Starting your own blog is highly rewarding, but it can be a fairly intimidating action to take. With so many different platforms available and tools to choose from, you may find yourself attempting to get out of dodge as fast you possibly can.
That’s why you’re reading this article. You have a passion for something, and you’d like to share that passion with the world through written form, so you Googled “how to start a blog” and wounded up here. Fortunately for you, that is exactly what this article has been designed to teach you. From free services to advanced platforms, this guide will teach you everything you need to know or should consider when starting your first blog. Let’s get started.
Choosing a Topic
The first step in learning how to start a blog is choosing a topic. It’s simple – to gain consistency, you need to portray consistency, and the best way to do that is by staying on topic. Choose a basic topic like technology or fashion so you’ll have a wide variety of topics to cover. Basically, you’ll want to avoid getting too in depth with your topic. For example, don’t start a technology blog that only covers mobile processors, and don’t start a fashion blog that only covers the latest fashion trends from France. If you broaden your content, you’ll find your readership broadening as well.
Free vs. Paid
Another thing you need to consider is whether or not you want to use a free service like Blogger or WordPress.com, or whether you want to pay for hosting and install WordPress.org onto your site. Your decision on this matter will mainly depend upon what you intend to use your blog for. If it’s just a hobby that you’ll be doing on the side whenever you have the time, a free service would likely be in your best interest. However, if your blog is intended to be part of a business or you wish to monetize it at some point, you’ll most definitely want to use a professional platform.
It also depends upon how you’d like to blog. Blogger and WordPress.com are fantastic services to use, but they’re also severely limited. WordPress.org has a plethora of plugins for you to choose from that WordPress.com does not support. These plugins range from something as simple as a lightbox picture viewer to something as complex as an SEO tool. Even SquareSpace has a multitude of different features for you to choose from that will make creating a professional blog quick and painless.
If you want to go for paid hosting, you’ll have to pay for a domain name ([domainname].com, [domainname].net, etc.) and hosting from services like BlueHost, WestHost or DreamHost, and then install WordPress onto your site. SquareSpace has domain names, hosting and their own blogging platform. Unfortunately, this service does not support WordPress.
Choosing a Format
Along with being consistent with the topics that you write about, staying consistent with post types and post times can also be beneficial. People like consistency, and while you shouldn’t blog on a schedule unless you’re certain that you can continue to provide the same amount of quality as you would with your “spontaneous posting,” posting the same types of posts at relatively the same time per month can increase viewership.
Examples: For fashion blogs, create a “Trends of the Week” post every Monday. For technology blogs, post a “Top Apple News of the Month” once a week. Not sure what specifically you should write about? Sit down and brainstorm a few ideas.
Blogging is a rewarding experience and can be a lot of fun, and when you learn the basic techniques on how to start one, you’ll see just how simple the process can be. Just remember to stay on topic, pick the blogging platform that makes the most sense for your situation and needs, and most importantly, stay consistent. Good luck!