From time to time, I get questions from friends about starting up a blog, so I thought I’d share a little bit about that here.
A little history: in 2009, I attended my first real writers conference and learned that establishing your online platform is vital for later promoting your published work. So, I registered nicolemillerbooks.com and the blog has morphed a lot since then. I focused on just about everything from history, horses, writing, daily life, to peeling potatoes.
(That last one isn’t exactly true.)
Here’s what I use:
– WordPress.org – though I have my own “real estate” on the web (i.e. I “self host” my blog on space that I’ve purchased and keep under my own .com name), I use the blogging software WordPress to organize it all and post each blog. WordPress.com offers a free blogging site but it is “owned” and hosted by WordPress, on their corner of cyberspace.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, only consider WordPress. They have the credibility and versatility anyone could need.
– Elegant themes – the theme is the look and feel to the entire site, and I like the usability of Elegant theme products. They cost about $40 each theme, but it is best to use a purchased theme rather than a free one, which might have more vulnerability to viruses.
– Mailchimp – for those subscribers who have my daily posts delivered to their email inbox, I use MailChimp, which is free and oh so easy to use. You can customize themes, use templated emails, and there is a lot of great support and personalization to this program.
– BufferApp – to share blog posts (my own and other’s) I use the application Buffer, which installs a button next to your URL bar and allows you to post to Twitter, Facebook, etc. with a simple click. Word of caution: I only use this for Twitter. For Facebook, make your posts directly in Facebook.com or risk your posts receiving lower ranking in the news feeds.
There are many other tools I use within WordPress and offline to organize my blog, but I don’t want to bore you. If you have questions, leave a comment!