Getting started with blogging can be difficult — especially when you don’t know how to get started. While at Bournemouth University, I was always encouraged to keep a blog to reflect on my time.

While blogging was encouraged, It’s not something I actually did often. I’ve put together some helpful links from my time that could help anyone who is starting out or needs a refresher on how to get started.

If you have any favourite tools or sites that I’ve not included, why not comment below and help share what you know!

Planning or brainstorming

  • Quora

    This website can be a big eye opener. The crowdsourced questions and answers can open up a window of different topics which you could turn into detailed posts. Its user interface is simple and only requires you a term ready to search.

  • Portent’s Content Idea Generator

    Want to see this in action? take a look at the title of this post. The basic idea is you give it a subject and it throws out a title that you can work from, remove a word or change ‘10 ways’ into ‘20 ways’. It’s a great way to start the planning phase and it even offers clever breakdowns of the structure.

  • Want to whats topical and in right now? Check the trends. Twitter is a great tool which allows you quick and easy access to find out what’s currently on the lips of everyone else. A simple method but a useful one.

Optimise the post

  • Google Trends is the perfect site when it comes to comparing many topics. Want to know if you should name your label your post under the ‘How to blog’ or a ‘writing tips’ topic, have a look and see what people are searching for. It’s an excellent way of seeing how different keywords and phrases are impacting. Also, while we are on Google Trends, checkout out the hilarious video by Funhaus (NSFW) which uses Google Trends to create some cracking jokes.

Tools of the trade

  • Google Docs

    If you don’t have access to Microsoft Word or another desktop based application, Google Docs is perfect! Imagine Microsoft Word on the internet and you have the idea of what it is already. It allows you to write into your browser which means you can pick up on the document on different machines through your Google account. Handy, you can’t go wrong with Google and creating content, can you?

  • Grammarly

    Slacking at grammar or spelling? Don’t let that hold you back! You can still create great content and then run it through the Grammarly services and get them help you out. Copy and paste your post into Grammarly, find the mistakes and correct them.

  • Hemingway

    Hemingway is a new application to me, it’s a tool which helps suss out the readability of your post. Offering helpful tips for improving your score, with the use of highlights and an informative side bar, this is one tool I’m going to be using from now on.

  • Egg Timer

    Egg Timer is what it says on the tin, it’s a timer. Set the timer for how long you want to work for and then work. There really is not much to it. The user interface is welcoming and the alarm is not annoying. It’s a thumbs up from me. 👍🏼

  • Pomodoro Technique

    The Pomodoro Technique was something introduced to me by a former house mate, as we were finding it difficult to focus on our Dissertations. This technique is a clever time method which breaks down a task and allows short breaks. It may not be for everyone but it’s something I would check out.

Beautiful Visuals

  • Pexels

    My go to photo site. With a handy search bar, Pexels is free and allows you to use the pictures without asking for permission or linking to the source.

  • PhotoPin

    PhotoPin allows you to search millions of photos from Flickr which have the Creation Commons attribute. Perfect for your blog post.

Get writing

Now you got some tools, why don’t you create something?
In all honesty, if you’re not passionate about writing a post for a blog then that’s fine, maybe you’re not cut out for it. The best thing you can do is find another way to express your views and ideas - may be try YouTube but I’ll save that idea for another post.

Take a look at this post over at The Recruitment Network Club about “The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Your Employees to Write Your Blog Articles”, you might find out something interesting about yourself.