We’ve recently had a few of our followers comment on various articles asking us how to start a blog of their own. They, like many people, wanted to know where to start and if we had any tips/tricks to help them be successful in their venture. This in turn is what led us to writing this very article- so thank you commenters! This one’s for you.
What do you want to blog about?
This can really be anything if you ask me…anything that you feel passionately about writing about? I say go for it! Worst-case scenario? No one reads it… SO WHAT. At least you got to express yourself. You got it off your shoulders.
This is a serious step one though… because without a general idea and purpose for your blog… well… things could get messy. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the blog. Is it a personal reflection blog? An informative blog? A community blog? A business blog?
Who will host your blog?
We use WordPress. We are familiar with their plugins and have knowledge of the back-end, which is a bit more manual than some other hosts like blog.com. I find blog.com is the easiest for someone who maybe isn’t as computer literate but definitely look around. There are so many different platforms and price packages. Most platforms offer you a free and paid version. The difference is usually ad placements flashing on your blog, custom URL’s, larger file storage etc. Take a look at all the packages because depending on what you need- the packages may be worth it for you.
Beebom wrote a pretty good review of top blogs for 2015: http://beebom.com/2015/02/5-best-blogging-platforms they don’t mention blog.com but in my experience it has been the easiest for newbies to grasp.
Designing your blog.
This is more than just what pretty colour you want. Your main goal should be functionality, readability and overall set up. If your blog is on photography? You are going to want something that displays images the best, that has great gallery options and allows you to save an adequate amount of files in your back-end. If you are more informative- you still want to make sure that you can display images to make your blog aesthetically pleasing- but you won’t need as much storage space. Make sure that your menu is large enough to see and easy to navigate and that you can easily add and manipulate your pages as new content is added.
Make sure that your font is large enough and easy to read if your target audience is 65+ then up that font a couple points. Make sure the colours aren’t harsh on the eyes. Keep your pages white because it is easier for people to read than on black- and skip the neon.
It’s time to write your first post! (Exciting) One thing I learned was that your post doesn’t have to be perfect. Your posts are easily editable and that you just have to go for it! Better done than perfect- obviously keep in mind your basic spelling and grammar but don’t be afraid to hit publish. A trick I use is, I write my blogs in word first- THEN I copy them into my blog. It allows for auto-correct to come to my rescue and I save my work as a backup. Keep your audience in mind and write away. Be sure to add a corresponding image somewhere in your article because it not only breaks up your blog and is appealing to the eyes, it also adds an automatically generated icon when you are sharing your blog link.
Write enticing headlines and remember that your work is SEO friendly- so who knows who will be searching for information and stumble onto your blog?
Sharing your blog
Your blog will share organically in your providers forums, in search engines and through like’s and shares on social media but it is also up to you to share your links and promote your work. Be proud!