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creator: x14km2d | build: 2022-01-12 | update: 2022-01-12

In the last few days I’m following some blog articles that criticize blog hosters and publish their experience reports. Most of the time the blog hosters are viewed negatively and they advise against using them. I can understand that, because when the hype about blogs started in 2004, I also first signed up with a blog host, but after a while I realized that this is not so good. There are some points that can be criticized, for example that there are immature content moderation algorythm, which take articles out of circulation without reason and sometimes don’t even let the blogger know via service. This is also a reason why I don’t publish videos on big video hosters anymore. Then many providers are far too confusing, work with bloat software and present a beginner with far too many challenges that make blogging a job and the fun goes away. Also, your files are usually on a foreign hoster, and it is difficult to make a backup if necessary.

I have tried a lot of ideas and concepts and some were doomed to fail. Other concepts have worked quite well but there is always something that has bothered me. After one year I went to neocities, even if it is still only a stopgap solution. Actually, you should really start right and set up your own server, but this is too much for most people who just want to write good articles. I’m trying to strike a balance between the advantages and disadvantages. I will communicate here most openly and see what kind of result can be achieved. I will also show how to create a blog with very little work. I will publish it in pure HTML, because I think that the web is already much too full of frameworks. I also think that you should learn all this yourself from the beginning, so that you can better solve bugs. That costs work, but it is considered an investment. There are three points I want to discuss with you at the beginning.

What exactly do the three points mean? It is never wrong to think big, because it is easier to take something away from a big idea than vice versa. Unfortunately, most people fail at this point, because there is no point in building a big stone bridge with iron railings and a roof over a small river. One should rather start with a simple wooden bridge and then extend the river. Only then you should build a stone bridge. Start small and then, if necessary, develop into a big project. If you fail with a small blog after five years it is ok, because you have just the time you need to invest. Small projects can be thrown back into the digital trash can without a clear conscience. I’ve started hundreds of small projects that didn’t work because the idea or the concept was just shit. It just happens, and instead of worrying about it, I just recognize the mistakes I made and move on to the next phase. For ten years I have been publishing articles and projects every day and my site has changed so much that I didn’t recognize it myself. Think big, start small.

The second mistake is too much planning. Yes, you need a plan, but a lot of people tend to think out of the box. These people never come to the start but think about everything. How much will this cost me? Do I have the time? What is my goal? Am I even qualified? I am sure that this is all too hushed up? And so on. Unfortunately, most thoughts are not even related to the project or technical questions, but are filled with self-doubt, fears and negative emotions. That’s good to have them, but with a project like a blog, you shouldn’t think too much. If you still don’t go with your blog after a few months, these doubts are usually confirmed and justified. You don’t need the best software or a computer science degree, all information can be found on the net. You only need time and perseverance to implement it and find your own style.

When blogging, your rhythm is important. There are three temporal regularities that work well. Once a month, once a week or once a day. It depends on how much time you have and want to invest. In this project I post articles or small extensions daily. Once a week I have a big project that I want to finish. Sometimes I have to take a break because the bathroom is being renovated. Nevertheless I still have the small articles that I can publish. This is my personal rythm that has established itself over the last ten years and I get along best with it. I am happy to publish information that helps people with problems. My goal is to make knowledge available for everyone in a simple way. Some knowledge is already available several times on the internet, some of it is unique. But since I have never been an individual, what is regulated, I don’t care about that. I do what I think is right and this has worked pretty well for the last ten years (since I started writing semi-professionally). Don’t force yourself too much, but try the rhythm you like best.

Very many people have a very distorted picture of a blog in front of their own eyes. But this is just a website with articles that are published in chronological order. Like a diary. You start at day 1 and end at day X. You do not need a framework, modules, PHP, Javascript or other fancy languages to set up a blog. A rather simple template is sufficient. As you can see, this site has a few things that are important for a blog. A headline, contact information (like a mail address), an about section, and articles in chronological order. This is a blog, and many good blogs are so minimalist in design but have hundreds of posts per day. You should download the template and start working with HTML. It won’t take long and you shouldn’t need more than a week to understand the whole source code. After that the question of how to create a folder structure, what you should consider and how to get all this on the server will be solved by itself. At Neocities you can upload this with a Ruby module. I strongly advise against using the internal editor, because then the source code of your website is only on the server. Edit it on your computer and upload it with the terminal. This sounds difficult in the first month, but it is easy. I promise. I am pretty sure you will understand.

What is important with the folder structure is that you can work with it well. There are enough tutorials on the internet to explain this super informative. It is very good to write everything down on paper or in a notebook, so you can think better. Questions you should ask yourself on your first blog are if it will be a text only blog or if you want to show pictures. Do you want to embellish it with CSS or are you a minimalist and leave all that without web design? Do you want your own domain or do you even have the courage and time to set up your own server. Servers need a lot of maintenance and you always have to keep half an eye on it. Do you want to make your blog better known and create a new channel with RSS. Find out on the internet what is possible and it is best if you think about it before. But do not forget. Stop overthinking! Set a deadline when you want to start the project, because you can’t know everything before. A lot of things can only be discovered after you have started the blog.

Then there are some points you want to keep in mind when blogging, if you don’t want to lose the fun. For example, you should not use analysis software, because it subconsciously urges you to become better and to adapt your content. But most of the time your readers don’t want that and I had to learn the hard way. Statistics and diagrams put you under pressure and you want to avoid that at all costs. Once your blog has successfully established itself on the web, the pressure comes automatically. Then there is another point that is misunderstood by many. Don’t try to make money, because your readers will notice that immediately. They don’t want fans of cash cows. The cash cows come by themselves, if your content is good. There is also a lot to say about the content. Write what you want. Computer games, books, your personal diary, tutorials, secrets of mathematics, the hundred most beautiful flowers in Europe. My range of blogs I read have a common thread of technology, science and art. But I’m also open for everything and I’m not afraid to visit a historic correct comic blog. As I have unfortunately noticed, I am not the target group for this, but if someone should ask me if I know something like that, I would recommend the blog (if I find it again). Write articles that you like, don’t adapt and don’t submit to trends. Readers love Nieschenblogs and there are hundreds of these blogs that are visited daily. You don’t have to use only one topic, you can also run mixed blogs. I do the same and have some core topics, but the rest is like a bag of colorful candy. Sometimes salty, sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, sometimes red, yellow, green, sometimes with chocolate or icing. I have many topics that interest me.

Of course this is not a 1:1 tutorial and also not a tutorial that you can work through. I don’t want that either, because you learn better if you don’t get served everything pre-chewed. You also have to make an effort and make the effort to realize your project. Which is also important, that you need time. You should also consider your blog as something personal, something you want to share with the internet. If people notice that you invest a lot of effort, love and time in your blog you will get it back sometime. Internet people notice it quickly who is serious about staying on the ball, even if it sometimes becomes a little more difficult. One rule I want to give you absolutely on the way is. Keep your content on your computer, because then you can move quickly if necessary. On the internet nothing is fixed, everything is in flux and sometimes you have to change the boat. You can’t know all this before you start and if you have less technology, framework and modules you can react flexible to this uncertainty. With this I push you into the cold water and wish you good luck learning to swim.

take this it’s dangerous to go alone.


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