In the last few weeks I have received several emails about blogging. Here is just one of those questions
Julie, I have been considering starting a blog for my surname study and my own genealogy. I wondered if you could recommend what I do about comments. Thanks P
Over the last year or so I have had quite a few comments and questions about blogging. In the past I have replied via email, which I have done in this case, but I am also sharing as a Q & A.
On the recent Practicalities of a One-Name Study course, there were several comments and questions about blogs and their use in publicising, publishing and preserving a One-Name Study. Firstly, the Guild of One-Name Studies have agreed to a pilot of the Guild Blog Project. The project will enable all members to have a blog which will be preserved. This also is available to those without a study.
This blog is located on the WordPress platform. I have a domain name (anglersrest.net) and I pay a small amount a year to have adverts removed. The amount payable is about £36 and then I pay for the domain name, so around £50 a year. A blog is a great way to have a conversation with others and it takes a little while to gain followers and comments from others.
I have several things that I think is important and recommend to those beginning their blogging journey.
- Enable comments – it is very irritating to want to reply to a blog post to find the writer has turned off commenting – that is also going against the core of a blog.
- Enable people to receive posts by email, a great number seem to only activate posts to be read in the reader. Some I prefer to read in my email.
- As you post your blog, enable the facility to share those posts via Twitter and Facebook, assuming you have those social media outlets.
- A blog is, as the image says, a space to write your own adventure. It is your space, so write about what interests you. I write about genealogical posts mainly, either general posts, or those about surnames or European research. Just recently I had several people unsubscribe because I wrote three consecutive posts in the Farnham Papers series. I also occasionally write about books and I also write an irregular Desk Rambling series, which is general and more chatty.
- Do not underestimate the time it takes to write a post. This post has taken about an hour. I frequently use the option to schedule posts, meaning I can write when I have spare time and then the post can publish when I am busy with other things.
- I tend to write in series – Oral History is just one of those.
- It is quite tempting to create blogs and keep things separate, and where I did follow that path, I have evaluated that and now, prefer to keep all the data and information within the platform of this site.
- You can easily import and export into WordPress from other WordPress sites and Blogger – in fact I have several hundred posts that I imported from my Blogger site and I need to place those posts into the relevant categories – that is an issue between tags on blogger and categories. I tend to find tags can become unwieldy and prefer categories.
I hope these points have helped, but if you would be interested in a Blog Series, please let me know in the comments.