Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Blogging for Beginners

With nigh on eight hundred regularly published posts and one academic article in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy under my belt I think I've fulfilled a childhood dream and can just about label myself as a writer.  Not that I've earned any blooming money from it though.  Giving up the day job and being 'discovered' as the Guardian's latest columnist is still eluding me.  At least, I have enjoyable paid employment to keep me going in the meantime.  Suffering for my art in a draughty, damp garret and wondering where my next meal might come from really wouldn't be  my bag.

For those out there who're thinking of kick starting a writing habit but don't know where to begin, I'd urge  you to consider blogging for the freedom that it gives to develop your own unique style.  Sure, there are courses out there and I looked into this route myself.  After looking at syllabuses from various providers I didn't find anything which really suited my needs.  But unlike pursuits that require specialist equipment or complex techniques, you  really don't need to throw any money at this to begin with.  Just look around for inspiration and when you've found it, in the real or virtual world, sign up with a provider that lets you blog for free and get started.  Simples! Your old mate 'Google' will direct you to plenty of pointers if you get stuck at any point in the task whether your problem is about technology, design, promotion, grammar or finding inspiration for content.

We now come to the difficult part.  Unless you really want to be a secret squirrel  you'll need to share your work.  Gulp!  What if my work really is pants?  Here's how you find out.  Bite the bullet, tell your friends and family what you're up to and invite them to read what you've produced.   They'll be your audience and critics until those search engines do their job and start to find you.  Hopefully by then, you'll have honed your 'copy' to a level that really can attract that international audience!

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