When I first started writing a blog about three years ago, I found myself constantly explaining the strange phenomenon of “blogging”. I would talk about the excitement of publishing your own ideas, commenting on the blogs of others and the buzz that comes when you begin to shift from a readership of one to 10 or 20 or 30 or more. In turn, I would be met with blank faces. You see, blogging is hard to understand from the outside. It is fundamentally about participation.
Since that time, things have changed – a little. I no longer have to explain what a “blog” is – and I am often asked ABOUT my blog, rather than being asked WHY I write a blog. And increasingly, my friends and family are thinking about establishing their own blogs, which means that they turn to me for advice.
Over the last few months I have spent quite a lot of time playing with WordPress, setting up new blogs and explaining how blogging software, domain names and social profiles fit together. I have explained the process of setting objectives, writing “About” pages and getting into the rhythm of writing.
Finally, I turned to the draft of a book that I had begun months ago – The Dialup Guide to Blogging. I had written this simple guide after I moved house, only to find that the broadband access that I was used to, was not on offer in my new premises. Months of dialup access transformed my approach to writing and reading blogs – and I thought I’d jot down some of the lessons I learned. Increasingly, I found myself printing this out and sharing it with friends to help them get started.
So I thought I would turn this brief guide into something useful to a wider audience. This brief, practical guide is now available for purchase via Lulu. It comes in a paperback and a downloadable (eBook) version – and could well be the best $10 you have ever spent (even if I do say so myself).
The book takes you through a series of steps that will make your life as a dialup blogger much easier:
- Chapter 1 — Knowing Your Objectives: Blogging is much harder work than it first appears. By asking yourself some serious questions you will be able to frame your blog in a way that is valuable to you as well as to your readers.
- Chapter 2 — Welcome to Your Domain: Looks at some of the basic elements of web domains — what you need to think about and how you go about getting a “domain” of your own.
- Chapter 3 — Setting Up Your Blog/Website: Helps you set up your website — either for free or for fee.
- Chapter 4 — Setting Up Your Social Web Identity: Looks at a variety of ways to create your social web identity, suggesting sites and tools that will make your dialup life easier
- Chapter 5 — Writing Your First Posts: Is about writing your first posts, establishing a publishing rhythm and finding “your voice”.
- Chapter 6 — Making Blogging Easier: Explains where you can find ideas for your ideas — that is, how you can find topics to write about, and some of the practicalities of blogging.
- Chapter 7 — Out and About in the Blogosphere: This last chapter looks at contributing to ongoing conversations and determining where best to direct your reading efforts.