Whether you want to express yourself, share ideas, build a writing portfolio, or even make a little extra money, writing a blog is a great idea. Are you interested in learning how to start blogging? While there is some work involved in creating a blog, from deciding on a web host to creating the content, putting up a blog is really not that difficult. There are a lot of decisions to be made, but there is not a lot of technical work to do.
Once a blog is up and ready to go you have a platform for your ideas and creativity. There is plenty of writing involved, but if you can find a topic that you are passionate about, then blogging can be an enjoyable experience. You may even find yourself pondering about your next idea for an engaging blog.
I started this website out as a blog/website mix and have really come to enjoy it. You really have to be dedicated to build a high traffic blog site. The best way to experience it is to simply try it out and see. Once you get started you can keep learning and changing your strategy until you find one that best suits you. This is a very basic article about starting a blog. I will be writing an advanced one later and in the meantime if you have any questions or would like some advice send me an email.
Coming Up with a Topic
Before you jump into learning how to start blogging, you have to decide what your blog is going to be about. There are countless blogs on the internet — recipe blogs, green living blogs, blogs about cars, cats, and candy. There are even blogs about writing blogs. How can you come up with an idea that is truly unique, that offers something to readers that no other blog can provide?
You may not be able to blog about a subject that no one has ever touched before. After all, how much is there to say about vegan pink peppercorn sauces or blind pet ferrets? If, however, you choose a topic that you have direct experience with, you can offer something unique and you are likely to have a lot to say about the subject.
Choose to make your blog about something that you know well and love. If you love to cultivate roses, then blog about it. Even if there are one thousand blogs about roses, yours will have your own personal input and flair. You will have the opportunity to pour yourself into your roses even more when blogging through research, writing, and photography. You will find gems of knowledge that you never would have discovered if you weren’t writing a blog.
Aside from finding a subject that you are passionate about, it is also important to be specific. For the rose example, instead of making a blog about growing roses write about organic rose gardening, how to grow winter roses, or practical uses for your roses. A very specific blog will have more authority on the internet. Also, you will find that it is easier to manage a clearly focused blog.
Blog Hosting and Domains
To start blogging you do need a web host and a domain name. If you want to get started right away and are not concerned about having ultimate control over your blog, try a free hosting service. For first time bloggers this is a great way to get some experience blogging, without having to invest any money. Sites such as Blogger offer free hosting and a user-friendly platform. You can have your blog up and running, full with customized ads, within five minutes.
If you are concerned about owning your blog and are interested in control over the set up of your blog, there are plenty of hosts to choose from. It is very inexpensive to use a hosting company. Take a look at different companies to decide what is right for you. Most companies will charge about $5 a month. Aside from freedom and ownership, by paying for hosting you get to have your own domain name. Choose a name that will let readers know what your blog is about. More importantly, choose a name that will indicate the style of the blog, whether it is professional, casual, fun, or cutting-edge.
Learning how to start blogging is really about finding out what choices you have to make to create your blog. Once you know what you are going to blog about, and have decided on a host and domain, it is time to map out your blog. Get a pen and paper, maybe a few markers or crayons, and figure out what you want your blog to look like. How many pages or categories do you want? How do you want each page to look? What do you want along the sidebar — ads, links to other posts, a section about the author? Who is the blog intended for and what style will vibe well with the intended audience? Are you going to design the layout yourself, or use one of many blog templates that are available from your hosting company or from the web?
Decide the answers to these questions and then go ahead and put your blog together. Spend the time to determine how you want your blog to appear, and how you want a visitor to feel on your site. The look and feel, color choices, images, artwork, and even font all go into the perception of your little corner of the internet. People like visiting a blog that has easy access to information, that appears well-organized, and that looks, well, great. Excellent content matters, but to get people interested, the visual experience is paramount.
The blog is ready. It looks amazing and fitting for what you are blogging about and who you expect to visit. Now it is time to create the content for your blog. First, make sure to provide content that is authentic, original, and engaging. Figure out your writing style and stick with it. Encourage comments and feedback. Avoid simply listing facts or filling up pages with thin material. With good promotion and keyword usage you may get people to your blog, but you will not gain followers without great content.
Keywords help drive traffic to blogs. Use keyword rich content, but avoid keyword stuffed content. For each post, determine one or two keywords that fit with your post and use them one or two times. If they are unnatural, don’t use them.
Add images. Photographs and graphic images add life to your blog and another dimension to your content. If possible, use your own photographs. You can also purchase images or find photos that are free for use. Never use a copyrighted image. If appropriate for your blog, consider adding video as well. The more multimedia you have on your blog, the more engaging it will be for readers.
Blogging is an ongoing process. Always creating fresh content is important for driving traffic to your blog and for keeping readers interested. To maintain a great blog, keep learning. Research on your topic, but also spend time learning how to improve your blog. There is always something that you can do to make your blog a little better, a little more interesting, and a little more worthwhile.