Want to start a blog?

Occasionally I get emails from readers who want advice on starting their own blog. Where do you start a blog? How do you get people to read it? A lot of that depends on what your ultimate goal is, and what you’re writing about.

The big tip:

The most important tip I could pass along is writing about something you’re interested in. If you’re not interested in what you’re writing about, no one else is going to be interested in it either. I could start a blog about weird shapes of tortilla chips and gain a steady audience if I wrote with a salty passion.

It is kind of important where you write, but not as much as you might think. Good platforms give you some flexibility in categorizing posts and creating a layout that suits your subject. I use wordpress. I’d also recommend squarespace and blogger.

Growing from your starting point:

One choice I’ve made in blogging is to do very little marketing on my own. Some bloggers will go out and find ways to get others to view their blog, which is smart. Sometimes this has to do with link trading. Sometimes guest blogging. Some have a very heavy presence on social media.

I’ve grown at a steady rate since 2009, mostly due to people linking and sharing posts. So far that’s been my preferred method, because I think letting other people spread my blog word of mouth allows me to build my persona at a slower rate. I was able to feel out what I wanted my blog to look like and what I wanted to write about without pressing out half-developed content.

One thing you have to make peace with when writing is that which isn’t said. Particularly when writing about controversial issues, there is always something else that you could say that you didn’t say. This is a problem because you have to understand that people are likely to misinterpret what you’re saying or may even judge you and you writing based on what you choose to include or exclude. This goes back to the first point. Write about something you’re interested in and believe in the words that you choose.

Writing about gender or sexuality:

If you’re writing a blog and gender or sexuality, it can be helpful to choose a niche you want to be in. There are all kinds of sex blogs out there – some are based around personal stories, erotica, cartoons, reviews, sexual education, or question and answer. Some people write from a feminist perspective. Some people write from a conservative or liberal perspective. Some people write with the intention of being political and others just want to write about their opinions (which then, of course, might become political.)

Some people just want to write because it’s fun and they believe in what they’re saying. Some people want to write because it’s an outlet for something they can’t express in any other way.

Last, but not least, I would highly recommend being honest. Blogs about gender and sexuality allow the world to see the reality of gender and sexuality. The true thoughts and experiences of people that might not be represented in everyday media. People who are gay, pansexual, gender queer, people who are transexual or cross-dress. Putting stories to these people allows us to learn and connect with otherwise abstract ideas.

No matter what you write about it can help bring people together and it can help others learn more about you and that thing you’re interested in. The first step is deciding what you want to write about and how you want to share it.

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  1. This is great advice. The only thing I’d add, as a long time blogger, is that the best advice I’ve ever gotten is, “If you want readers, BE a reader.” Which means, seek out other blogs (either in your field or not) and read them, comment on them, engage with them. Eventually, people will come see what you have to say too.

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