sharing various looks you like, or a home decor blog with images of rooms you find inspiring.
Try to keep each post cleverly and even poignantly themed (for example, seasonal fashion) so that there is context for the images you're sharing. Also, remember, the best content is original content, so if you're sharing a list of images from somewhere else, don't forget to give the post its own unique spin, bringing something new to the conversation.
Of course, it doesn't just need to be a list of images you're sharing. You could create a list of YouTube videos you've enjoyed through the week (top kitten videos is always a popular post), podcasts you're listening to, or even a product wish list. Keeping a blog doesn't have to be about writing something or getting a message across. Sometimes it's just about making your mark on the web by sharing and keeping track of the all the things you find and enjoy while you surf the web.
One of the many great things about the web is that there are so many services that let you express yourself openly and share with others. Micro-blogging services like Twitter offer a quick and concise route to this, but sometimes don't offer enough characters to really elaborate on what you're thinking or doing.
Have a facet of your life you feel others might find compelling? Eager to track your progress trying something new? Consider starting a blog. It's likely you'll find that sharing your knowledge and experiences with others, while keeping an ongoing personal journal of inspiration, thoughts and ideas, will help you to learn more about your interest (and hopefully help your readers do the same).
(images: Sean Rioux)