Blogging

Find out what it is, how to set up a blog for yourself and how others are using blogs to get their messages heard.

What is blogging?

Blogging is a simple way of getting your voice heard online. A blog (or 'weblog') can be used for a whole range of reasons. Professional and amateur journalists use them to discuss news or events, others use blogs to air their views, discuss their hobbies or as a kind of diary to record their thoughts, experiences and everyday life. 

How can I do it?

You don't need any special equipment or software to blog. All you need is a connection to the internet, an opinion and a site to host your blog. There are lots of websites which will host your blog. To get started, find yourself a host and follow their setup advice and start writing. It really is that simple! You can add photos, videos, sound clips, links to your favourite websites or other Bloggers' pages. TheSite.org has a useful article on creating your own online content, [link].

How can I use a blog to promote my message?

Many people use their blog as a tool to expose misconduct or problems within their organisation, others offer an insight into the workings of government or politics. Young volunteers or activists often use them as a diary of how their project or cause is progressing and as a way to gain publicity and a following for their work. Blogs written by everyday people are also valuable to journalists reporting on restricted or war-torn countries.

With more than 100 million blogs online, the most difficult part is accessing an audience. The best approach is to target a particular audience and publicise your blog and its topics through your own networks. Building up regular readers will help to widen your audience.

Are there any downsides?

Although blogs can be anonymous, they're still subject to the law, so be careful publishing entries that could be damaging to someone, or which contain confidential information. You should also bear this in mind when reading other blogs; do they use any evidence for their ideas or is it just their opinion?

If your blog isn't receiving many comments it can feel like you're blogging for yourself. Building an audience is hard work and can take time, so be patient, keep blogging and get your blog linked on as many other blogs and sites as you can.

Examples of successful blogs

do-it.org.uk's volunteering blogs - Follow the lives of different volunteers, from students and campaigners to people volunteering abroad.

Global Voices Online aggregates global blogs to showcase places and people other media often ignore. Here you'll find a wealth of blogs from all around the world selected, written or translated by the website's own group of editors and volunteers.

Amnesty International Blogs address a number of issues relating to human rights. It's website offers a space for an international community to share their thoughts and ideas on the principles that unite us.

Article produced by the Choose Action Alliance.

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