HOW TO START A BLOG
I’ve been blogging for almost a year now and all the time I find myself being asked either through social media or by people I know in everyday life “How do you make your own blog?” When I started blogging back in November last year I wasn’t exactly sure of this myself, as I have previously said I had tried to make my own blog numerous times in the past but it just wasn’t working out for me. I didn’t know which platform to use, I didn’t know how to find a nice layout. I was completely oblivious to all the things which I have learnt over the last year. But obviously you don’t necessarily need a fancy layout to run a blog, you don’t need to spend lots of hours late at night writing and editing posts. Blogging to me is all about passion (as soppy as that sounds, it’s true) I write my blog because I love to do it, everything about blogging, I love and if you don’t have that desire and inspiration behind you already when you set out to create a blog, you’ve got to think is it really worth it? Blogging can be quite time consuming, depending how much time and effort you want to put in and you could potentially find yourself stuck behind your computer for hours on end editing photos and writing and formatting posts. It takes a lot of dedication to create a blog, but even more dedication to run it well.
If you’re sure that blogging is for you then it’s time to start thinking about setting up your blog.
Find Your Platform
There are lots of popular ways to create a blog online, and unless you’re going to be coding the website yourself and hosting it yourself, I imagine you’ll find yourself using one of these as well.
Blogger is what I’d class as the ‘easiest’ way to create your own blog. Blogger is a Google hosted service created so that almost anyone can launch their own blog. Blogger is the service which I have used for the past year to run my blog: it’s easy, it’s simple and allows you to do the main thing you want to do, write and post your blog posts. To create a blog with Blogger it’s as easy as simply going to the Blogger website, logging in with or creating a google account, picking your blog name and URL and a template.
Wordpress is a bit of a more complicated blogging tool, one which I have actually briefly tried out in the past. I found WordPress wasn’t really for me: to create a blog with WordPress (wordpress.org not wordpress.com, I’ll explain the differences very soon) you’ll need to purchase hosting for your blog, a layout and a domain name to host your blog on. WordPress is a downloadable folder which you input onto your hosting platform. Their service allows for lots of different features and a lot more customization than Blogger, so if you think you’re going to be doing quite a lot of advanced things with your blog then give WordPress a shot.
As I just mentioned there is a bit of a difference between the ‘.org’ and the ‘.com’ versions of WordPress. WordPress.com is another free blog service a lot like blogger, you create your account, pick a blog name, address and layout and begin writing posts to your hearts content. This version of WordPress is a lot more feature restricted than the self hosted version and comes with a limited choice of templates. The blogs are also a little less easy to customize when compared to Blogger so you sort of find yourself a little stuck with what you’re given.
Pick your Design
Once you’ve gotten your blog all set up the next thing I would recommend doing is finding a layout / design which appeals to you. The layout of your blog is the first thing your readers are going to see when they go onto your blog, so you want to pick something which is nice to look at! There are endless amounts of both free and premium designs which you can find across the internet.
I would recommend picking a minimalist, clean and clear blog design, with a white background and black text. As boring as that may sound this ensures that the content you upload to your blog is readable and clear, after all, you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time writing a post just for nobody be able to see it.
If you choose to buy a design for your blog, it’s important to really budget and plan. Don’t go wasting a lot of money on a blog design if you think that two months down the line there’s a chance you will have stopped blogging. Maybe even leave it a little while before actually buying a design, so you can blog for a little and see if you like it. Once you know you’re serious about blogging, that’s the time when it’s safe to allow yourself to spend a bit more money on a layout to make your blog look more professional.
Step Three :
Plan your Content
By now your blog is all set up and ready to go. This is the time to plan out a bit of your content. I personally always find it very beneficial to plan my posts ahead of time, It makes it much easier to know what you’re going to say, to know what images you’re going to post with it, when everything needs to be done by.
Pick a Niche
This is a word you’ve most likely heard all across the internet if you’ve been looking into starting a blog. ‘Niche’. Your Niche is the topic or the topics which you’re going to be blogging about. It’s really important to pick topics to write about that you personally enjoy, things you’re passionate about and things you want to share with others.
Stay true to you
It’s easy when writing your blog, to get lost amongst the millions of blogs on the internet, to try and do what other people are doing, to copy their content and to write the same posts they do. Honestly these are the worst types of posts to read. A post is so much more enjoyable to read when you can sense the writers feelings towards the topic. When a blogger shares their favourite products with you and goes into all the details of why they love it, it is so much more interesting to read when there is enthusiasm behind the writing, and when writing posts you don’t necessarily ‘want’ to write, but feel you ‘have’ to write, you’re not going to have the same level of enthusiasm.
TRY YOUR BEST
The most important tip I can give you overall when starting and running your own blog, is to try your best. Put in as much effort as you can, stay dedicated and do the best you can, write the best content you can, take the best photographs you can and work your arse off. Blog for ‘you’ and enjoy it as much as you can. Don’t compare your blog to others, don’t compare your ‘success’ to others, do you and do the best job you can.