Welcome! The purpose of this page is to instruct users on how and why to create a blog. For more on why I have created this page, please view any of the linked posts below:
- DGST: First Impressions on Blogging
- DGST: Elements of Successful Bloggers
- DGST: Blogging for Personal Benefit
- DGST: Blogging and My Future Students
Blogging is a form of online expression and communication that can be used to share ideas, express beliefs, and react to content. Blogging allows individuals to develop their digital identities in a positive and meaningful way, all while interacting with information around them.
What Do I Need to Blog?
- A Website
- Websites: WordPress, Weebly, or Squarespace, Blogger, or more allow you to post content to a dedicated website. Many of these sites are free to create, although paying for a domain allows for more customization
- Domain of Ones Own: If you are a UMW student, you can create a domain to use as a blog for free! Simply click the hyperlinked title to learn more
- Your ideas and inspiration can come from anything, whether it be your academic studies, hobbies, or simply life updates. Blogging can be personal, professional, or both.
Note: An element of successful blogging is sincerity and alignment to one’s lifestyle. When choosing a topic to blog about, select something that you have a personal vested interest in, and that could be used to expand your own knowledge or the knowledge of others
Setting Up Your Blog and Posting Content
When setting up your blog, keep aesthetic appeal in mind. A crowded, outdated website with broken links does not garner the same amount of appeal as a neat, organized, and beautiful website. Keep fonts, color schemes, and images uniform.
Elements of Successful Bloggers
When beginning a blog, it is important to keep in mind what makes a blogger successful.
Measures of Success
- Views: Are people viewing, reading, and consuming your content?
- Trust: Is your blog the “go-to” spot for information, stories, or entertainment?
- Personal Satisfaction: Is keeping a blog enjoyable to you, and is it aiding you in personal growth?
- Monetary: If you have chosen to monetize your content, are you seeing success with that approach?
- Reliable and Steady Stream of Content
- Meaningfulness and Sincerity of Content
- Access to Other Perspectives
- Visual Appeal
- Alignment Between Content and Lifestyle
Note: The measures and elements of success listed above are purely my personal opinion!
When creating content, keep your audience in mind. Are you blogging for yourself? Your friends and peers? Family members? Instructors, professors, and future employers? Maybe you aren’t sure who your audience is, and just want to experiment! Whatever your choose, be purposeful with your content.
Your digital identity is important, and can serve as a first impression to many. Post content that you would feel comfortable with any stranger viewing.
If you are blogging on different topics, consider organizing your blog through the use of menus and tagging systems. Most website editing sites offer easy-to-navigate tools for organizing your posts!
Personally, I organize my domain using a tagging system that organizes posts in my sidebar according to what aspect of my life they are in relation to.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
If you include content created by other individuals on your blog, be sure to cite it! Hyperlinks are a quick and easy tool to link readers to interesting and useful content that you have referenced in your blog.
Including Visual Media and Utilizing Your Sidebar
The content itself of your blog is not the only focus. Your sidebar can help add personality to your blog by adding links to your social media, favorite websites, best posts, or more!
To add visual appeal to your posts, consider adding captioned photos to the body of your text, or including videos, sound clips, or other forms of media.
I use my sidebar for both organization and to highlight posts from my Instagram account.
To Monetize or Not Monetize?
Many bloggers use AdSense and affiliate links to earn additional income from their content. While this is certainly not something that everyone must strive for, keep in mind how creating a profit from your blog, such as through advertisements, sponsored posts, or selling a product you have created, can alter content restrictions.
The content on this page is part of my Digital Studies 101 Culture Module project. Opinions expressed are my own!