How to start blogging
In our last post we looked at setting your goals for your blog. Did you do this?
Maybe your goal was to actually start to write a blog and hence why you are here now?
Starting a blog is not necessarily difficult but it is also not as straight forward as you think, especially in the beginning stages. There are many things that will help you know how to start blogging, so lets get straight into it.
How to start blogging in five easy steps…..
1: Deciding on a blog topic or niche
Unless you know what is it you are going to actually blog about, it will be incredibly difficult to get started. You will need to know what you are going to be talking about to know how to start blogging. The more defined you can be about your target niche the more success you will have. Whilst it can be fun to blog about a variety of topics, you want your blog to be successful and that requires you to be specific. Your readers will come to you for the expertise you have to offer, so find your topic and stick to it!
Don’t however make the mistake of blogging about something that doesn’t interest or excite you. Not only will it be reflected in your writing, but it will also become a drain to you and one which you will give up on when the going get’s tough. Whether you are in it to make some money or for pure fun, the niche needs to be something that raises excitement in you and drives you to want to keep going no matter what. Would you prefer to watch television in the evening rather than work on your blog? If that’s the case, you may have chosen the wrong niche!
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
2: Do you plan to blog for business or pleasure?
You may have a firm idea in your mind whether your blog is going to be for a business or a hobby…. or you may not. But before you delve into HOW to start blogging, you need to work out WHY you are blogging! Making a decision about this will impact on some very important decisions that you need to make and will ultimately affect the nature and commitment to your blog. Of course you can still have a lot of fun, whilst undertaking a business, but your decisions are all the more important.
However it is also important to mix business with pleasure to some extent to ensure that you are blogging about a niche you are passionate about. As I have already mentioned, if you lack the passion, the blogging road is going to be a very long one and probably not one that you are going to be on for long.
3: Will you use a free or a paid blog?
Deciding on whether you are blogging for business or pleasure will ultimately make a difference upon whether you choose to use a self hosted or a free platform. A free platform saves you money in the long run, but you will loose control over many of the ways you can run your blog. A free platform may also not obtain as much traffic because your site won’t rank as well in the search engines due to the split focus on the domain.
Do you intend to put advertisments onto your site? Some free blogs wont allow you to earn money from the blog or they may take some of your profits, so it is worthwhile thinking back to your goals before deciding which platform to choose.
If you are serious about blogging for business, then it is recommended that you have a self hosted site. A blog can be started for a minimal investment, but a self-hosted blog will allow you the flexibility to do what you want to do.
4: Decide on a domain name
Have you given any thought about what your domain name will be? The domain name is the URL of your blog, for example www.bloggingtips101.com is the URL of this blog. It is worthwhile giving some thought regarding the domain name you choose as this can have a huge impact on how people will remember your site and whether people see it as valuable.
The domain name also needs to clearly demonstrate to the reader what the blog is about. This site is about blogging tips, so there is no point in calling it ‘live your dream’. Living your dream can occur by learning how to blog, but ultimately people will not connect the two topics when searching for information.
Your desired domain name might not be available to you, so it is a good idea to undertake some reasearch into what your options might be. It is important to spend some time on this research to get it right. Choose your brand and your domain name carefully!
5: Who will you choose to host your blog?
If you made the decision to have a self hosted blog, you will need to also decide who to host that blog with. There are many hosting companies to choose from, offering different services, so you may like to check some of these out.
A few of the things to consider are:
• The cost of the service, and what is included in the price. You might not need all the services that are being offered so you don’t have to go for the most expensive package for it to be the best to suit your needs!
• Check the amount of data that you can pass through your blog and the amount of server space given. This needs to be sufficient to cover all the posting you will be undertaking on your blog and the traffic visiting your blog.
• Does the hosting company offer support? It is important to know that you will receive assistance when there is a problem, so check that this is available.
It may seem like there are a million things to consider in knowing how to start blogging, but double checking your goals will help you make those decisions. The important thing is being educated about those decisions so you know you are starting off on the right track.
What direction have you decided to take for your blog? Was there anything that helped you make that decision? Please share with us below.