[Another local sailing dude] recently turned me on to Proper Course, which I have been reading diligently to catch up on lost years. It's very entertaining, and sometimes insightful, and I think you are a terrific writer! As a former English teacher this compliment should carry some hefty weight. Note the exclamation point.
I have been talking to [the other sailing dude] about starting a blog to discuss our experiences, express enthusiasm for sailing, and rant against the local Killjoys who thwart, rather than promote out efforts.
Have you any advice in a nutshell?
How do you get any readers as you project out into the universe? It seems like beaming a message to Alpha Centauri, reporting on how things are going here on earth.
How could I resist a request like that?
Basically I have five pieces of advice...
1. Use Blogger. It's easy and it's free. Some people will give you the opposite advice and tell you that if you use Blogger you are placing yourself at the mercy of the big bad evil Google empire, or that you won't be able to have the snazziest sharpest blog design, or that you can't customize it, or that it's not cool. Whatever. I like easy and free.
2. Participate in the sailing blogging community. One thing non-bloggers often don't understand is that bloggers are (usually) not lonely nerds living in their parents' basements beaming messages to Alpha Centauri that nobody will ever read. The way to help people find your sailing blog is to interact with other sailing bloggers. Leave interesting comments on other sailing blogs (using your ID that links back to your own blog of course). Respond positively to any folk that leave comments on your blog. Place links to other blogs that you like on your own blog; with a bit of luck the writers of those other blogs will reciprocate. Participate in those group writing projects that some blogs (like this one) run from time to time. After a while the readers of those other sailing blogs will start reading yours too.
3. Be yourself. Let your own personality shine through in your blog. Express opinions. Rant. Do something different from the herd. There are about a million new blog posts written every day, so you had better give folk a reason to want to keep coming back to read your posts.
4. Write regularly. If you want readers to keep coming back, then you don't want to be one of those bloggers who writes every day for a few weeks and then goes silent for three months. I've not been very good at following this advice myself the last few weeks. But there are several well-known ways to overcome the dreaded "bloggers block", one of which is to answer a reader's question. Hmmm.
5. Encourage readers to give you feedback. Ask questions such as, "Does anybody else have any different advice to someone who wants to start a sailing blog?" Seriously, do you?