What it takes to start Blogging?
Blogging is so liberating- a creation of your own that reflects your beliefs and insights. It acts as a creative outlet if you find your daily life consuming you. Alternatively, blogging could also be an excellent way to develop new skills in today’s ever-growing technology. Blogging is a great way to network with new people and be exposed to a fresh perspective every day. It boosts your confidence, enables you to become a better communicator, and is a highly reflective experience.
Having your blog(s) also means better business and better money. While the returns may not be immediate, research suggests that far-reaching blogging does contribute significantly to the growth of a business. There are around 15 million blogs on the internet, and a new blog is published every 0.5 seconds. The scope for accessing quality content, networking, and marketing is only increasing with technological advancements and the booming of e-commerce. 25% of internet users have an ad-blocker and people are more willing to engage with blog posts than adverts. Beyond all this, blogging is an assured learning experience where you will gain new friends, clients, skills, or even a chance to share your thoughts and inspire people.
Now, you might be wondering your probability of success if the competition is so high, but you would be surprised to know that 34% of the bloggers have been blogging for just over a year. So blogging can be your cup of tea if you follow the right steps and make the right decisions. Remember, there is no such concept as too much knowledge; people will be willing to read your blog if you can publish relevant content in an interesting and absorbable manner. Here, we have outlined 7 easy steps to start and develop your very own blog:
1. Choose a suitable platform
In this step, you would be choosing the type of blog management software you want to use. This is very important as it determines the autonomy you would be exercising. While hosted blogs like WordPress.com seem more attractive, they are not entirely free and have their own rules. It is suggested that beginners choose self-hosted blog solutions like WordPress.org as it offers a lot of freedom. Here the payment is only for the domain name, and you could also earn money by running ads in your blog.
2. Finding a web hosting and domain name
The second step is to find a good web hosting service. Web hosting is a service that allows you to post a website on the internet. It is responsible for the functionality and performance of your blog. It provides all the technology and services needed for your blog to be accessible, so you must choose a reliable web hosting service. Based on research, many bloggers recommend Blue Host as an ideal web hosting service. The price packages differ across platforms and purposes, and some hosting services also offer a domain for free for a year.
After choosing your web hosting service, you need to now choose the domain name. This is probably the most creatively demanding task, as your domain name has to be unique, relevant, and interesting. Your domain name determines the appearance of your blog on search engines, so it has to be effective and unique. You can use your domain name by paying an annual fee. People generally choose a dot com domain but you can also choose a dot net or a dot blog domain.
3. Design your blog
After creating your blog, you now have to customize it. It is best to have a particular theme for your blog, especially in the beginning. Both your design and content should reflect this theme, and this will make it easier to draw an audience. WordPress blogs usually have a wide variety of themes and designs you could pick from. Make sure to add an introductory page to share the idea behind your blog as well as a page that gives the reader some information about you. You could even add a small resume of yours to make it more targeted and to create strong networks.
4. Write your blog posts
Congratulations! You are now ready to write your first blog post! In WordPress, you need to choose the Post option to write a new blog post. You have multiple options to add images, edit and format your text. Once you are done, you will have to press the launch button to publish your post.
5. Promote your blog
Promotion is the area that usually leads to the failure of a blog. Remember that you cannot have a perfect blog in a day; it is impossible to have everything on day 1, you can grow as a blogger WITH an audience. Promote your work from the beginning as you will learn a lot more than just writing into an audience-less blog. Email marketing and social media platforms are excellent ways to promote your blogs. Experts suggest that leaving comments on other blogs and adding links to other blogs in your blog posts goes a long way in creating more traffic to your blog.
6. Interact with people
Blogging is a form of networking, and this means that you need to interact with your followers. Your blog must not turn into a boring and monotonous lecture that is all rusty- you need to work for the engagement. Respond to comments, encourage discussions and appreciate shares! Be grateful for the feedback you receive and keep your readers’ interests in mind when you write blogs. You could even take suggestions if they match with your theme as it will make your followers feel valued. This will translate into more referrals and greater outreach.
7. Keep yourself updated
While you immerse yourself in spreading your ideas, do remember to stay updated about trending topics of interest. It is a good idea to keep a note of other blogs, as they are indeed a site of learning for you. You could also update yourself with the latest changes in technology- new software and features for bloggers to ensure that your blog does not become stale or redundant. Try to keep it as fresh as possible, and for this, you need to be active!
Beyond this, there is a lucrative aspect of being paid for blogging. While experience and outreach will pay off as income, money should not be the initial goal when you begin this process. In the later stages, you could earn money by freelancing or through sponsored blogging as well. However, enjoy the process of your expression first. Blogging is an art of its own, so be kind to yourself through this journey of inspiration and self-discovery. Similar to how you use the internet to share your ideas, a lot of experienced bloggers share their tips and thoughts too. It is common to make mistakes and have a dip in the follower count particularly in the initial phases. The key is to stay committed and believe in yourself, as your blog is a true reflection of you.
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