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Blogging 101, Day One: Introduce Yourself

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

(Looking for Blogging 201? Click here!)

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “shitty first draft” (her language). Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Here’s the nitty-gritty on publishing a basic post, and here are instructions for adding tags to a post. Welcome to blogging!

Want to chat one-on-one with fellow bloggers? Head to The Commons.

Notes from the Editors:

The two-factor authentication requirement for The Commons has been removed, so no smartphone or additional security is necessary to access the site once you’ve been added to it.

Using The Commons is completely optional. It is intended simply to be a private place where challenge participants can connect. You can use it to ask questions you’d prefer to ask privately — or you can not use it at all, and still have a great challenge experience.

394 Comments

    1. enissa: You have a great blog and wonderful ideas. I enjoyed how you expressed wanting to empower women. We do have a similar sound in our writing ideas. Honesty and truth is the only way to be real. Thanks for checking my blog out and I will continue to follow yours as well. Perhaps we can throw ideas to one another, I too would like to help women. Keep blogging alive!

  1. Ok, mission accomplished for day 1. It felt quite scary actually, I did not expect this to be so exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. After the scary part , what is left is excitement and I’m really looking forward to the entire challenge.

    1. Thank you for sharing your love of knitting and fashion. I say:

      Blog
      Knit
      And
      Kick out the jams!!!
      (You probably thought I was going to use the S-word…)

      thank you,

    1. I already like you. Your style is conversational and informal which lends itself to the “rambling” that works because now I’m totally prepared for the hilarious stories which will certainly follow with oodles of sidebars and unfiltered details. Stay unfiltered… stay true to your I-am-who-I-am confidence. You don’t need to tell US that friends have told you to write a book. Just show us why.

    2. Kevil,

      You confess that you’re not a writer, but……..

      Your love of the medium grossly betrays you. Your love of the “word” and your spirit transcending your blog surely gives you away.

      Sorry, Kevil… You are a gifted writer. You may not like the prospect of writing, but your work product is a marvel to behold.

      BTW, what a great name. I shall never forget it. I will use it spariingly for great characters I create.

      1. Sara,

        I invite you to “turn it around.” Look at what you “Can do,” and how yoga can help you. I have had Parkinson’s Disease for 14 years. My body is very stiff, and I move slowly. I never got on the floor because I had so much trouble getting up. I have been taking yoga for 5 years. One class is for people with MS. The other class is a pain management class for people who have had serious injuries, primarily back. My body is pretty hosed with PD and I have a negative flexibility quotient, but I am in good company. I have always been very competitive, and I want to have perfect poses. “Screw that!” If i can get the right number of hands and feet on and off the floor for a pose, I am elated.

        And the biggest win of all: I can get on the floor (and back up) and play with my four grandchildren!!!

        Run your own race, don’t worry about the rest of the room.

        Thank you

    1. I am so excited by the prospect of your blog. I have Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In general the cause is unknown. But it has been established that exposure to toxic materials (for example people working on farms with ferilizers) is definitely a cause for PD. Just think if your blog could prevent 1 person from getting Parkinson’s.

      How cool is that. We’re talking signing choirs of angels.

      Thank you…

    1. This seems like a happy blog. I’m smiling just writing about it. However, you don’t need the emoticons. Not a single one of them. Your reader can hear your joy, and (grumpier) readers like me won’t want instructions on how to respond to your words. Imagine this post without the smilies. Still happy, right? xoxo

      1. Lol ;^) emoticons are a part of free expression, I can’t imagine writing without them, but we should all be free to write as we like, not how others prefer… unless they are paying the bills, of course!!!♥♥♥

    1. I’m not sure I believe you “love to write.” You may have to write, or need to write, or have things to write (and b***h) about, but I’m not feeling the love of it. Go ahead and b***h!

      1. Fair point bud… Maybe should do another revision… This is why I do reviews, because it’s much easier to write about something I’m not personally attached to, a habit I am trying to break, which is why I have the ‘my view’ section… I guess I’m just trying to find my voice…. thanks for the feedback :)

      2. Stop revising! I totally want to know what you’re cutting out. Maybe this post could be about why you’re reluctant to write when “personally attached.” My guess is there’s some good stuff there.

      1. Krista, I got an email for the 201 course and I have the 201 commons in my dashboard, Will you switch me to 101 too please? Thank you! :)

  2. Ok I have already included my about me section and introductory blog, which covers this. My blog is: beingchelle.blogspot.com

    Feedback is welcomed.
    I look forward to reading some of your blogs :-)

      1. Okay, I’ve checked out your blog. I like the template. It’s simple and works well with the concept you have in mind of a blog that shared your musings and so forth. Your blog is also easy to navigate so that’s good as well.

        I noticed that you are in the early stages like me so look forward to seeing you flesh out your blog some more and getting your personality out thereby creating more posts, etc. Just continue to write what you love and I’m sure it’ll all work out well.

        Also, not really sure about Blogger but I noticed you don’t have a listing of bloggers who you follow. Is it that you haven’t started following anyone yet or it’s just not being displayed on your site? I think that is one of the things I enjoy most, searching for other bloggers with similar interest and adding them to my site as a widget. It helps me feel like I’m a part of a community and keeps me connected.

        Hope you find my comments/suggestions helpful.

    1. No need to redo something if you’re satisfied with what you have, though maybe check out the blogs of some of your fellow participants for inspiration — sometimes that can spark ideas for new things to include.

    1. What an excellent, charming blog idea! Love love love it. Your font is possibly too teeny tiny (not sure if that could be altered in that format?), and you definitely need a picture for your Gravatar… then you’re off. Pretty boxes. Adorable. Genius. I hope you have oodles of cute comments on their contents.

    2. I felt like a child playing when I read your blog. It was a feeling of joy and jubilation.

      thank you

    1. You sound just ridiculously nice. So, so sweet! I did get a little tripped up by the exclamation points which I always read this way: I’m really sorry to bug you but I hope you like this do you like this do you do you?!?! And we’ll like it (you). You’re ridiculously nice.

      1. Are you always this snarky, or am I the only one who ever told you this about yourself?!!! Developing our blogging skills is a huge self confidence test and encouragement is usually far more successful in the long run, dont you prefer to receive kind comments and encouraging support from strangers? A little love goes a long way toward making friends and good manners are always better appreciated than snark, sweetie! ♥♥♥ ;^)

      2. Yikes! I really hope this doesn’t read as snarky. When I wrote that the writer sounds sweet and nice, that was genuine. It’s true, emoticons and exclamation points bug me, because I feel that they should be used more sparingly. The constructive (I thought) criticism was to experiment with how the post looked or felt without them. Goodness, I’d never be snarky about shared writings. How awful. I suppose this is the risk of written critiques. I’ll be more careful with my word choice.

    1. Polly, you are adorable. Your voice is perfect. We’re all loathe to hear another cute girl extol the virtues of clean living, but you have charmingly explained why diet is important to YOU without being all preachy. Well done.

      1. Thank you so much Britt, this really does mean a lot. And I agree, I want to write frankly and openly as plain ol’ me, and hopefully strike a chord with some readers! I’m just about to head over and check out your blog :)

    2. Polly,

      What a great blog! I have Parkinson’s Disease, and my life is ruled by food. There are a number of foods (and combinations) that block my drugs. And when that happens, I Craaaaaaaash….

      thank you for joining and sharing,

      Bill

  3. Hi, I don’t know if this makes any difference, but I also would like to be in 101 which I signed up for, but still receiving 201 emails. Could I also be added to 101 list instead of 201? Thank you ever so much! :)

    1. Two comments: your blog is marked “private” so that this link won’t open. Also, the apostrophe drop in your address suggests that the link beyond the “private” message may be quite racy!

    1. I really liked the way described each phase of your life as I been through these phases, hope to hear from you more and good luck for the coming years

    1. Hi when I press on your link it comes up with “rayondsmd…..” does not exist. Is it just me? Maybe check your link. Looking forward to reading it.

    1. You have a natural storytelling way about you. I think you will be writing some very big, juicy, appetizing slices of life. I look forward to you appetizers, your main courses, and your desserts. If you decide to open a restaurant, let me know; I want reservations.

      thank you

  4. Hi everyone – I’ve just completed my first post and would love some feedback off anyone willing to generate some: dannybutlerblog.wordpress.com

    1. This link doesn’t work, but your Gravatar does. I’d totally read what you have to say… you’re unique! I feel like this About Me needs some fabulous picture of Jamaica, or you and your fabulous family, or just something fabulous that matches the tone of your happy writing.

  5. Done! I had done something similar when I started out a month or so ago. It is good to remind myself why I am blogging and what I get out of it. Thanks! I look forward to seeing where the challenge leads us.

    1. Somehow, you’re even funnier because your Gravatar is sideways. You shouldn’t change it, but just put a caption under it saying, “I’m sideways.” Oh my goodness, the two of you are fantastic! Already love you and your namesake husband and your co-blogging bestie and can’t read about all of your shenanigans.

    1. One question: are you a stay at home mom? Totally kidding. I’m assuming this is the teacher in you– tell the kids once, then repeat, then remind, then test. Because you mentioned it (four?) many times in one essay, now I’m wondering if that’s what the main drive of your blog will be… being home with your cute kid and all of the conflicting emotions of being a SAHM. A million of us relate to that and would read you enthusiastically and with a large pour of wine. But if it’s not, you might turn away a handful of readers who might assume they’ll be reading only about potty training and playdates.

      I’m totally fascinated by what everyone includes in the About Me and what that implies. I, for one, like to brag about being good at ridiculous things.

      1. “Currently, I am a stay at home mom…”
        “…like I mentioned earlier, I am a stay at home mom…”
        “Besides being a stay at home mom…”

        I’ve had that “what do you do all day” conversation oodles. Exhausting.

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