Here are the steps:
- Go to doc.new to create a new Google Doc.
- Click the blue "Share" button and make the doc visible to anyone with the link.
- Start writing.
- Share the link to at least one person. That can be me, if you like.
According to many succesful bloggers, the most important thing is: just start writing, and commit to at least 30 minutes every day (including weekends).
According to me, it is perfectly acceptable to blog in a Google Doc. You can move to a "proper" platform later on.
Aside: if you mainly want to start a regular private writing habit, some people like 750words.com. Failing that... try a Google Doc!
OK, at least three people are reading my Google Doc! What now?
Make it easy for people to follow you, so that you can tell them when you have something new to read.
How to do that:
- Make a Twitter account and tell people to follow it.
- Start your newsletter in 5 seconds for $0 by creating a Google Form.
When you're ready to send your first email (it's fine if that's months or years in the future):
- If you have less than 30 recipients, just write an email in the normal way and put the recipients in the
- If you have more recipients, import the list of emails you collected into MailChimp.
OK but seriously, I want to create a "proper" blog now.
Below are the best options I know about, as of summer 2022.
For all of the below:
- Coding skills are not required.
- Your setup time should be minutes—not hours or days.
- I am not counting the time you may or may not choose to spend deciding on a name and colour scheme.
If you want to create your "proper" blog in less than 5 minutes:
If you want to create your "proper" blog on a flexible, future-proof and censorship resistant foundation:
If you value an extremely low friction publish/edit workflow:
- Sign up for Blot.im
- Write your blog posts in Obsidian (or your other favourite text file editor).
- Press the "Save" button and let Blot.im automatically and near-instantly publish the changes to your blog .
C.f. Blot.im setup tips
If you want to make a notes website like notes.pjh.is:
- Use Obsidian Publish.
Cool. How can I automatically send nice emails with a daily/weekly/monthly recap of things I've posted?
- Create a Mailbrew account
- Add your RSS feed
- Import the subscribers you collected in your Google Form or MailChimp account
- Share or embed your signup form.
Did this post help you start your blog? Send me the link!
Medium and Substack are good, even on the free plan. The main issue is that you're locked into the design and content moderation decisions they make. Ghost and WordPress are open source, so it'll be easy to switch to a self-hosted setup later if you don't like the way their platform evolves. The main issue with hosted Ghost and WordPress is that their paid plans are expensive, and their free plans are restricted in surprising and annoying ways (e.g. no plugins, no custom themes). ↩︎
My main concern about Blot is that it's a bit of a one man band. This would usually be sufficient for me to reject it, but I give it a pass because (a) the creator is very talented and measures his commitment to the project in "decades" and (b) if the worst comes to pass, you'll have all your content in text files that are easy to re-publish elsewhere. ↩︎