Getting started

  • Use an extra e-mail address for your blog or website, not your private one. That way, you can better choose when to check blog-related e-mails. You can also better segment potentially disruptive and/or abusive comments to collect them in a separate space. And obviously this helps to keep your identity more private if you choose to not fully disclose it on your blog/site. Just make sure to check your e-mail regularly to not miss out on the many more positive messages and opportunities your blog might bring. (Posting an e-mail that your regularly check also helps researchers who study blogs/sites to better reach you. Often researchers try to avoid using other more public ways, such as leaving a comment or openly tweeting, that might give away your identity as a potential study participant.)
  • Think about if or how much of your real name or identity you want to expose on your blog/site. Likewise, think about how much of the names and identities of your family, especially children, you want to reveal. Women who derived professional benefits from their blog were more likely to say that using their real name makes sense. This way they can get credit for their work. Women without professional goals for their blog and who chose pseudonyms or only used part of their name said they enjoyed the freedom this anonymity gives them.
  • Think about if you want to start your own website or use existing blogging systems such as WordPress or Blogger. But be aware which rights you are giving away in terms of texts and images when using these systems and which data they collect from your blog. If you want to build your own website from scratch, seek help and support from experienced bloggers at blogging conferences (for instance annually hosted by BlogHer), workshops or perhaps also community college classes.
  • Consider if you want to enable a commenting function on your blog or site, or not. ┬áIt is your space and you determine the rules. It is, of course, also okay not to set up a comment function. Generally, readers do not have the right to post comments on your blog. That being said, the overwhelming majority of bloggers or online authors in my study offered a comment function or e-mail to reach them as they were interested in exchange with others. (More about dealing with comments further below.)
  • To promote your blog, consider linking it to other social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ or others. But also think about which rights you are giving away in terms of texts and images if you post your content also on these networks. Also think about which audience you are reaching via different social media and which ones you like to reach. Another good way to spread news about your blog is to read and comment on similar blogs to draw attention to your posts.

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