How to Write a Blog

Here's advice on how to write a blog especially for creative writers. For more inspiration, be sure to join our free writers' email group.

What's a blog?

Q: Cross a journal with a website, and what do you get?

1. Fired
2. A divorce
3.  A blog
4.  A following of loyal readers
5. Potentially all of the above.

A blog is a website in a journal format. You write in it as often as you want, and your entries, or "posts," typically appear in reverse chronological order, marked with the time and date that you wrote them.

You can use your blog to write about your daily life, your hobbies, your travels, what you're reading, your thoughts and opinions. You can also use it to publish your stories, essays, and poems.

Like a journal, a blog can be about anything you want it to be. But unlike a journal, which you can keep private, a blog is published online, which means that you can't control who reads it. When you decide what to write about in your blog, you should always keep this in mind.

Why keep a blog?

Here are five reasons:

1) To develop a writing habit.

Writers get better through practice. A blog is a great way to build your writing muscles.

2) As a writer's journal.

You can use your blog to record impressions from your daily life, bits of overheard dialogue, and to practice describing people and places. Just remember that your blog's public, and you can't control who'll read it!

3) To publish your writing.

You can use your blog to share your poems, essays, and stories. You can even turn your blog into an online literary magazine!

I know one poet who invites friends and family to join his email list. Then each time he posts a new poem on his blog, he sends out an email with the link.

4) To develop an audience.

If you plan to publish a book one day, you can use your blog as a way to build an audience of potential readers.

If this is your goal, you could plan your blog around a theme related to your future book. For example, if you are writing a book about gardening, your blog might have a theme that would attract gardening aficionados.

You should probably avoid posting writing on your blog that you plan to traditionally publish, unless you already have a publisher who can give you permission.

But if you will be self-publishing your book, you can use your blog to post material from your drafts to get feedback and generate interest

5) To make money.

While it's not easy to make a living from blogging, if you get enough readers, it's possible to make some money from ads and affiliate links. You can also use your blog to directly sell copies of self-published books.

Examples of writer blogs

Here are some blogs to check out for inspiration.

Getting started

If you're low-tech, WordPress and Blogger provide easy online tools for starting a blog. You'll find lots of online help for these tools (e.g., Google, "How do I ____ on")

If you're interested in turning your blog into a business, consider buying your own domain name (website address) and setting up your blog there. That way you'll own your blog's website.

For blog hosting, I recommend Lyrical Host. (If you buy a domain from Lyrical Host, please use this affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

What to write on your blog

The sky's the limit! Here are some possibilities:

- Journal about your day (keeping in mind that the blog's public)

- Record your memories. If you've ever thought of writing a memoir, you can start by blogging about specific memories and family history.

- Share stories, poems, or ideas for future stories and poems. You can use your blog to write down new ideas when they occur to you.

- Write about a hobby or interest. Use your blog as a travel log, gardening log, cooking log, exercise log.

- Track your progress toward a personal goal. Publicly posting about your progress can be very motivating!

- Explore these prompts to get more ideas!

Alternatives to blogging

Blogging is no longer as popular as it once was. These days, many writers are opting instead to post on social media, or creating newsletters on Substack.

Social media has the advantage of almost zero setup, and it can be easier to find followers on social media platforms than on your own blog. On the other hand, you have a lot less control, and if you decide to leave a social media platform like Facebook (or if they change their policies or close your account), you stand to lose your entire audience there.

A blog allows you complete creative control and the chance to own the website where you're investing your time.

closeup of woman's hand writing in notebook

How to Write a Blog - Next steps

Join our writers' email group to get creative writing tips sent to your inbox.

Not sure what to blog about? Check out these creative writing ideas. (Warning: some of the questions on this creative writing prompts page are personal. Use your judgment before publishing your answer online!)

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