Writing a blog can be an excellent way to express yourself, connect with others, and allow others to keep up with your life and thoughts. By blogging in a safe way you can meet new people, gain support and insight from a broader community, and grow yourself personally. A blog is similar to an online journal where you can write about anything that interests you. You can then invite others to visit and comment on your posts, thereby building an online community to support you during your move.
The most important aspect of blogging is staying safe, especially if you’re a minor. According to this article from Get Safe Online risks include the following:
- Privacy: someone could discover your personal details.
- Embarrassment: you might write something that you later regret.
- Legal: you could write something libelous (a written falsehood that is passed as truth).
- Persistence: once a blog is posted, it can’t be un-posted. Things online last.
- Universal access: anyone can find and read your blog, whether you want them to or not
- Spam: spammers will try to use your blog’s comment section to promote sites you might not support.
If you want to start a blog as a minor, it is essential that you discuss your plans with your parents/guardians before beginning. You can read an article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation about blogging anonymously here and you can find a wealth of information/resources about staying private online as a young person here.
How to start a blog
To begin with you need to determine what type of blog you wish to write; people blog for a variety of reasons and some use the ad revenue generated by their blog to supplement or provide their income. You can read this in-depth article (by clicking here) about starting a blog that is directed more at those wishing to blog professionally. It walks you step by step through the process of creating and uploading to a blog.
- These blogging platforms are popular and free
- Blogger, www.blogger.com: This free blogging service, provided by Google, integrates well with your existing Google account(s). You can read their introductory guide, watch a video on creating a blog on Blogger, and sign up for free to get started.
- WordPress, http://wordpress.com: Another free blogging service that utilizes the WordPress web software (found here). You can learn more about them here and sign up for an account here.
Keeping a blog
You can read this article that provides more basic advice and tips for the casual or personal blogger. In the article they offer tips and tricks to prevent your blog from running out of steam such as:
- Update your blog frequently as this will encourage people to visit. A regular schedule encourages regular guests.
- Personalize your blog (in a safe way). By making your blog eye catching and interesting you will draw more visitors to your blog.
- Know what your purpose is for blogging. Don’t try to blog about everything, but focus on what you know/want to talk about.