How to write a blog #1

Well, having looked at how to read a blog, I suppose the obvious thing to do is now put something up about how to write one.

The answer I’d give anyone is to use WordPress. Its simple, lovely and oh so easy to use.

You don’t need to know anything about how to make webpages. You don’t need to know anything about how the internet works. All you need is something to say. If you have the confidence, bravado and chutzpah to think that anyone else is interested in reading what you have to say then so much the better, however that will come with time if you don’t have it yet.

Go to and sign up for a blog if you want to try it out. You sign up in the top right corner and can be up and running within minutes. Write your first post about why you’ve started a blog and you are away. All you need to do is think of a title, chose a layout (from the many available), make up a login name and password and you are fit to go.

There are other ways of doing it, of course. If you want complete control you can host your own wordpress site on your own server (which is what I do) or go with another provider like blogger or blogspot or typepad or something.

One of the advantages of WordPress is that it plays well with others and provides nicely formatted rss feeds without you having to think about what that all means. (See yesterday’s entry below for details of what we use rss feeds for). Its user interface for writing your blog entries is lush and lovely too. What’s not to like?

I think it probably makes sense to try to decide what you are going to write about but I guess that often comes about through writing.

Remember, a blog is not just about you either. Its a community. Its a conversation. Its the world.

If you want that conversation to grow, you need to tend your blog like a garden, cultivating the chatter and pouring in as much goodwill, opinion, wit, wisdom and delight in other people as you can muster.

Oh, and don’t forget to ask people questions. That’s the starter for most conversations, isn’t it?

I’d be interested to hear from regular commenters who don’t have a blog why they’ve not got one of their own on the go already. And from the usual suspects as to whether they’ve got any tips for new bloggers thinking of taking that first step.


  1. I’m afraid I hate using WordPress. I struggle with it every time I have to update the church site – maybe I’m more interested in having an easy place to say what I want to than in fiddling with the layout!

    Gosh. That sounds somehow superior. Not meant! 😉

  2. David | Dah•veed says

    If you want complete control you can host your own wordpress site on your own server (which is what I do)

    I have always wondered why Safari stops and thinks for 30 seconds or more before your blog begins to load. Now I know why.

  3. If you are a student (particularly if you are doing a PhD), starting a new blog is an ideal way to procrastinate.

  4. @Chris – I notice that you use Blogspot (which is owned by Google). I struggle every time I have to use Blogspot, which is only very occasionally when assisting other people with their blogs. I’d go with WordPress every time, but then I’ve been using it for years and years, since version 0.6 (it’s currently at 3.0.1). I guess it’s partly what you’re familiar with. My top tip, if it helps, is simply being aware of the difference between posts (news-like articles that are time-dependent) and pages (mostly static content).

    @David – I’m writing this in Safari. I didn’t find any delay in Safari serving up Kelvin’s blog. There are many reasons why you might get a delay, including time of day, your own connection speed, what else is hosted on the same server, etc. I host my own WordPress blog too, and since moving to a new host it’s been lightning fast.

  5. Writing a blog can be difficult.

    Since June 2004 I have had an on-line photo album via fotopic, which allows me to show may photographs and put in a little story about them.

    Them along came Kelvin at St Mary’s in May 2006, and Kimberley’s “Bloggers and Bluebells” event in May 2007, which re-invigorated my fotopic activities. Although I have a Flickr account, I still prefer fotopic for my photographs. Moving forward to the Facebook era (again following a blog from Kelvin) and another means of displaying photographs. Then at Christmas 2008 I started the Pencefn blog on wordpress.

    I like to write items that are illustrated with photos I have taken, most times cross linking a blog posting to a fotopic collection. However even with the best intentions, I do not manage to establish the discipline to publish as often as I would like.

    One rich theme I have is travelogs from my trips, this does take time, selecting the most appropriate pictures for fotopic, and writing (what I think is interesting) for WordPress.

    Would I started blogging without see Kelvin – not sure, probably not. Thank you Kelvin for introducing me to blogging, even if it took me several years to start writing my own.

  6. I used to use Blogger but I found it a bit clunky and prone to large quantities of the kind of spam which a priest really ought not to be promoting, if you get what I mean. Despite several complaints they did nothing about it and so I migrated to WordPress. I love it. I’m sure I could do more with it than I do (change the appearance from time to time) but for a novice it is just perfect.

  7. David | Dah•veed says

    @Gareth – perhaps I misunderstood the Padre. (I often misunderstand many things in English!) I took the comment that he was hosting a blog on his own server to mean he had the blog on a computer serving as a server in his own home/office.

    I have tested Kelvin’s blog on Camino, Firefox, and Google Chrome. There is a definite lag as the browser sits there waiting for a response to the request for the page. The only other blog I see that with is Padre Bosco’s blog, Liturgy, in New Zealand.

    My service is 4 Meg DSL from my cable provider.

    It could be that I am in North America. That little country with the drug war located just south of the Statesonians, Mexico. Blogger blogs load instantly, but that is likely because no matter where the blogger is located in the world, the blog is hosted on Google’s servers in the US. So those blogs are physically near to my location when compared to a blog actually hosted somewhere in Europe or New Zealand.

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