How Did You Begin Blogging?

2009 August 27
by Grace Boyle

My first ever video appearance on the blog. Taking it for a whirl and what better way to start than with a question and a story.

I talk and meet with so many people who are afraid to begin blogging. I say, “If you want to cross the river, you’re going to have to get wet.” Most likely as you change and grow, your blog will too. You learn and make mistakes as you go along. My first blog post was spontaneous (I jumped right in that river, feet first, without knowing how deep it was) and I didn’t even introduce myself. Go ahead and laugh, my entire first month of blogging was personal and only talked about what I was doing and my new move. Dork.

How did you begin blogging? Look back at your first blog post (share it here in the comments if you’re comfortable): Was it calculated? Did you explain and introduce yourself? Did you jump right in? Did you do a lot of research before you made your blog live? What is your blog like now? Is it the same content and idea you had originally or has it evolved?

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  • http://poorerthanyou.com/ Stephanie PTY

    Oh wow, well…
    I first found blogging before it was really called that, when people had “online journals.” It was 2001 and I was 14. First I stated a fictional blog, because I thought it would be a fun way to use the format and would be more interesting to people. But that was hard to keep up, because it's tough to write daily fiction and keep track of characters and stuff without a lot of planning and a big outline (which I didn't do!).

    A few months later, I started a real angsty teen diary on the same service. No, I will not be linking any of those posts! I went through several personal blogs, changing formats and names several times, but always keeping it very diary-like.

    I started Poorer Than You in January of 2007, right after I'd dropped out of school. I'd been reading other personal finance blogs for about five months, but wasn't finding many that really had to do with my situation: in college and struggling. So I started my own, and it was really the first blog I had that wasn't a diary.

    I actually had a blog on Blogspot at the time, which I had made just so that I could comment on other Blogspot blogs. I was sort of planning to use it as a place to list free giveaways on the internet (I was a pioneer! There are many, many blogs that do this now!), but I never really stuck with it. It went from being “Sweepstaker” to “Poorer Than You” with this post: http://poorerthanyou.com/2007/01/04/who-am-i/

    And the rest, as they say, is history! It's funny to me how, in that first post, I compare that site to my “self-actualized female superhero blogs,” meaning my diary-style blogs, which have since been abandoned. How times change! :)

  • jackieadkins3

    I think everyone definitely has their own very interesting story to go along w/ their blog. I've DEFINITELY evolved since I started. Initially, I started just talking about random sports stuff (http://jackieadkins.wordpress.com/2008/05/), then quit for like 5 months. Then I came back and started talking about a lot of sports business and sports marketing stuff (http://jackieadkins.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/ea…). This was in the midst of my senior year when I was scrambling to find a job, so in it I was trying to prove to the world that I knew what I was talking about, had some creative ideas, and that I was a more than qualified job candidate. I had put it on my resume so that people could see it in the hiring process.

    Looking back, I'm not sure if the next two changes were simultaneous or not, but I first decided to change my topics to more general marketing (http://jackieadkins.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/th…). This coincided with when I realized I really liked marketing, not just sports marketing, so as my passion changed, so did my blog. I also got to the point where I didn't want to use my blog as a pedestal so much as to use it to interact with new people and learn alongside other bloggers and peers. So that's kind of where I am today!

  • http://modite.com/blog Rebecca

    Aw, I love the video post! You should definitely keep it up.

    One thing – did you know you can choose the thumbnail that shows up for the video?

    I was more calculated in my first blog post of my current blog. No one really knows that I had a blog previous to this one where I did about ten posts anonymously that were excerpts of my writing. I wasn't ready for that though and shut it down. When I started Modite, I had this “great company idea” and modite was going to be the URL for all of it, not just the blog. Ha, big dreams, big dreams. I love how my blog evolved though. It's one of my favorite things, looking back on old posts.

    Thanks for asking us! Nice to reflect :)

  • http://modite.com/blog Rebecca

    One more thing- another blogger once told me that I should put the link to my blog post in the description field of my Vimeo videos so if someone happened upon the video, they can go the blog post where the discussion is most likely happening. I thought it was a great tip.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rebecca I'm literally laughing out loud because I was so mad that the thumbnail of me on the post was me with my mouth OPEN. I knew there was a way but I couldn't find it. This one I just updated to (thanks for the tip) is okay, but not better. I will try to be less expressive next time ;) Thanks for the tips, really helpful!

    As for your first blog post, that's interesting you wanted to start the company and then it evolved to what it is now. I always have fun looking back. Sometimes I wish I more calculated in life…

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Jackie Doesn't it make you feel good to see where you've come from? It's exciting! Thanks for including these links as you progressed, I visited each of them!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Stephanie It's really interesting to hear your story of blogging and I'm impressed you began when you were 14. I remember my first blog (anonymous and also on Myspace) was when I was about 17. I liked seeing your first post, as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://trinaleftiowa.com TrinaLeftIowa

    Hi Grace! I think it's great that we can share your blogging evolution! As someone that just started blogging, I find this topic fascinating. I began blogging with a team of work friends and decided to do my own thing. Now, I'm just writing and “finding my voice”. I can't wait to see where it ends up in a year. Bravo Grace for your great year!
    PS. Video post = Brilliance

  • jackieadkins3

    Definitely! My entire philosophy has changed (for the better!) from when I was a naiive blogging dude back then! I also like seeing everyone else's stories because everyone had a different experience and reason they started.

  • http://www.astudentoftherealestategame.com/ Joe Stampone

    Hey Grace – Great to see that you're now video blogging.

    I just jumped into blogging with both feet. I was 6 months removed from college and unemployed, but I knew I was passionate about real estate and I wouldn't settle for a job outside the industry. I knew I had to so something to differentiate myself.

    Blogging has completely changed my life. In a short time, my blog has presented me with opportunities that otherwise would not have been available.

    It's been a roller coaster ride and a continued learning experience. I've met so many interesting and driven people in the past 6 months, I can't wait for the next 6.

    @joestampone1

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Trina Aw, thank you! You will definitely see your blog take twists and turns, it's all very worthwhile. I always appreciate the feedback, so thank you. It's a start but like blogging, I'm looking forward to being more eloquent and learning some more video blog tips.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Joe Thanks for sharing! I'm glad to hear you jumped in too. My experience has been nothing but positive, but there definitely are many bends and turns to the 'river.' Reflecting is good and also makes me feel like I'm really accomplishing and growing something. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

    Yay – love the video, Grace!

    This video encouraged a total walk down memory lane for me…my first blog post (in December of 2007) was called “Life After College Launched!” It was short and sweet – but still full of exclamation marks. I remember posting it from my bed in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep…(from all the excitement and adrenaline)

    The funny thing is that I sent the site to all of my friends after writing that one post, so they really had nothing to read or subscribe to! Most of my “real life” friends still aren't subscribed…but they're getting there. I always advise future bloggers to get some content up there first, then send the official “I've launched” email.

  • http://www.opheliaswebb.com Elisa Doucette

    First off I'd like to let you know I muted the Sox game to watch your video. Yes, I love your blog that much. :)

    As for MY blogging experience, I have had the idea of naming something cool that I did “Ophelia's Webb” since I was in high school (over 10 years ago.) In fact, anytime I had to use a pseudonym anywhere, I pseudo-ed as Ophelia Webb. My first post was because I was laying on my couch, forced there by a doctor's order of bedrest. Bed rest and I did not get along. Since I was bedresting during the New Year's holiday week (yep, asleep by 10:30 on NYE…sigh…) I figured a recap of life and New Year's resolutions were in order: http://www.opheliaswebb.com/2009/01/what-i-did-

    I didn't blog again for about a month. I attempted again in a couple commentaries on current media and pop culture, pithy little dialogues that no one read: http://www.opheliaswebb.com/2009/02/new-roid-er

    Then I met Ryan Healy of Brazen Careerist when he spoke at a conference for my company. In conversation I mentioned I blogged, like I was kind of a big deal. He said I should join Brazen. So I did and started reading other blogs. I then realized no one else was blogging about stuff I was. So I blogged about social media and a little more personal stuff: http://www.opheliaswebb.com/2009/02/who-you-gon

    As I've grown in my illustrious and profound 8 months I've turned to blogging more about my own life, but on a broader spectrum. Taking my own experiences and turning them into observations and commentary on people, places and things. I think I've found my wheelhouse, but I'm still a baby blogger…only time will tell. And that's pretty exciting! :)

  • http://ryanstephensmarketing.com/blog/ ryanstephens

    I started blogging for one reason, and one reason only…. to make some extra dinero.

    I guess I took the opposite approach from most people who tried to write compelling content and THEN monetize. I was just trying to earn a little extra cash my Junior year of college since I didn't have time to work a REAL job playing a collegiate sport and all. I signed up for a bunch of Get Paid To sites, and realized the real money was referring others.

    So for whatever reason (okay, b/c I still get a few residuals every month) I've kept it up.

    Here's my 1st ever blog post –> http://is.gd/2CQtU

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Ryan That's really interesting and innovative of you! You are probably right that many people don't begin their blog to make money, but that's exactly why I started this post and question. It's different for everyone and shows your strong business mind, for sure. The Treasure Trooper, I like that! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Elisa Wow, I am thoroughly humbled. I know how important the Sox are! Good story, Elisa, I really liked hearing it. I do think you have found a niche that works for you. I love your honest posts. There's no 'read between the lines' with what you write. So in January of 2010 maybe we will hear a reflection 1 year anniversary post, eh? :)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Jenny Thank you! That's exactly what I was hoping for. I think about 20% of my “real-life” friends subscribe to my blog, some probably don't even get it. It's hilarious. I love all the exclamation points, I know how that is and having so much intense excitement. Thanks for the support :)

  • ryanknapp

    My blogging career started 4 years ago with the angle of being a Buffalo Sabres hockey fan living in small town Spain. That quickly turned into all things sports to focusing solely on soccer, which I've been doing the past 3 years.

    I've recently launched by own personal site and let me tell you, the change has been quite difficult for me. I'm accustomed to ranting about a team's lack of defense or a great goal, but I've never had to post about myself, or ideas that others may find interesting.

    It is a learning experience and will continue to be one. I continue to write soccer and I continue to learn how to blog about 'me' or about my life.

    Loved the videoblog by the way, keep it going!

  • http://www.owlsparks.com/ Carlos Miceli

    I'm with you Grace, just jumped right in, started typing whatever came to mind. No intro, no calculation, no skills!

    But it wasn't for OwlSparks (this one hasn't changed that much its style since it launched), it was for my spanish blog, about a year ago.

    I actually have to thank Holly Hoffman, she gave me the idea of starting an english blog back then when I was looking for some advice from more respected bloggers.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Carlos So the second time around you had a little more planning, asked advice of others and had a fantastic design so you could explode into the (English-speaking) blogging world! That's awesome.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Ryan You bring up a good point. When you're posting about something (besides yourself) it may seem easier. I know what you mean though when it's about you there may be more at risk, more vulnerability, etc. Thanks for the kudos, I'm going to try and keep it up :)

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    First of all, great job with your inaugural video post! It's a little intimidating the first time, right? But, it's really interesting to think back to how we all started blogging. I began blogging in January after I started my job and was told I would be admin for our company blogs. At first, I was kind of testing the waters and using my blog as a guinea pig of sorts for the company blogs. Most of my posts in that first month were about how in awe I was of the digital space. One post was more like a diary entry about annoying snow storm drivers. Since then, my blog has changed and developed a lot, and it continues to do so. I used to feel negatively about bloggers, and now I'm proud to call myself one. Oh, how things can change :)

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    http://www.lifewithoutpants.com/general/making-

    Let's see: My first post? I quote LL Cool J and crop a picture of my face onto Rocky's body. Need I say anymore?

    Life Without Pants wasn't my first dive into the blogging scene – I've been doing it for some time now – many 'failed' attempts I guess you could say. In the past I felt like no matter how hard I tried I ended up branding myself as something TOO specific. Finally, with Life Without Pants, I've accepted and embraced that it's OK and natural to establish a reputation and to 'be known for something'.

    It's not about trying to do everything all at once – find what you're good at and be the best at that. Then, keep reinventing yourself – coming up with new ideas and trying new things. Some might stick, some might not – but there are a million ways to reinvent yourself, even in your specific niche.

    Thanks for inspriing some good thoughts (and an upcoming blog post). Welcome to the wonderful world of Video blogging!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Matt Ha, I'm laughing out loud. I saw that but quoting LL, that's the real shit! Small Hands, Big Ideas wasn't my first blog either and I blogged for clients before, as well. This time (and I'm sure you feel the same) it's much more personal and now I'm in it for the long-haul. I also like how you say “it's not about trying to do everything all at once.” Good point. Thanks for the comment and support!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Sam Yeah, we definitely jump around. There was no rhyme or reason to my blog posts in the beginning. Honestly, I don't think it's bad and it's just how it worked for me (us). Obviously the road we've come down has been exciting. Thanks for the support, as always.

  • http://twitter.com/CamPlommer Cameron Plommer

    As a brand new blogger (as of last month) I am just learning the ropes and getting a feel for what I want to blog about. Over the summer of have discovered blogging and social media in general and feel that I need to “catch up.” I feel like I have been missing out on so much. I never knew that so many intelligent people are out there, are my age (22) and are so ambitious, I really love it. Blogging right now for me is not about getting comments (although I'd love some!), are gaining subscriptions, it's more about personal discovery and getting my thoughts out of my head. I never know which thoughts will manifest into my blog.

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT!

    Haha – hearing (or reading) you say 'the real shit' made me LOL! I always wonder if we are really in this for the long haul – we're still so new with our blogs here – I wonder where they'll be a year from now, five years from now. Odds are – if we keep going and keep growing like we have been for the past year (a little less for me) we'll be at the top of the blogging game – almost by default because they're simply won't be that many blogs that withstand the test of time.

    You've got my support 100%! Cheers!

  • lenoraboyle

    It's true..your mom does read your blogs! I started my first blog in 2007 after I listened to a teleclass about blogging. I'm not very techie so it took me hours to figure out blogger, even though everyone said it was easy. I made one entry every few months. Then when Grace took a class in college in January 2008, she took on my blog as her project, and enhanced the look. She was a task master and gave me assignments weekly that I had better do or it would affect her grade! I'm grateful for her guidance. Now I have two blogs and pretty much keep up with them. Someday I'll even do a video. You're awesome, Grace! Thanks for inspiring me and many others. TheHappinessZone.blogspot.com

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Mom I don't even think I remember the story how you started. I'm glad you shared. Professionally, you got going with blogging before me, so kudos. You have get presence and are a toastmaster speaking pro so you should definitely do a video! Love you: )

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Cameron Thanks for stopping by and welcome to blogging! It's definitely a personal discovery and as you see, my first blog post started innocently and was mostly just about me. Soon I learned that you are nothing without your community, so you start to understand what they like to read and the issues that are important to our generation and beyond. I'm looking forward to reading your blog and always feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

  • http://blog.rachaelstott.com/ Rachael Stott

    My blogging started only a few months ago on the day my baby was 9 months and my partner and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary. The first post was my answer to the question – How do you define a woman? blog.rachaelstott.com/2009/03/a-woman-is-made/

    I am passionate about women finding themselves and getting grounded in themselves. So I thought I would write about the lessons I learned doing exactly that. I have found myself someplace very different than I had anticipated so I write about growth and the meaning in the everyday. Writing gives me the reason to reflect on the small things and to focus on the lessons I can learn from my experience. I hope that in some way my lessons and honesty are valuable to others.

    I love the blogs of pretty much every other commenter and only hope my blog one day morphs evolves into something as fun to read as theirs.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rachael Your posts are always insightful, thoughtful and poignant. I love reading them and gain something new each time. Thanks for sharing your first post. Sometimes it doesn't matter how long you've been blogging…ideas and good writers exist before blogging came about :) Thanks for stopping by, Rachael and keep going!

  • http://costoflivingblog.com/ Jim

    I'm new to blogging, so I'm still trying to become more comfortable with my writing style and figuring out the direction I'd like my blog to go. Like you, I jumped right in to my first post, and I still get a lot of spontaneous post inspiration from articles I've read or topics I'm working on for school. Tell your friend that there's no such thing as the “perfect time” to start his blog; social media is evolving every day and it's better to experience the changes than to watch from the outside.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Jim Thanks for stopping by. I will tell my friend there is no perfect time to start blogging. I work in a startup involved in social media and also have a blog and I'm just keeping tabs on it all. I wish you the best of luck, keep it up!

  • Siva

    Aap bahut acchi lagti ho :)

  • Siva

    Aap bahut acchi lagti ho :)

  • http://ashokamaran.com Ashok Amaran

    I only recently started blogging and its been a great way to get my thoughts out and help me understand myself better. Its nice to just create for the sake of creating. I started for a simple reason. I wanted to document what it was like living outside a cubicle running my own business because life is too short to spend about 14,000 hours a year in a cubicle.

  • http://ashokamaran.com Ashok Amaran

    I only recently started blogging and its been a great way to get my thoughts out and help me understand myself better. Its nice to just create for the sake of creating. I started for a simple reason. I wanted to document what it was like living outside a cubicle running my own business because life is too short to spend about 14,000 hours a year in a cubicle.