Like any big project, starting your own blog can seem a bit daunting.
Like any big project, starting your own blog can seem a bit daunting. But also like a lot of things, it’s a lot simpler once it’s broken down into stages.
1. Decide what you want to write about
Life? Music? Films? A bit of everything? Choose what you want to write about, brainstorm a few titles and maybe even write a few drafts (just to check you can write about that more than once). A bit of everything might be good for your first blog, you can always create a second if you want to explore a topic more.
2. Find a platform on which to build your blog
The platform you choose to build your blog on can have a big effect on your readers, your sharability and even your motivation to write (who wants to write if no one’s reading?!).
WordPress is a great blogging platform and comes in two forms – WordPress-hosted and self-hosted. I’ll start by talking about WordPress-hosted blogs.
For a new blogger, WordPress-hosted blogs are a lot more common as they’re free and easy to set up. There are a lot of themes to choose from and it’s easy to get more views and followers with this method, but it’s not very customisable, you can’t have plugins and to get a custom domain you’ll have to start paying.
A self-hosted WordPress is much easier to customise as you have access to all the site files and there are loads (and I mean loads) of themes to choose from. However, paying for a domain and hosting can be expensive, and although they say technical knowledge is not needed, I’d recommend having it if you want to get the most out of a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Wanting something a bit more casual? Check out Tumblr! Tumblr is great for more casual blogging as it leans more towards shorter content. It also allows you to like and reblog posts as well as following other users.
I’d recommend starting off with a free wordpress.com blog. You can pay a small fee to map it to a domain later or, if you’re feeling ambitious, go self-hosted.
3. Choose a theme
Next you’ll need to choose a theme on your chosen platforms. This can take a little bit of playing around with as while some things look nice, they don’t always have the fuctionality/customisation freedom you’re looking for, so have a search and choose a theme that suits your tastes and needs.
The most important ingredient in the ‘good blog’ recipe is good content. Brainstorm some post ideas and get writing. Keep a notebook with you and jot down ideas as they come to you throughout your week so you don’t forget about them when you sit down to write.
Once you’ve got a few posts written, edit them and schedule them throughout the next few days. Aim to do this every week or whenever you have ideas to keep your blog regularly updated and to keep readers returning.
What’s the point having a blog if no one knows it’s there? Use your social media accounts to promote your posts and encourage readers to do the same by adding sharing buttons to your blog posts.
7. Guest blog
While optional, I’d definitely recommend this if you’re trying to build an audience. Guest blogging means writing on someone else’s blog and linking back to your own blog where readers can read more of your work. It can be a one-off or a regular thing, however it can get tricky when you start guest blogging so much that you have no content for your own blog!
So that’s how it’s done. Get blogging!
Do you have any more tips or questions about blogging? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: cedwardmoran / Flickr