Social media can be great, but sometimes you just want a place of your own. Maybe you want everybody to know about it, or maybe you just want to direct a small number of family and friends to it.
A personal family blog is a great place to post updates, record milestones, add pictures and videos of the kids, preserve family memories and keep loved ones who live far away informed.
Family Blog Website Set Up
Setting up a blog can be easy. While there are free sites to set up blogs, we don’t necessarily recommend those over the long term. You will want to own your content and have all of the control you want over how it looks and what you can do with it.
First you’ll need a place for your blog to call home. This is literally the computer that will store your website’s files. There are a bunch of cheap web hosts around. Something cheap from GoDaddy or Bluehost should do the trick.
Choosing a domain name is tough, but you can always just keep it simple and include your family name in it. Don’t put too much effort into being too cutesy or you’ll never get started. Head to GoDaddy and start searching. Domains cost about $12 a year, so they are affordable and if you need to switch later on it’s not too big of a deal.
Content Management – WordPress
You don’t want to learn how to program at the same time, using a content management system like WordPress will allow you to log into your website and write blog posts without touching a line of code. WordPress is the most popular blogging system used by millions around the world. The best part is, most web hosts will have an easy one-click install process for WordPress already!
Choosing a Theme
Now you need to find a theme or template for your family blog. This is kind of like the skin that makes your website look a certain way. Most of them are customizable and allow you to change colors and other things to personalize your blog just for your family. There are thousands of themes online or on a site like ThemeForest. Some are free, some cost money: often you get what you pay for. We’re biased of course, but you should check out our Family Blog WordPress Theme that was built just for this purpose!
What Do I Write About?
Blogging is an intensely personal thing. The more you do it the better you will become at it. People love to read blogs because they want to know what is going on in your life and what you are really like. You are giving someone a peek behind the curtain of what makes you and your family tick. If you open up a bit, you will be amazed at the response you get!
Everyone loves a good story, especially about people that they know! Tell stories about your family members, your favorite memories, and your struggles. Be real, don’t try to make everything sound perfect all of the time. People don’t identify with perfect people, they want to hear about others that have the same struggles and foibles that they have.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? People love to see photos of your family, and for grandparents thats only 3,000 times more true. They don’t need to be perfectly photoshopped so that the lighting is always perfect. Instead focus your time on find the right amount of photos. One photo may not be enough, but uploading 200 photos is too many. Just pick the best photos that tell the story and leave it at that.
We all know people that start a blog and after a few posts let it go dormant. The best thing is to get into a rhythm of posting once or twice a week. Even if you don’t feel like you have anything to write about if you sit down and start writing. You’ll soon think of something to write about and get into the flow.
Making a family blog is a ton of fun and extremely rewarding. Even if it never reaches thousands it is still totally worth it. Your family, and friends will love to follow along your family and their adventures. Plus, much like a journal, it always helps you to look back at where you’ve been, and where you want to be going. Good luck!