Lynda, a Connector from Bedfordshire, shares her tips on blogging
Eighteen months ago, I sat on the sofa at my friend’s house with my daughters and my friends’ husband Martin. We were reminiscing about some of the funnier moments of one of my hospital appointments. Martin found this interesting, so I told him about some of the other, less funny moments. As I chatted I felt all sorts of emotions, but most of all I felt a great sense of relief. I had so many feelings pent up inside me, and once I began talking, I couldn’t stop.
Martin suggested that I should write it all down, and my daughter encouraged me to write it in a blog. Who knew it would have thousands of readers today across many countries all over the world?
My daughter introduced me to Blogger, a good starting base for beginners, as she already uses it. I use a very basic template, but there are loads you can play around with on this site and there is also the opportunity to ‘earn money’ from blogging if you add advertisements to your blog. It’s free to use, however this does mean they have the ability to delete you if they think you have written something that violates their guidelines.
You can then you progress on to other sites like Word Press for more experienced bloggers. You can then start to pay for the templates which makes your blog individual, less likely to be hijacked and well, something of your own really.
It’s good to back up your blog too; if the free site you use disappears so will your blog! So, it’s a good idea to use a couple of sites along with maybe Facebook. My blog, ‘Diary of a Blind Lady’ has its own Facebook page which is easy to monitor. I have also decided to print off each blog and tuck it away in a folder.
Choosing a name for a blog is one of the hardest things to do, as you have millions of named blogs already out there, and there can’t be two of the same name, it’s good to do a bit research first to ensure you don’t clash with anyone else.
It took me ages to figure out where to start, I thought about it a lot through the day, I tried jotting notes down, but when I sat in front of my laptop, my mind went blank and the words just seemed wooden! So, I decided to go free style, and just write as if I was talking to the screen, talking to my readers.
This made me much more relaxed, and the words flowed easier. I realised that I was thinking about it too much.
In the beginning, I didn’t realise how much my journey had affected me and my family, and I had buried my head in the sand and ignored the feelings I had, detaching myself from what was happening to me, It wasn’t until I started writing that it all became real, I never wanted the blog to sound ‘heavy’ and woeful, As I wrote more my writing changed from transferring what was in my head on to ‘paper’ to wanting to reach people who are going through the same things, I wanted people to read it and say….’Ohhh yes, I’ve done that’, I want people to know they are not alone, and if it helps someone by reading my blog then that makes me happy.
I am very proud of where “Diary of a Blind Lady” is today, and I am also very proud of the person I am today. Writing has brought me back from a dark place and although I said I would stop writing when I get to the 100th blog (I am on 89 at the moment) I don’t think I can. It has become part of me and part of thousands of others out there just like me.
Read more from Lynda at Diary of a blind lady.