by Natasha L. Hollerup

Blogging might seem hard to the untrained eye, but it really is the easiest thing in the world. Blog is the word that derives from the term Web log, or online journal. Many people have them, including celebrities like Rosie O’ Donnell. They seem to be confessionals of sorts, a place to vent without being seen if you don’t want to be. Blog are also journals that people are free to read. It’s if a teenage girl writes in a journal and then; she publishes it to everyone but her parents. Some blog can be made private, like if you were just writing in a diary, but it doesn’t make sense to create a private blog. Blogs are primarily made for at least one person to read. If you are interested in creating a blog, but you aren’t sure where to start, this is for you.

Here are ten tips to finding happiness in writing a blog. You don’t have to be a published writer and you don’t even have to be a high school graduate. Just follow these tips and you’ll become a successful blogger to at least someone thousands of miles away.

1: Find a free blog site: There are hundreds of free blog sites on the internet. Most of them will help you along the way, giving you features like colorful backgrounds and telling you where to put information about yourself. My recommendations are Myspace, Yahoo 360 and Blogger/Blogspot.com. Blogger/Blogspot.com is through Google, so you can probably Google yourself.

2: Go incognito: If you don’t want to be yourself or worry that what you might post can get you fired (that’s a possibility), you can be someone else. The good thing about the internet is that you can be anyone in the world, but you can’t get money from it. That’s fraudulent. Myspace requires that you create a profile through their site. With Yahoo 360, you’ll have to use your e-mail account information, but it’s a less private version of Myspace. That’s fine as long as you don’t do anything fraudulent. I also don’t advise this if you are planning to post something criminal, like your wishes to kill someone or harm children. But, that would bring us to…

3: Keep it light: People do not want to read about harmful things, except if they’re fiction. If they aren’t fiction, seek help and refrain from making a fantasy into reality. Most bloggers write about their personal lives and that’s fine. If there is something bad happening in your personal life, please feel free to vent about it and get it out. You will most likely get advice or condolences or well wishes. But, don’t turn to violence. Chances are that someone will report you to the police if you post something that doesn’t seem like fiction and seems quite awful.

4: Fiction is fine: If you are an aspiring writer and want to talk about your book in progress or a book that you’ve just read, that’s fine. I can’t say that many people will give you feedback, but you’re still getting the word out there. Like I said before, at least one person will read your blog and that is one more person that had read it before. You’re creating an audience. You won’t get paid for it and it’ll take time, but it will happen.

5: Take everything with a grain of salt: Chances are that you will probably have someone say that you suck. Don’t let that ruin your day and don’t let that make you leave a message on their blog that includes all of the four letter words that many people can’t say. There are always going to be negative readers, but they’re not the be all to end all. Negative readers only do that to get a reaction and the best reaction is no reaction at all.

6: Keep it simple: The last thing that people can handle is a blog with so many colors, it’s keeping their attention away from the content that you’ve posted. Fun colors are okay, but don’t have ten different colors on your blog. If they’re bright, then it’s not only distracting but also blinding and it’ll keep people away from your blog. You’ll end up being known as the person with the really colorful blog.

7: It’s not an everyday thing: The good thing about blogs is that you can stay away from it for a week and come back to it like it’s second nature. Blogs aren’t supposed to be a full time job. They’re supposed to be a release from all of the stress of the day. If you don’t feel like writing in your blog, you don’t have to. It’ll always be there.

8: You can always delete an entry: Say that you ranted about a co-worker or a best friend but then, you mended fences with said person. The good things is that you can always delete the incriminating entry before they ever find out about it. Or you can change it around to only say positive things about that person. That’s the benefit to having a blog whereas in a diary, the ink is permanent and it’s hard to erase everything you’ve said.

9: Famous people do it, too: If you tell someone at your work or within your circle of friends and they tell you that you’re a geek for being a blogger, you can tell them that some famous people have blogs. Rosie O’Donnell, who’s now a co-host for ABC’s The View, has a blog. Author Laurell K. Hamilton also have a blog as well. You can rest assured that they pretty much stick to these rules, too.

10: You can put anything in a blog: Blogs can be unrequited love letters, stories that you’ve written when you were 10 or chronicles of what you’ve done for the day. Blogs can be anything that you want them to be. Five to twenty five years later, you can always go back to your blog and probably make them into a book when you become rich and famous. Or you can finally start charging for people to read all of your confessions of way back when. Trust me, people would love to read your secrets once you become rich and famous, and you can always control who reads them.

Blogging is not that simple, and it’s less likely to make you run out of space in your diary, ink in your pens or give you carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s less likely that you will end up so frustrated, you’ll scribble over all of your work because the thoughts won’t come out correctly on paper. With blogging, all you need is your thoughts. Now, I advise that you look back at some of those diaries or swim through your subconscious and if you’re really ready to expose your secrets to the world, prepare your fingers for some typing. I know that I’ve been a blogger for a little less than a year and it’s like a release to me. It’ll be a release for you, too.

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