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blogIt’s high time we seniors got on board with sharing our lives online and connecting with other people of our age and interests. Have you considered writing your own blog? It’s not as difficult as you may think, and it can be done very inexpensively. There are many helpful articles and books on the subject and when in doubt, just find a teen-ager to ask your technical questions.

If you’re a grandparent, you may want to blog about your family and all the wonderful things they are doing. You may have an interest in travel and wish to blog about sunny destinations. Maybe you’re a pet enthusiast and want to inform people on the ways to care for and enjoy their furry friends. The list of blog topics is endless, but you need to write about the things you know and are passionate about.

Here are a few simple steps to get you started on building your own blog.

Select a webhosting company such as Bluehost or Hostgator. Go to their website to begin your blog.

Define your theme. What will you write about? Select a blog name.

Choose a blogging software program. WordPress is popular and Blogger is also widely used.

Create an About Me page with as much personal information as you want to share.

Begin writing your first post. You’ll click on posts, add new, do your writing and then click publish. Eventually you’ll learn how to include photos, video and allow others to add their comments.

Share your posts with social media sites to increase your readership. Facebook, pinterest, Twitter and Google+ are good choices. You’ll also want to use key words that relate to your topics to draw in new readers.

Decide how often you’ll post and be sure to respond to comments made on the site.

People want to read blogs that give them something for their time. They want to be informed about a topic, encouraged or inspired, they have a desire to find like-minded people and build relationship with them. When you decide what to write in each post, keep in mind that online writing is short and sweet. People won’t read long paragraphs, they want just a few precise words.

When it’s time to write another post you have many options. You can continue the thread of an earlier post and write more on the same topic. You can respond to people’s comments and continue a discussion. You can ask guest bloggers to write for you. You can write about a current topic in the news or post a poem, a cartoon, a photo. It’s your blog, your own space in which to create, so enjoy the freedom to share your thoughts with others.

Just a few cautions. Blogs are places to be real and share from the heart. But they’re not places to carry on arguments with readers. They aren’t a place to share information that is too personal or inflammatory. You also need to honor the work of others. Don’t plagiarize or use information without permission. There are guidelines on public decency and avoidance of anything that might be construed as improper.

Take the time to look at other blogs to begin to formulate your design, color scheme, and the general tone of your blog. Check out the resources below to gather information and then strike out on your own. Whether you write for just a few or for thousands, blogging is a wonderful way to express your thoughts and share your viewpoints with your readers.

How to Set up a WordPress Blog: A Guide for Seniors by P.M. Chapman

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating Your Own Blog by Court Tuttle

Top 100 Senior Blogs and Websites