Since I’ve had the Athabascan Woman Blog, people have asked me how to start a blog. I want to share some tips about how to get started and other ways to share your story.
Expressing yourself and publishing your creative work has never been easier, thanks to the blog. Blogging can be an avenue for advocacy to speak out on important issues in your community. Some sample blogging platforms include Wordress, Blogger, Tumblr and Weebly. Most are user friendly.
I share my stories, interviews with Indigenous people, photography, ‘how to’ bead videos and tips, and more. But I’ve seen blogs dedicated to photography, vlogging and podcasting. Find out the medium that interests you and try it. Ask people for advice.
Benefits of Blogging
- Platform for your voice
- Networking and interacting with a wider audience
- Build a reputation
- Become a better writer (practice, practice, practice)
- An opening for opportunities, like freelancing
Recipe for a Great Blog Post
- Basics – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How
- Good content is key – What is the juicy bit of what you’re sharing?Photos and other visual content boost your post
- Don’t hide important stuff at the bottom
- First paragraph is important to hook people
- Write good captions
- Keyword tags
- Headline – What will hook your readers?
- Length – What is the right length for your type of blog & audience?
- Proofread the updates for grammar and clarity? I am grateful for my sister, Tanya Yatlin, for being the editor of the Athabascan Woman Blog. Ask your family and friends to help.
- Is it shareable? Make it easy for people to click on a Facebook or Twitter icon to share your posts.
How Often Should I post?
- What works for your schedule? I do my blog on nights and weekends, and as a result don’t have as much time to post more than once a month.
- What does your audience expect?
- Brainstorm topics and be open for current events. Get ideas from friends & family. What are some topics, perspectives or opinions important to you? Put a star on what’s most important to you to help prioritize.
- Drafting/revision/dealing with comments (time management/keeping on schedule)
- Editorial calendar for consistency and planning – calendar, Google spreadsheets, Post-its
- Introduce yourself to others and get to know others – connect to LinkedIn profile
- Bloggers/People – read, comment and discuss across platforms
- Identify champions and get to know them
- Extend the life of your best blog posts – share it with people, bloggers and media. Ask if they are willing to republish, like Tea & Bannock. Submit your writing to calls for writing opportunities, like Yellow Medicine Review.
- Making requests and asking questions
Resources and Blog Examples
- Tea & Bannock
- Susie Lee Edwardson (Haida) of Haida Life created a “Native YouTubers” Twitter account @NativeYoutubers. She shared a list of Native Vloggers, Gamers and Organizations on the Athabascan Woman Blog.
- Coffee & Quaq podcast
- Copy Blogger
- WordPress Blogging University
- Athabascan Woman Blog
- Indian Country Today
- First Alaskans Magazine
- Alaska Native Media Group
- Native Appropriations
Here are some of my tips for ways to tell your story:
The most important thing to remember is that there is no perfect time to start a blog or book, etc. You just have to do it and learn along the way. Give yourself grace and allow yourself to make mistakes. Trust that people are hungry to hear your story. We especially need more stories and perspectives from Indigenous people to be told.