How to Begin Blogging

I have seen a lot of people talking about wanting to start a blog but having no idea where to start. I have been blogging on various platforms since 2002 so I thought I would give a few tips on how to start and where to find things to write about. Even though I have been blogging for so long, I am, by no means, an expert. There is no One True Method to blogging. Please take these tips and change them around to fit your particular style. 

Where To Host Your Blog

A lot of people start blogging on either Wordpress.com or Blogger. Both of these are great places to start blogging for free. However, if you are looking to make money with your blog, you will, at minimum, need to register a custom domain name. Many pay-to-blog sites will not accept blogs with wordpress.com or blogspot.com subdomain names. 

If you are willing to spend a little more money, you can purchase hosting services for your blog. For many years, the previous version of this blog - The Geek Within - was hosted on GoDaddy servers and used Wordpress as the blog software. When I decided to change my blog into a fully formed website, I moved over to Squarespace. They use their own blog software, which has taken some time to get used to, but I am able to do so much more with my site now. 

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These are just a few of the most popular options out there. If you are not satisfied with these, there are some other options. Do a Google search for "blog software" and see if any of those tickle your fancy. 

What To Call Your Blog

In my opinion, this is always the most difficult part of the process. When I was using Blogger or LiveJournal or Vox (which no longer exists), the URL was always my name (cassandramorgan) but the title would change depending on how I felt that day. Sometimes it was a song lyric, sometimes it was just my name again...there was no consistency. When I registered the domain for The Geek Within, I had decided that I was mostly going to talk about "geeky" things like Japanese dramas or video games or nerdy television shows. However, after seven years of the name, I felt like it was too constricting for me. I wanted to write about other things that wouldn't necessarily fall into the "geek" realm. That is why I made the big domain change this year.

So. You want to make sure your blog title is descriptive of what you do. (Yes, I know Cassandra Morgan is not particularly descriptive. I intentionally made that decision.) BUT. You don't want to make it too limiting either. If you call your blog "Fox TV Shows," what will happen in a few years when you want to write about shows on other channels? Perhaps a better title would be "24/7 TV" or "The Television Guru." Be creative!

How To Find Topics

If you have found a title that you love and a subject that you are dying to discuss, topics should come fairly easily. Write about the things you know! When you get stuck (and there will always be a day or two when your writing muse has decided to take a nap), you can turn to sites like 30 Days of Lists or Pinterest for ideas. Google is your friend. Do a little bit of searching and I'm sure a topic in your particular niche will pop up. Don't be afraid to write a "fluff" article once in awhile. No one is expecting you to write prize-winning blog posts every day of the year. That said, try your best to stick with your genre. If you are writing a celebrity gossip blog, you might lose readers if you start writing about the hottest cars of the year. 

Blogging really needs to be something that comes from the heart. You shouldn't blog because you want to make tons of money or get free products or anything like that. I have found that if you write like you are talking to your friends, people are not only more likely to return to your site, they will also recommend it to their friends. 

Are there other things you want to know about the world of blogging? Leave me a comment and I will try my best to answer all your questions. 

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One Lovely Blog Award

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Carol from Intrice. She reviews beauty items and is so super cute. Thank you, Carol! Everyone else, go read her stuff. She is awesome.

So. There are rules to this here thing:

The Rules: 
- Take time to thank the person who nominated you and use the award logo in your own post.
- List 7 facts about yourself.
- Nominate 7 other awesome bloggers you would like to get to know better.
- Follow the person who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Myself: 

  1. My very small house is very full. The house itself is over 100 years old. The occupants include myself, my husband, and my daughter. But then there are three dogs, two chinchillas, a cat, a bird, and a gajillion fish. Sometimes it feels like we don't even have room to move
  2. I love Japanese culture. I watch anime, I listen to J-Pop, I watch Japanese dramas, I eat Japanese snacks...the list goes on. I'm not nearly as rabid about the fandom as I used to be but I still do those things occasionally. 
  3. I doubled majored in Theater Arts and Visual Communications in college. Because I am insane, I also threw in a music minor. 
  4. I hate the winter. I dislike the cold very much. I prefer the summer. 
  5. I drive a light blue Honda Fit Sport and I love it!
  6. I have been blogging on various platforms since 2002.
  7. I get bored easily. As a result, I have a lot of hobbies.

My Nominees: 

  1. Coriander at In The Spice Rack
  2. Lynn at Savory Tart
  3. Rachel at This Teacher Wears Makeup
  4. Celise at Geek's Path 2 Beauty
  5. Deana at Tesori Belle
  6. Jessica at Sassy Gal Reads
  7. Shannon at Canongirl

I can't wait to hear more about everyone! 

A question for you

Since the new relaunch of The Geek Within, I have been struggling to figure out what I should talk about here. There will always be reviews of movies and TV shows and whatnot. And I am going to talk about the various subscription boxes that will be arriving on my doorstep. But are you interested in the other stuff? Last year, I started a tumblr account where I planned on posting reviews of random things I purchased. Then I kinda forgot about tumblr. Would you like to see those reviews posted here? What other sort of things would you like me to talk about? Should I go back to posting individual episode reviews instead of just a series?

Help! Post your wants and needs in the comments!

30 Days of Lists

One of the reasons I haven't been writing every day is simple writer's block. I just don't know what to write about. So I signed up for the 30 Days of Lists. Every day for the month of March, they will give me a writing prompt. Some of them are lists (for example, 'Name your 5 favorite female TV characters.') but some of them are not. I'm hoping that this will get the creative juices churning again and I will find that writing spark once more. My friend, Heidianna, did the December version of the list over on her blog, In The Spice Rack and it was super cool. I can't wait to start!

Hello Again

It's been a very long time since I've really blogged here. So I'm going to start over. Sorta. Some things have changed around here. I decided to stop doing paid blog posts. Not only were the assignments very repetitive, they were also very boring. I'm glad I got the opportunity to do it and I was able to make some decent pocket change to allow me to do some other things in my personal life but now it is time to move on.

I've also printed out some prompts to get the writing juices going again. Since tomorrow is the start of a new month, tomorrow will also be the official start of the new Geek Within.

Let me know if there is anything you'd like me to bring back. TV reviews, Favorite Friday, whatever. Tell me what you want to read in the comments and I'll do my best.

A new look!

Those of you that have visited the website should have noticed a drastic change in our theme. The previous theme was a bit depressing so now it's a cute winter theme. The reason for the change? Girl Scout Cookies! My daughter joined Girl Scouts this year and we'll be selling cookies until March 3. If you live in the Reading/Pottstown, PA area, use the link on our website to order your cookies. Once we receive your order, I'll contact you to set up payment and delivery. Yay cookies!

No more water!

There is some massive flooding going on in my area of the state. Luckily, my house is on a bit of a hill so we are unlikely to have any flood problems ourselves. However, many of the bridges in/out of town are getting close to being underwater. Of course, there is supposed to be more rain tonight. The rain isn't supposed to stop until Monday. (I hope it doesn't rain on Sunday so my daughter can play tennis.) It will be terrible if the rain keeps going. A friend of mine showed me a site called My Drama List. You can keep track of what Asian dramas you have watched. As I was filling out My List, I realized that I am missing a few reviews on here. I could have sworn I wrote reviews for the three seasons of Trick but they aren't here. I'm not sure I remember the shows well enough to review them properly and I'm not even sure I could re-download them to re-watch them. I will have to figure out a good solution.

What is going on

I'm sorry for the lack of posting lately. My workplace has blocked quite a few websites and I'm working on how I can keep updating TGW with interesting things at other times. I will get back to posting more often eventually. Sorry for the delays!

A New Look

Since winter is over and spring has supposedly sprung (though you'd never know it around here!), I am giving the site a new look. I kinda like this one but I'm not sure I love it. Of course, this means there may be a few different looks before I settle on one. Feel free to give me your opinions on this theme. If you think you've found a better one, put the link in a comment. I'll be sure to check it out!

This is a test.

I uploaded an app that will let me post from my phone. This is the official test for it.Β  The photo is my current wallpaper on my phone.

Sailor Moon forever!

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