Are you hesitant to start your own blog because you want to “do it right?” Would you like to hear some step-by-step startup tips directly from an expert blogger? If so, you are in luck! No, I’m not talking about me, folks — Brent Ozar, the SQL Server Expert who has been blogging for ages, just wrote a 5-part series on this very thing.
Here is a quick synopsis of the series:
- Why start a blog in the first place?
- Set your expectations
- Get a good name
- Be yourself and blog regularly (but not on certain days; read to find out why)
- If you are serious, you want WordPress, period
- Configure WordPress just right
- Get yourself found by Google
- Get Feedburner and other necessities up and running with little effort
- Easy database backup solution — you need this
- There are tons of themes to control your look and feel
- When you find one, customize the customizable but do not think about editing the code if you have a day job that doesn’t involve writing PHP and CSS
- Give credit for content, but respect individual privacy
- Don’t burn your bridges, your writing is somewhat permanent online
- Allow visitors to comment
These are some of the highlights, not a table of contents for Brent’s fine series. Even if you are a field-hardened and crusty old blogger, I bet you will find something useful there. Check it out!
Here are a couple tips of my own that I would add:
- Be prepared to deal with SPAM comments and trackbacks; as with email, it’s sort of an arms race
- Use the “more tag” in longer posts so that only a portion shows up on the homepage, otherwise the homepage can become very, very long
- Most plugins take computing resources: CPU, SQL queries; moderation is key
- Set up a test blog to try out new plugins, themes, or ideas without disrupting your live site
- I did this by setting up a subdomain with a second installation of WordPress — it doesn’t cost anything extra with the host I use
- Be careful: recently I sent pingbacks to another blog from my development site by accident, doh!