Hiya peeps, kicked off early this morning, multi tasking as usual. Sewing machine at the ready, I'm making shopping bags to sell on our stall at the Epworth Show on Monday. Anyone coming, look me up in the shopping marquee. Listening to Sounds of the Sixties on the radio, singing away to the songs I know. It's funny but I can remember every word of some of them, they are embedded in my head.
Anyway I'll press on, no time for chitter chatter. I've had a lovely email from Sue, yes we have several Sue's I think, this is a newish one.
Through your blog I have found a whole community of frugal lovelies who support each other and blog so movingly about their experiences. When I leave work I would very much like to write one myself, can you give me advice about getting started?
Hi Sue, Looking like you are getting organised for your retirement, I can thoroughly recommend it. It would be great if you join our lovely community. Advice about getting started then. First have an idea in your mind of what you want to write about. Will it be all aspects of your life, or will you specialize in your favourite subject or hobby? I write about all sorts but then you get sewing blogs, food blogs, political blogs, travel blogs, arty blogs, in fact any subject can be covered. If you specialize though you will limit the size of your target audience, only attracting readers with the same interests. You can have a chatty laid back blog where you meander through life, or you can narrow it down to one subject only, the choice is yours.
I started mine as a hobby, it still is a hobby, jotting down my day to day experiences and my thoughts on different subjects. You don't have to post every day, once a week is ok if that's all you want to do. A web log is an online diary, I wrote a diary from 1963 and gave up in the late 1990's. I thought I would resurrect it here, almost six years ago.
After thinking about what to write you need to think of a title for it. I can guarantee you that almost every title has been taken. You need to go to the Blogger web site, there is a button on the top left hand corner of every blog, Get the blog building wizard on screen and type in your title. You might have to come up with several options before it accepts one that hasn't been taken. This title will be your web address, you don't have to put the whole thing on your header. I wanted my address to be Life After Money, but it was taken, so I added Meanqueen- to the front of it and it was accepted, although you can see that I don't have Meanqueen on my header. So, my full address is www.meanqueen-lifeaftermoney.blogspot .co.uk
I had a look at Wordpress, another blog hosting site but I didn't get on with it. I found Blogger easier. Blogger takes you through the various stages. You write a profile about yourself, it can be as short or as long as you like. You are taken to the Dashboard which has all the elements you need to build your blog. Decide which template you like the look of, there are lots to choose from. You can change the colours and the layout at any time if you want to alter it. You choose where to have your sidebar, left or right, or both. You can change the width of the columns to accommodate what you want to fill them with. I hope my blog sits nicely on the screen so all of it can be seen, it does on my computers. I don't like extra wide blogs where you have to scroll sideways because the text drops off the edge.
Have a play with the layout, and colours. Stick with a standard template at first, till you get used to it. You can add a header photo later. You will need a photo for your profile, it can be anything if you don't want to show your face. You drive your blog from the Dashboard, so you want to set that address in your favourites so you don't have to go looking for it. You start there every time you switch on, then click on whatever you want to do next. Check comments maybe, look at your stats perhaps. Click on View blog to see what it looks like, does it need any changes. You will get used to the look of your Dashboard in time, go in and out of different pages, have a look at what they do.
At this stage you don't publish your blog until you are happy with it. You can play around with it to your hearts content, but it will not go live until you hit the publish button, so don't be worried if you make a mistake, you can change it.
I will stop now, that's enough to take in at the start. I'll be back with a few more pointers.