Just what it says on the tin. It’s easy to start a blog. There’s Tumblr and Wordpress and, I mean I guess Medium too. Those are hosted for you, but you can also do something like Squarespace or you can fully host your own (but that’s slightly more work and not my point).
So, it’s really easy to start a blog. Get an account, and start writing!
I hear two big reluctances about starting a blog: it’s hard to finish writing a post, and it’s hard to keep writing posts. Let’s explore those, shall we?
While it’s easy to start a blog, and while it’s easy to start writing posts, it’s definitely hard to finish them. Sometimes you get a hint of an idea, but don’t know how to see it through. Sometimes there’s a lot you want to say, but can’t find the words. Sometimes it just feels like your thoughts aren’t polished enough. I have been through each and everyone one of these, and they stink!
My best suggestion is really just to publish anyway. Can’t think of a great way to end a post? Don’t! Just end it. Maybe say “And I don’t really have a conclusion here, but yeah. bye” I think the reluctance stems from looking at blogs as a publishing medium, which it very much can be if you want. But I think the idea that blog posts have to be polished holds blogs back. While I encourage everyone to research, link, and polish posts to the best of their ability, I also think it’s fine to go without. Just be explicit, “Hey these are rough thoughts” or “these are just my opinions, they might not hold up to scrutiny,” and I think you’ll be OK.
The other difficulty is finding momentum. This one’s hard too. Maybe you’re fired up to write one or two posts, but maybe you lose steam after that.
I’ll start by saying, if you feel like you only have two posts in you, then at least post those two! Start somewhere. There’s really nothing inherently wrong with a two post blog anyway. Just publish them.
Beyond that, reflect on where your original posts came from. Why did you write them? Me, I write posts when I’ve had an idea buzzing in my head for a while and I want to explore it publicly. Or, I’ll write when I want to respond to something I’ve read or somebody else’s blog post. Ideas and thoughts that don’t fit in a tweet. If I start a twitter thread with myself, that’s usually a good indication I should be blogging it instead.
The more you do this, the more you post, the more you’ll want to post. The more people who post, the bigger the network effects. I started blogging because I saw John Gruber and Ash Furrow doing it and I thought to myself “I want to do that. I can do that.” and then I did it. When I see my friends blogging about stuff, I want to join the conversation.
If you’re reading this post, you’re obviously a very intelligent person. You probably have great ideas of your own. Great ideas that are done a disservice by trying to squeeze them into a tweet or erratically chatting them in a Slack room. Great ideas that would otherwise be lost to the sands of internet time, reduced to 404s when Twitter eventually shuts down.
I Will Personally Help You
Here’s the deal: you start a blog, and you tell me about it (either in the discussion section below, or by contacting me otherwise), and I’ll promote your blog.
I’ll make a post on my blog, linking to yours, and I’ll write something nice about it. If you’re having trouble and you want help, I’ll help you. I’ll review drafts, I’ll suggest ideas, I’ll listen, I’ll link to your posts again if you want.
There are so many people discussing important issues these days, but unfortunately so much of that gets lost on Twitter or Slack or other shitty networks. Today, it’s easy to start a blog somewhere (or better yet, host your own), and you should do it.