I just received this e-mail from a friend: “Hey Jay, my friend and I have every good intention to start a blog. Thought I’d harass someone who knows a thing or two about blogging for advice on how to approach this and make it moderately legit. But not too legit to quit.”
By way of an answer, I sent these five quick tips, mostly learned from my experience this year starting The Tangential with savvy smarties Becky Lang and Katie Sisneros. (I should note, though I didn’t think this was the right approach for my friend, that anyone can also start their own Daily Planet blog just like this one.)
* Get your own domain and make a nice WordPress site—it’s not that hard. (It’s not necessarily that easy, either, but the investment of time and elbow grease will pay off.) Be sure you make links to social media and RSS feeds clear, and be sure to have an obvious link to an informative About page.
* Get a Tumblr to have a presence there, but don’t make Tumblr your primary blogging platform. (Our friends the PhiLOLZophers learned the pitfall of this approach: making Tumblr your primary platform limits your ability to use Tumblr interactively.) Get Twitter, obviously. Make a Facebook page. Use all three platforms for more than just, “Hey, look what we published!”
* Invite guest bloggers. Post consistently—try for at least one post a day. Collaborate on posts.
* Keep it short.
* Don’t take it too seriously.