For years, I’ve been wanting to start a public blog to highlight and discuss topics that I find interesting and important. While I have maintained several private/personal blogs off-and-on since high school, and contributed or managed other websites, I’ve struggled to get my own public blog up and running. Twitter has proven an excellent tool for resource sharing and open commentary, but alas, 140 characters doesn’t always allow you to say what you need to say. So what has been stopping me from pulling the trigger on creating a robust, public blog/website? Here are a few of the mental roadblocks I’ve run into:
My first and most stymieing problem was the fact that I am interested in way too many things. I know that blogs tend to be more successful when they have a narrow focus and develop credibility within a particular subject or style. While I am not looking to become an internet sensation, I would like to maintain a site that has some degree of a following. After all, it’s the comments, shares, and overall engagement that keep bloggers motivated. (If I weren’t looking for engagement, I would just write in my trusty Moleskine.) But my greater question is, can my blog be useful and interesting to people other than myself if it covers multiple topics, from agriculture to music, from journal articles to travel stories?
Site Name / URL
This is a dilemma I’ve wrestled with for ages. Do I need to come up with a catchy name for my blog? And does the URL need to be identical to the site name? It’s near-impossible to define myself or my writing in a single pun or catchphrase. However, after many trips to the thesaurus, I’ve come up with a name that I think rings nicely – Macropath. I’ll explain the thought behind the name in a future post. Of course, Macropath.com is unavailable, so I’m going to stick with a URL I’ve owned for years – juliemac.net.
WordPress has hundreds of themes to choose from, and frequently adds new options. For the moment I’ve settled on “Bouquet,” but I will forever be on the lookout for the perfect theme that is both attractive and flexible.
Colors…”feel”… logo… consistent branding… Do I need to worry about any of that? Nah, I’ll save it for later.
I’m a 21st century, career-oriented, active woman trying to maintain my hobbies, health, and relationships. So when am I supposed to find time to write blog posts? My goal at the outset is to publish one to two posts a week, but if I falter on this schedule, is the endeavor simply futile?
After months of stalling, I finally come to a startlingly obvious realization: it is far better to start building and writing something – anything – than to waste time agonizing over the particulars. If I decide to make massive changes to my blog in the future, so be it. At least I’ll have a blog to make changes to. I’m not ready to declare myself an expert on a particular topic, and I don’t want to put up a jazzy, overly-designed front. Thus, I will let my blog unfold naturally from the competing interests, joys, and priorities that swarm my brain, and see where it takes me. Let the experiment begin!
Have you struggled with similar questions when starting a personal blog or website? If so, let me know in the comments!