Introduction: How to Start a Blog With Friends

About: I am a senior this year at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. I expect to graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2013. I've always loved science, but i find i stretch myself t…

Blogs...they're everywhere. You can't turn the corner....I mean click a link without stumbling across some sort of blog nowadays. But why not? 30 years ago people kept journals to track their thoughts -- well with the advent of the internet, now those thoughts can be put out in the open for everybody to read.

Recently my friends began a blog to discuss their lives at college. They needed help keeping up with the posts so they added me as an author. I figured this was a great time to write up an 'ible describing how to create a blog -- even if nobody reads it, who cares? Just blog.

The blog that my friends started is called The Schiddrone Blog, but its title is The Weezy F

Step 1: Have a Common Interest; a Mission Statement

To write an effective blog, there needs to be some theme. As you have all seen, there are blogs on the internet about just about anything you could imagine, and that's fantastic! It's the age of the amateur -- just look at instructables, people post for fun and everybody benefits.

Schiddrone Blog has the mission statement Critiquing the world, one post at a time.

The easiest way to come up with a mission statement or even a theme of a blog is to think of what you and your friends usually talk about. In our case, complaints were a common theme; therefore, posting our complaints seemed like a logical step.

Step 2: Find a Host

There are many sites on the web to host your blog, all of which have detailed instructions on how to begin blogging. I will list a few:
*Windows Live Spaces
*Yahoo 360
*Live Journal
...and many many more.

Just find one that appeals to you and follow the directions.

Here at Schiddrone, we use WordPress for our blogging needs.

Step 3: Pen Names

If you are going to write a blog, you need to first think if you are going to do so with anonymity or not. Pseudonyms (pen names, stage names, handles, screen names, gamertags, etc), are ways to conceal one's identity; however, these are not required. It is perfectly acceptable to write a blog using your real name, but most people choose to use a pen name to remain anonymous.

The pen names on Schiddrone are:

  • Schiddrone
  • Bandit
  • Idk Man
  • Thebananashuttle

Step 4: Layout

A layout that agrees with the theme of the blog is important. A background of fashion models in fur coats wouldn't go to well if your theme is animal's rights. Just find a layout that suits your theme and keep it consistent. Flashy blogs lose their appeal, but plain blogs don't grab your attention either. We are taught to never judge a book by its cover, but this happens more times than not, so make an interesting, but not offsetting layout.

Schiddrone is still in its early stages, but it has a white background with a series of pictures at the top that change every time the page is visited. The posts have bright blue titles to catch a readers attention and the font and pictures are laid out to facilitate easy reading.

Step 5: Use an Editor to Create Posts

By far the easiest way to produce good looking posts is to use a free editor such as Windows LIVE Writer Zone. It is a simple program integrates itself to your blog and it allows you to preview the blogs prior to officially posting them. It can be downloaded here Writer Zone also allows uniformity between the posts by simply selecting some options prior to posting.

The writers of Schiddrone all use Writer Zone to create uniform posts with ease. My fellow authors are a few hundred miles away, but without sending files to each other or anything, Writer Zone easily allows for conventions to maintain constant.

Step 6: Posts

Contrary to popular belief, just because a blog has a theme does not mean that every post needs to strictly adhere to that theme. Write from the heart, or at least write what you know. Whatever you do, don't force a post -- just let it flow naturally.

Schiddrone's post vary anywhere from chair malfunctions and college exams to interesting internet links and good television shows. It is important to have a theme in mind when writing a post, but just remember that there are no rules saying you can't write outside that theme.

Step 7: Catchphrase

A good catch phrase is something worth investing your time to find.
  • "Suit up!" (Barney Stinson, "How I Met Your Mother")
  • "Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")
  • "Yada, yada, yada" ("Seinfeld")
  • "D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")
  • "Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")

These are just a few of many popular catchphrases. These are all great ways to identify yourself and just create an identity worth remembering.

Some catchphrases on Schiddrone include:

  • And With That Bombshell, Good Night!
  • Time for Idk Man to call it quits.

Don't force a catchphrase. It's something that comes naturally in time, so If you don't have one right away, don't worry about it -- when the time is right, you'll know.

Step 8: Keep Up With the Posts

A good blog needs to have at least one post a day. If a blog only had one post every couple of days, you'd be less inclined to keep up with reading it and there would be a huge drop off rate of readers. Some people use a blog as their primary source of income through advertising; however, for the rest of us, time needs to be set aside to make posts. Yes there are other obligations in life and posting everyday may not be an option -- this is why its advisable to find friends to help keep up the frequency of posts.

The four writers on Schiddrone try to, combined, have at least one post per day. We are all in the middle of our college terms and this is sometimes difficult to do, but we decided to write a blog so this is a responsibility we need to accept.

Step 9: Have Fun!

Quite possibly the most important step of blogging with your friends is to have fun. Like I said, it is not important if you don't have many readers on your blog, just know that your word is out there. As long as you're having fun with your friends, what does it matter how many people are reading your blog?

Good luck blogging everybody!

~Time for idk man to call it quits.