Blogging for Beginners: Tips for Getting Your Blog Started


It’s time, it’s finally time for you to start your own blog. Maybe you’ve been intimidated by the thought of having your own blog, especially in an age where “bloggers” seem to be everywhere. But you don’t have to make a career out of it – why not just for fun? It’s the perfect platform for writing stories, sharing photos, and engaging with friends, family and even strangers. For me, it’s like a digital diary – a place where I can write about my experiences and reflect on them.


Don’t know what your first blog post should be about? No worries. There are plenty of things you might consider doing before you get to writing.

Introduce Yourself

Tell us about you! Why did you create this blog? Who would you want to read it? What will you be sharing? A personal blog should be, well, personal – so your readers will want to get to know you. Consider creating an “About” page where you can introduce yourself to your audience and tell us more about your blog.

Create Categories

You might have a million things you want to write about. Maybe those things are related, maybe they’re not. Get organized and create categories for the different topics you plan to write about. It’ll help your audience find the posts they’re most interested in and it’ll help you manage your thoughts when coming up with content.


Increase your engagement with your readers! Show off that personality of yours through the content you post and how you share it.

Write About What Inspires You

A person’s passions reveal themselves in their writing. If you aren’t passionate about what you’re sharing, you won’t be nearly as engaging. Your audience wants to read about what gets you up in the morning, about that awesome kitchen renovation you did on your own and about your amazing vacation in Hawaii! Tell us everything.

Use Your Voice

Having a personal blog shouldn’t feel like work, so it shouldn’t sound like work either. Feel free to use your own voice when you write, just write like you speak!

Include Visual Elements

Break up your text by including visual elements. Add some fun photos that showcase what you’re writing about to help your readers visualize what you’re sharing.

Add Links

Adding links to your blog post can help share more information without disrupting the text. Instead of writing out every detail of that restaurant you’ve been obsessing over, just send your readers straight to the menu. That way, you can keep your blog post tailored to what you want to share while directing your readers to another website if they want to learn more.


Once you get into the swing of things, you might try some of these tips to make your blog even better!

Filter Your Photos

Make your blog more visually appealing by editing your photos to make them more cohesive. Some great apps for photo editing are VSCO (user-friendly and great for beginners) and Lightroom (a little more complex, but super fun to play around with).

Use Headings

Separate big blocks of text with descriptive headings. Smaller blocks of text will be easier and more fun for your audience to read, plus it helps readers find any specific information they might be looking for!

Share To Other Platforms

Get more exposure! Share your blog and blog posts to any other social media platforms to get your friends and family in on reading your blog. Post on Facebook, add it to your Instagram story, or share on Twitter.


Build your own WordPress website or blog on U.OSU. Use this university-supported platform to share independent work such as a portfolio, enhance project visibility and communicate within groups.

Ways to use U.OSU

Looking to start your own website? With Ohio State, it’s all about U! U.OSU is Ohio State’s free, easy-to-use online platform that allows Ohio State students and faculty to create, design and maintain their own website. Where do you even begin to make your own website and how can it help you in the future? Here are four reasons why you’ll want to use U.OSU:

1. U’re Hired

Have you started applying for post-graduation summer internships or full-time positions? U.OSU can act as an online portfolio displaying all your academic achievements as well as extracurricular projects and organizations that you’ve been involved with throughout your collegiate career. Bypass the heartache of condensing your cover letter and résumé to one page by inserting a link to your U.OSU site that has in-depth descriptions of all your accomplishments. Job hunters will be able to read firsthand accounts on how each collegiate project or experience has challenged and strengthened your skill sets, making you a qualified candidate for the job.

2. U Went Around the World in 80 Days

Are you spending your break outside of the United States through a study abroad trip? When you’re in a whirlwind of traveling and experiencing new cultures every day, it can be hard to remember when and where you visited historic places, ate unique foods or ran into abnormal situations. Often, monumental experiences stick out in your mind rather than the little everyday pleasantries that make studying abroad worthwhile. By turning your U.OSU site into a travel blog, you can preserve those memories for a lifetime. How cool will it be when you’re 85 and you can read what you did, felt and thought about when you were 20, roaming the streets of Italy? It’s like Time Hop, but better because it won’t be crowded with cringe-worthy junior high angst-filled Facebook statuses.

3. U’ve Got Class

The dreaded final class projects are coming up and your teacher not only wants you to showcase what you learned throughout the semester, but they want you to do so in a creative way. Don’t panic, U.OSU can be used for class projects too, especially writing-based projects. You can use your U.OSU site to display all the information needed in your class project in the form of a blog. By turning your class project into a blog, you will demonstrate your writing skills through a distinguished voice as well as an easy way to separate your ideas into individual blog posts, making a huge clump of information easier to digest. Check out how students in Media Editing and Writing used U.OSU for their final projects.

4. U Write

Are you trying to be the next writer for The Daily Show or a journalist for Variety, or do you have strong thoughts about events happening in your life and the world today? U.OSU can serve as a digital platform where you can try your hand at satirical news, post your poetry or short stories, or share your thoughts with your fellow Buckeye Community through a series of personal essays. The pen might have been mightier than the sword back in the day, but the keyboard may be the champion of both.

These are just four possibilities out of the many ways you can utilize U.OSU, because in the end you get to decide what you want your U.OSU to be. It all starts with U and it ends with U. Get started on building your own digital web platform with U.OSU, and if you need help along the way, check out these resources.

Increase Font Size and Zoom In

Our U.OSU themes are designed to behave well in all browsers and devices. That responsiveness includes using size 14 font to comply with web and accessibility standards. While you cannot alter the default font size, headings can help signify importance in your posts and also increase readability. If you still find yourself squinting at the screen, try out the options below to increase font size on your own browser or simply zoom in on a page.

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Featured on

Denise Ellsworth of The Bee Lab

We were happy to see a great example of how to make U.OSU work for you on the Office of Distance Education and eLearning News this week.

“When the College of Arts and Sciences and ODEE teamed up to launch the U.OSU pilot in September 2013, Denise Ellsworth, Program Director for Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education, the transformative platform could enhance how The Bee Lab functions online.

The Bee Lab, a research and education facility on the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center campus in Wooster, is a great example of how Ohio State branding and U.OSU customization can create a comprehensive yet navigable site.” 

Whether your site serves as a resource, a blog (or both like The Bee Lab!), a forum or a student org homepage, U.OSU is all about what YOU do at the university. Read more from Denise’s interview and browse our Featured Sites to get inspired.

Tips & Tricks: Blogging Abroad

There are ample opportunities to spend time abroad while affiliated with Ohio State. The Office of International Affairs offers more than 100 study abroad programs on six continents as well as additional options to work or research in a foreign country. We’ve seen students study architecture in London or work toward a rabies cure in Ethiopia. Regardless of where your journey takes you, one thing is certain – you’ll want to document your experience.

  • Students on a study abroad trip form O-H-I-O for a picture.Share with friends and family
  • Preserve memories
  • Enhance your writing portfolio
  • Represent Ohio State

The thought of creating and maintaining a blog can seem daunting, especially when it’s one of many bullets on your pre-departure to-do list. That’s where U.OSU steps in.

The straightforward format allows you to present your content in a professional manner without fussing around with catalogs of templates (because we know time is of the essence). It may seem like more effort, but in the long run keeping a blog is a better way to update friends and family than bloated status updates, forgotten postcards, and international phone calls that cost more than your rent.

Review this list of writing tips and check out the Resource Center for U.OSU how-tos.

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Real Highlights: One Health

In 2013, Christine O’Malley, executive director of health sciences, created a WordPress blog to capture the experiences of the One Health Summer Institute in Ethiopia. For eight weeks, 15 faculty members and five students participated in outreach, teaching, and data gathering for research.

The blog served the group well, though something was missing. The chronological nature helped record the trip but lacked additional information surrounding One Health projects and resources for partners of the initiative.

“When I saw U.OSU come out, I thought, that is for us,” O’Malley said. “It solved both my problems, it gave me a platform where information could live as a static website but also included the blog.”

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Stats 101: Analytics for U.OSU

The new stats widget is up and running! Whether you’re an analytics novice or an SEO master, here’s a quick breakdown of the WordPress statistics functions for your reference.

Where is it?

You can locate the stats widget in two locations: look near the bottom of your Dashboard (you can drag it to more prominent real estate on your page if you so choose) or find the Statistics tab in the sidebar below Home and My Sites.


select the image for a larger view

What can it tell me?

The stats widget allows you to see analytics on your site visitors for the past month, three months, or year. A bit of metrics-related jargon ensues, so here are some key terms:

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