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THE BLOG on BLOGGING: ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON



So, you’ve decided to blog.  Let us ponder your options. 

OPEN THE POD DOORS, HAL
Why do you want to blog?  What do you have to say or share that isn’t already being said or shared by the other 200 million bloggers out there? Who is your audience? Is it a family-and-friends-only journal or a me-only diary? Maybe it’s an advertisement for a product/creation/business, and you wish to attract awareness/admirers/customers? Is it an exercise in creativity and you are searching for an audience or an outlet for your opus? It is crucial you decide this before you blog.

I HAVE ALWAYS DEPENDED ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
Study other blogs and glean information that will help you decide how to best set up your site and its operation. See what works and doesn’t for your purposes.  Come up with a quirk or innovation that will make it different from the many others. 
If what you envision is beyond your technical savvy, then enlist/hire/beg for help. Will it have links, photos, interactive options? Tabs?  Several pages? Have you considered banners, head shots, color schemes, fonts? Will your blog open onto a full screen, or will your product/text be positioned to the left or the right?
Remember you want to make a good first impression, so don’t broadcast it until it looks and feels right to you. You can always upgrade it or give it a face lift, but your first launch should be your best font forward.
One more thing, consider topics and taboos, subjects you will and won’t do, and decide those with care. 

LOUIS, I THINK THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP
Where are you going to post this blog?  Choose a server that will match your needs the best.  Will you link to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.? How often you post will depend on the purpose of your blog.  Will you post when the muse amuses you or will you set up a strict schedule? Set your own guidelines but then announce and follow them. 
Remember if you seek a constant readership, you will need to be constant as well.  A reader’s time is valuable and fickle.  If you treat your blog with abandon, the reader will also. 

NOBODY PUTS BABY IN A CORNER
Whether it is a me-only blog or you seek extensive readership, once it goes live on the Internet, it is “out there.” It is a web log, after all.  It is also a visual résumé, forever attached with its magnet to the refrigerator door of Cyberspace. 
Regardless of that daunting thought, here is your chance to stretch your creative muscles, perfect your skill, show off your talent(s). If you write, grapple with the grammar, insinuate yourself into the syntax, and lunge loquaciously into the language.  If you are a visual artist, post pictures, venture out there with vlogs, and tinker with technology.
Establish your platform, your stamp, your voice.                            

LOVE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY
If you’ve truly considered what you will blog about and who it will reach, then you are aware of the importance of privacy and ethics.
Unlike a private journal or diary that only becomes public upon your death or the prying eyes of nosy family, a blog is accessible to anyone who can maneuver about Cyberspace. Not only will your creation be public but so will you. Readers will claim you. You will find yourself pinned on Pinterest.  
You might enjoy the attention, but your family and friends may not. Don’t belittle, betray, or blather about them without their permission.  Don’t post a picture if you want to protect their anonymity. If you do, disguise their names.
Also consider if what you have posted – text or picture – represents you well.  Do you want to become known for that? Always be aware of your theme and message. 
Would you rather be famous for a blook deal or infamous for a lawsuit? Remember you still have to show up for Christmas dinner with the relatives, and you might have to face the ex(s) at the grandkids’ birthday parties sooner than you think.

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