Blogging is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and what better way to celebrate the upcoming National Poetry Month with a poetry blog of your own? It is quite easy to set up a new blog using blogging software like WordPress, Serendipity, or Livejournal. The basics in blogging are quite simple: each day, a new entry is made, and each entry has its own link to the main blog that you are creating. In other words, anyone who surfs onto your blog and comes across an entry can easily click on your blog homepage or the archives link to see what else has been posted on your blog. A poetry blog also includes an About page which describes the purpose of the blog, contact information, and submission guidelines that will help other poets know how to contribute to your poetry blog.
Once you have chosen your blogging software system, sit down and on a piece of paper, start writing out some creative titles. One of these titles will be the name of your poetry blog. Give your poetry blog that title, then continue to set up the rest of the basics: the About page, submission guidelines, and any other information that you consider pertinent to your blog. Include a few links to other poetry blogs in your Blogroll if you wish. With your opening blog entry, mention a little bit about yourself and your blog, along with submission guidelines. You can also include a poem or two that you wrote in the first entry. For some examples of poetry blogs that can help you get your blog set up, check out Bijou Poetry Review and Cherrypicked Hands.
Consider how often you will be accepting submissions from other poets. Some publications do year round readings while others, particularly the academic ones, have reading periods during certain months of the year. How often you accept submissions depends on how much time you have available to maintain your blog. New poems can be posted at least once a week, or once a month. Poems by yourself and others can also be posted in any given period. Most online poetry publications are unable to pay other poets due to lack of resources so be sure to mention that no pay is available for poets who do have their work chosen by you for publication. Mention if you accept poetry submissions in the body of an email or as a document attachment and the maximum number of poems submitted. The average for most poetry blogs is between three to six poems per submission. Also mention if you accept simultaneous or exclusive poetry submissions. Turnaround time is also useful in the guideline submissions so that those who send in their poetry have some idea of how long it will take for you to respond to them.
Lastly, advertise your blog. This will help gain potential submissions from other poets around the world who come across your blog. There are a number of places where you can advertise your blog. Poetry sites such as The Gazebo and Louie Crew’s List of Poetry Publishers are just a few sites you can send in your poetry blog link to. Don’t forget to send your blog’s URL to blog search engines like Technorati and Sphere. The idea here is to maximize traffic to your blog to gain both readers and poetry submitters. The success of your blog depends on how much time you are willing to both promote and keep your blog updated with posts.