Are you a creative professional looking for a way to showcase your talent? Blogging might be a great place to start! With a blog, you can showcase your written work with ease and imagination. But while looking at all the successful blogs that live on the internet can make the thought of starting your own blog mighty intimidating — we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Blogging can be a fun and soothing way to let out your thoughts, ideas, and even frustrations. And learning how to blog is easier than you might think — though it does require dedication and hard work.
Running a blog can be a source of great happiness and relaxation. You can blog about your recent adventures, your favorite recipes, or the hilarious things you see happen at the office. It’s all up to your own creativity and imagination. And a blog post isn’t just limited to your written work. You can use other mediums as well — like video, social media, and podcasts — to express yourself.
For many, starting a blog isn’t about what it will get you in the future — and if your main goal is to make money, you will probably fail. You have to be passionate about your content. You have to enjoy the creative creation process. You have to want to engage with the communities you will be writing about and entering. In a sense, blogging is an art. It’s a form of expression. It’s an avenue of creative wealth that should make you all warm and fuzzy inside. Don’t do it for the money. Don’t do it for the notoriety. Don’t do it for the deals or the financial/celebrity perks. Do it because it’s what you love to do and the rest will follow. And we want to help you get started.
Here is a step-by-step guide to starting a blog and making the most out of it.
How do you create a blog?
Figure out what you want to write about.
Firstly, you need to know what you want to write about. What is the niche of your blog? Do you want to talk about travel, health, food, or design? Do you want to write long or short posts? Do you want to include photography or video? This is the first step to starting your blog. If you aren’t passionate about what you’re writing about, you’ve already failed.
Pick a domain and platform to use — this is your website and your blog url.
Finding the right platform for your blog is also vital. Some platforms are free, while others require you to pay. But different platforms give you different access to your blog. If you want to stay simple, go with a pre-designed blog that you simply post to. If you want to go a little deeper, get a blog you can customize and design to fit your own personality. It’s also important when going the paid route to find your domain name, which is essentially your blog’s address or your blog url. Getting access to this will make sure that you can create your own unique domain that no one else can also be using.
Design and customize the look of your blog.
Even when getting a pre-designed blog, you can have some fun with the look and feel. Play with themes, fonts, and styles to really show off your own creativity, imagination, and personality. Have fun with it! Play with colors and shapes. Include your social media channels. Decide what the best layout is to showcase the content you want people to see.
Now, it’s time to start writing. If you need motivation to get started, begin by writing about your day. Write about your favorite lipstick. Write about your industry. You need to make writing a habit if it isn’t already. This will ensure steady content for your blog, and will give you an outlet for all your inner thoughts.
The most important piece is to have fun. Your blog likely isn’t your full-time job, and it should never be a source of stress or aggravation. Of course you will get stumped from time to time. You’ll have a bad case of writer’s block. But that doesn’t mean you should give up or throw in the towel! Just take a break and start back up again when things quiet down.
What are some reasons to start a blog?
To have an outlet for your creative thoughts and ideas.
We all tend to bottle things up — frustrations, opinions, negativity. But we also hold in our creativity too, especially if we’re not in a field or industry that demands creativity on a daily basis. Becoming a blogger can help you let all of that out — the good, the bad, and the ugly. It gives you an outlet. It gives you a community where you can engage with like-minded people and gain reassurance about your thoughts and beliefs. It also creates a safe space where you can say things you may not feel comfortable saying in your circles outside of the blog. It’s cathartic. If you need something to help you focus and relax, a blog is a great place to start.
To (maybe) make money off of it.
While making money shouldn’t be your main objective, it doesn’t hurt to have hopes. If you need something to focus on or work towards, working towards creating content that you can get paid for is definitely a motivator. It’s a great way to make some money on the side and excel at a side hustle that you also have fun doing.
To get your writing visible to the world.
If you don’t have any published writing out in the internet already, a blog is a great place to start getting views for your writing. Writers are always told to keep writing, but it can be discouraging if no one but your grandmother is reading what you write. When you start a blog, you’re increasing your audience possibly by millions. It’ll be a slow growth, but if you’re dedicated you’ll soon have published writing samples that you can use in your professional pursuits.
Increase the exposure of your personal brand.
Maybe you’re self-employed. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur. Maybe you’re a small business owner selling a product. Or maybe you’re already an established writer on another, popular website. Whatever your personal brand is, starting a blog can help you increase your exposure and grow your personal brand. You can use your blog to shape your image or to add more personality to the brand others already know. If you have a product or service you’re selling, you can use your blog to gain more followers by producing routine content people in that niche or industry are interested in. The more you write and the more you create the more people will see and know about you, your personality, and your professional self.
What are some blogging platforms?
The internet is full of blogging platforms, and they range from being free to being hundreds of dollars to start and upkeep. But for beginners, the following list is full of easy-to-use blog platforms. You don’t want a website that requires heavy set-up and coding. And you probably aren’t looking to spend hundred of dollars at the very beginning. If you want an easy-to-navigate, affordable blogging platform, check out this list.
Wix is good for small business owners and bloggers who want to turn their blog into a business. Depending on your plan, you can completely customize the look and feel of your blog without extensive knowledge of coding. A basix Wix plan is free. If you want a custom domain it’ll cost almost $5 a month. Premium plans for more extensive features and monitoring cost from $9 to $25 a month.
WordPress.com is the free version of WordPress. It’s a blog hosting service that gives you very basic blog access. For an additional cost, you can add features like a custom domain name and plugins. There is no setup required for this version, and it is very self explanatory. But it is hard to grow with this platform.
WordPress.org is the paid version of WordPress. You have to pay for a domain name for around $15, and hosting for about $8 every month. This open source software platform give you full control over your blog. It comes with an extensive list of features and plugins, but with that comes a bit of confusion. This is definitely a platform that will require you to take some time figuring out.
Tumblr is for the blogger that isn’t looking to make blogging a main priority. It’s free, though you can pay for specialized themes to make your blog stand out. And you can upload an array of different types of content. But at the end of the day, it’s more of a social network where you can share others content, and they can share yours on the platform.
Quick, easy, and free, Blogger is great for non-techies looking to start their blogging journey. It’s ease-of-use makes this platform an easy option for beginners with absolutely no idea how to customise or design a blog. But if you’re a blog that wants to grow, Blogger isn’t a great choice as you can’t add any additional features.
Medium is the perfect place for writers who want to be a part of a community. It’s easy to use and requires no extensive coding to customize. If you’re using Medium, you’re more focused on your content as opposed to the upkeep of a website. You are given very little control over your blog with Medium, and can’t use it for advertising or paid content.
How can you use a blog to make money?
Write content that adds value.
If your content doesn’t have value, add to a discussion, or propel a conversation, it’s useless. Everything you write should have a goal or purpose. It should add value. It should make readers think and engage. It should be new, fun, and exciting. This will ensure that people will want to read it, and will continue reading new posts as they come. With valuable content comes more followers. With more followers comes more exposure. With more exposure comes brands and advertisers that will pay you to keep writing. So give your blog purpose, substance, and character. The rest will come naturally.
Find and design your themes so that is easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing.
If you have amazing content, you will have followers. But if your blog doesn’t look the part of a professional platform, you will lose out on even more followers. Your domain name needs to be professional. Your blog theme needs to be fun and engaging. If it isn’t people will be turned away. If it isn’t easy to use, people will give up and look elsewhere for content. And if your blog turns people off aesthetically, then you will have fewer financial backers.
Use plugins to optimize your content.
Plugins like social media icons, search engine optimizers, newsletter buttons, analytics and other add-on features help optimize your content and push it out to wider audiences. They can do think like allow you to set-up e-mail messages to followers when you post something new, and allow them to send you e-mail messages back.These are vital when trying to grow your follower base and gain exposure, especially if your circle itself isn’t as large as you’d like it to be. These advanced plugins will make your content easier to read, more likely to be read by people across the world, and will help you track it so you know what to do to keep reaching your target audience.
Putting ads on the top, bottom, or side of your website is a quick and easy way to generate revenue, though it will start small. If you’ve already got people coming to their blog, this is a good place to start and will let other brands and businesses know that you are open to paid content and are looking to pursue those avenues. But don’t clutter your entire blog with ads because that will turn people away.
Reach out about sponsored content.
If you regularly do product reviews, or are looking to increase your content by doing paid sponsorships, you might want to start reaching out to brands for product and service reviews. At first, you might not get paid. You might get a free product or service, but the more you do, the better you will be, and the more likely other brands will start reaching out to you first.
How do you write successful blog content?
Be your authentic self.
Don’t change who you are to appeal to an audience. If people are reading your blog it’s because they want to hear from you — the real you. They enjoy your thoughts. They enjoy your experiences. They enjoy your stories. So give them more. Have fun. Get comfortable. Make writing the blog as fun as adventurous and the stories you’re writing about. There is only one of you in this world, so don’t give that up for fame or fortune.
Find your niche.
Blogging is about having fun, but if you want to be successful and see a following, you need to find your niche and stick to it. This means finding the one area in which you are most comfortable, happy, and content to be writing about and write. Maybe this is travel or food. Maybe it’s DIY crafts and activities. Maybe it’s a diary of sorts where you go over your day to day life. Maybe it’s about fashion and design. Whatever field you find most fun to be involved in and write about, choose it. This will also make finding your target audience much easier, making the overall blogging process much smoother and fulfilling.
There is very little you will be successful at in this world if you are not passionate. Passion is the fire that keeps you motivated. It’s the spark that breathes life into all the creative projects that you take on. Without passion, there is no point in writing and creating. And without passion, there is no drive to continue. Blogging has its ups and downs. You’ll get into a rut and want to give it all up but if that passion is there — passion for the process, passion for the content, passion for your own storytelling — you will always be successful.
Find your voice and stick to it.
Finding your voice might take some time to do. It’s not as easy as finding the flow of your writing or your niche. Your voice will change over the course of your life. The voice you had when you were writing short fiction in those creative writing workshops will be different than the voice you use on your blog. Do you want to be straight-forward and factual? Do you want to be aloof and lyrical? You have to decide what you want your audience to hear. And once you decide, stick to it. You must be consistent.
Regardless of the industry in which you’re creating content, you must always be original. First off, no one wants to see regurgitated content that they can see or get on another blog or website. They are here, again, for you. But also, you don’t want to plagiarize others work. That’s not creation, thats copying. And no one has the time to deal with that. Be original. Be yourself. And when you’re producing unique, true-to-yourself content, readers will be lining up at the door.
Learning how to blog and how to start a blog is a long process, but it doesn’t have to be impossible if you follow this step-by-step guide. Being a blogger is all about embracing your creativity and honing it. It’s about funneling out your thoughts, opinions, and experiences into this site on the internet where readers can read, see, and experience your own adventures. There are some technical aspects to it when it comes to choosing the platform and getting access to a domain. And things get a little sticky when you enter the world of paid content. But you should always be learning and growing and having fun — that should always be your blog purpose. If you’ve got a popular blog, your blog posts aren’t just helping you — they’re helping everyone who reads them. Don’t let them down and don’t let yourself down!
By following these tips, you’ll be flooding the market with popular blog content and inspiring bloggers all across the world. Are you ready to jump in?