5 Myths About Social Media Social media! What would we do without this wondering invention? Social media is everywhere and everyone is using it. Some people are on social media more than others. Some use just one platform and others on are every single […]
Month: September 2016
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So You Want to Start a Blog? A Simple Blogging Guide to Get You Started!
Blogging! If you are reading this, you know what a blog is. You like to read them. Have you ever wanted to start your own blog?
I started my first blog way back in 2004 when I was pregnant with my first child. The blog was very simple, mostly just photos and short updates. This was before Facebook or even Myspace took off and there really wasn’t such a thing as social media.
In 2009 I started my first “public blog” and have been blogging regularly ever since. I find blogging a great way to get my words out, to help others and to become a part of a community that works together and helps each other out.
So if you do want to start a blog, where should you start?
You Need An Idea For Your Blog
The first step to becoming a blogger and to start a blog is to figure out what your blog is going to be about. There are so many options out there that it can seem overwhelming. What you want to do is sit down and ask yourself what you want to write about.
Here are some examples of the types of blogs people create:
- Lifestyle blog- About your life in general, from the kids to date nights. Pretty much anything goes.
- Political blog– You would share your political beliefs, news stories, etc.
- Mom blog– You would blog a lot about your kids and your life as a mom.
- Review blog-You would write product reviews based around a theme. For example, baby products or pet products.
- Photography blog– You would post photos you have taken. Not as much writing. If you have a local business a photo blog can be a great way to get your work noticed.
As you can see there are many different types of blogs. You can really get as creative as you want when you start a blog. If you have a hobby or a passion, you can create your blog around that. If you just want to blog about whatever comes to mind, you can do that too. Over time your blog will take shape, even if the blog is more general when you first start out. Sometimes letting the blog evolve is a good idea.
Where Should You Blog
Once you have decided what your blog is going to be about, you need to figure out where you are going to do your blogging. There are a few options out there depending on if you want to spend money on the blog or keep blogging for free.
If you want to start your blog without spending a dime, I would recommend using Blogger. Blogger is by far the easiest way to blog and the most user-friendly. WordPress also has a free option but I personally find using it for your main blog frustrating. You also can not put any type of ad on a free WordPress blog. If you want to start a blog and make money with doing so, a free WordPress blog is not the way to get started.
You need to decide if you want to have a domain name or not. These do cost money but you can usually find a good deal where you only have to pay $1 to set one up. If you do buy a domain name, you can have it redirect to your Blogger blog.
If you are willing to spend a little bit of money, you can buy hosting and put your blog on your own self-hosted WordPress site. I like this option the best because having your own site gives you the most flexibility when it comes to your blog. You do have to pay a little bit each month or per year for hosting but I think doing so is worth it.
Time To Set Up Your Blog
So you now know what you are going to blog about and where you are going to put your blog, now it is time to get things setup.
If you are going with Blogger, their set up is pretty simple. Once you decide on a name for your blog it will take you to the area where you can choose your template and make other changes. Makes sure to fill out your “About Me” section so your readers can learn a little bit about you.
With self-hosted WordPress, it might be a little more complicated. You can choose to use one of the free themes or buy a premium one. I like to use Genesis but there are free themes that look nice too.
Spend some time figuring out what you want your blog to look like. Some bloggers keep things simple and others like to create something a little more elaborate. You can start with simple and later on change things as you see fit.
Make sure you do have the basics on your blog:
- Contact Me- So people can contact you. If someone wants to ask you a question or find out about advertising with you, they are going to need an email address.
- Privacy Page– A must if you want to put ads on your blog.
- Google Analytics or another way to track your stats.
- Where people can find you on Social Media.
- Disclosure Policy– If you are going to have any type of ads, affiliates or paid reviews on your site.
Once you have done at least that, you should be good to start writing!
Writing Your Blog Posts
When it comes to writing your blog posts, you want to make sure you are doing so on a regular basis. It can be once a week, three times a week or whatever works for you. You might try writing every weekday to start out with. This will help your blog get some exposure.
I try to make sure I am doing all of this when I write a blog post:
- At least 600 words.
- Good searchable title.
- End with a question to get more people to comment.
- At least 1-2 photos to add to the post and make it more likely to end up on Pinterest.
When it comes to what you should write about, that depends on your topic. Since it is your blog, you can write about whatever you want. Keep in mind about your audience. Some blogs allow you to write about whatever comes to mind and others need to stay on topic.
It would be a good idea to start a notebook with blog post ideas. You can write in the notebook whenever you feel inspired so you will always have a list of ideas to go to when you have time to write.
- Leaving Work Behind
- Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging – ProBlogger
- The Smart Passive Income Blog
- BloggingJulie Pinterest
- Alex Beadon
- Inspired Bloggers Network
Now, Go Start A Blog
Now that you know the basics on how to start a blog, go out and make your own.
Come back here and let me know what it is, I would love to check out what you have created 🙂
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