Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Taking Your Blogging Back to Basics

Blogging should be simple. But, unfortunately, some people make it (or make it out to be) more complex than it is.

They get hung up on details. Things like platforms, themes, plugins, widgets, SEO, and more. They lose sight of what the core of blogging is. That core is communicating thoughts and ideas, sharing information in various forms.

In that situation, you should consider taking your blogging back to basics.

What do I mean by back to basics? Adopting simple blogging platforms and techniques that let you get up and running quickly. Ones which let you focus on writing posts instead of worry about a theme or the best SEO plugin or your Google PageRank. Ones which let you write the best posts that you can.

Going Back to Basics

What do you need to take your blogging back to basics? If you’re starting out, or want to make a change, then choose a simple blogging platform. While I often recommend and advocate using WordPress, for many people it’s overkill. You might just need something simple to get your thoughts and words out.

There are several blogging platforms which fit that bill. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Ghost
  • Blot (a platform the publishes your posts out of Dropbox)
  • Postachio (which lets you write your posts in Evernote)

But if you use WordPress or another well-known platform like Blogger or Tumblr, then you can still simplify. How? By thinking about using:

  • A clean, simple theme.
  • Few, or no, plugins or widgets.

Choose a theme that lets you, and your readers, focus on the words (or photos and pictures) you’re publishing. Don’t worry about fancy typography or complex layouts.

A good example of this is Zen Habits. That blog uses a theme that Leo Babauta hand crafted and which he makes available for anyone to use or modify. And, yes, it’s free of charge. Babauta’s theme is simple, but it is striking. Best of all, it’s readable.

Final Thoughts

Blogging doesn’t need to be flashy or cumbersome. It doesn’t need to be a complex or arcane process.

Blogging should be about you writing and publishing posts, and having to deal with the minimum of setup and maintenance.

Taking your blogging back to basics lets you focus on what’s important: the content of your blog. That, and not a cool look or SEO, is what will bring readers to you. And keep them coming back.

Thoughts? Let's start a conversation on Twitter.

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