If you are interested in becoming one of the many "daddy bloggers" online today, and you have never blogged before, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to get started and how much fun you can have in the world of weblogs.
A blog (weblog) is a unique type of website where the blogger enters posts that appear on the blog in reverse chronological order. Posts can include text, pictures, links to other websites and, most often a method for visitors to the site to add their own comments.
For many posters, blogs are their online journals. They can also serve as advocacy sites, places to post personal opinion, or simply internet scrapbooks. Blogs can cover a wide variety of topics or interests including hobbies, professions, politics, civic discourse, or any or all aspects of your life.
Setting up a blog can be relatively easy and free, or it can be more complex and expensive. How you choose to enter the world of blogging is largely up to you. I'll share some thoughts here about how to set up a blog, how to make it of value to you and others, and what some other dads do in popular "daddy blogs" around the World Wide Web.
Planning Your BlogBefore you dive into blogging, it's important to define what it is you want to share and who you think will be reading and commenting on your blog posts.
Figuring out for whom you are writing--your audience--is an important early step. Will your blog be focused primarily on family and friends? Or are you looking for a broader audience? Or do you have a business interest you'd like to promote? Or, if you are like many dads who blog about your family, maybe your interest is being part of a community of committed fathers. In any case, defining your audience is critical to the success of your blog.
It is also important to define your message. Again, for a focus on fathering, you should define what you want to share. Is it just an online family journal sharing events, stories and more about you, your partner and your children? Or are you hoping to be an advocate for issues like fathers' rights, responsible parenting, or home-schooling? Or do you want to participate in a community of fathers like stay-at-home dads, stepfathers, dads with shared custody or fathers of special needs children?
Here are a few questions you might want to consider as you define the niche you hope to fill with your blog?
- What aspect of fathering do you feel most passionate about?
- What part of being a dad do you enjoy the most?
- What experiences have you had in your life as a parent that might be of worth to others?
- When you are talking to friends about your family life, in what topics do they find the most interest?
- Is there an issue about which you feel you have a unique voice?
Once you can articulate your audience and your unique message, you need to ask one more important question: Can you see yourself writing about this message to this audience over an extended period of time? If so, then you are ready to move on and create your blog. If not, you may want to refine your message and audience until you can make a long-term commitment to them?
The next important aspect of planning your blog is to pick a name. It should be unique to you, but also easy to spell and remember. Some of the father's blogs I read have names like daddytypes, rebeldad, and metrodad. Find a name that reflects your message and your interests. Or you may want to just name it after yourself (like waynesblog) or after your kids (ellensdad). If you are using a hosted blog service, your blog name will be a subdomain at that service's site. Or, if you want your own domain name, you can register it with a domain name service and then point it to your hosted site.