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Community ideas

How to start a blog

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There are millions of bloggers around the world now, some are amateurs expressing their views and some are professional bloggers. If you’re going to start a blog, you have to compete with all of them. First of all decide why you want to write a blog. To have influence? To make money? Send out a message?

You also need to identify your audience. Who do you want to read your ravings? If you want influence you might want to become the proverbial big fish in a small pond rather than a minnow in the big bad world. This could mean targeting your blog on a local audience. Going local is a good idea if your aim is to make money. Writing about local topics, for local people, doesn’t mean that people around the world won’t read your blog, but you can write about local issues.

Hyper-local blogs are a little like local newspapers. They have been having a had time in the past few years as readers turn to the internet for news and views. If you decide to make your blog like a local newspaper, then you can feature local news, local politics, local events and become a community resource.

On a local level there are lots of things people are interested in and local people will contribute. They might phone you or email you with information or tips. Local politicians and community leaders might contribute guest blog posts. The local police and fire service might also make contributions.

The local business community might also welcome a community resource and support it by buying advertising space from you.  On this blog there is space in the side bar to the right for advertising and it can also be inserted in the blog posts and at the foot of the pages. The advertising  can be inserted as graphics both on the pages where the posts are or on the home page. Larger businesses in the community might pay extra for advertising on the home page. You can even do full page adverts using ‘pages’. You can review local businesses as an incentive to encourage them to advertise.

If you decide to start a hyper-local then you can become involved in the community. Recently I was asked to review an exhibition at the local art gallery, on Saturday I’ll be going to the local carnival and I’ll be taking photographs of that. I’m also a little involved in the local history and local arts groups.

There are so many things that you can do, you are only limited by your imagination. You can become a the local award winning writer in your community, if you work hard at it. You can even make money from it.

I would advise you to build relationships with other writers and bloggers. I would advise getting experience and you can start on WordPress for free to gain experience before you buy web space and a domain name. You also need to think of a cool name for your website. I like a zillion ideas!

Please share your thoughts in the comments box and maybe share with your friends on Facebook too. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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