Blogging has grown massively in popularity over the last couple of decades. It was a relatively obscure concept until the late 90s, yet today there are millions of blogs updated regularly, and driving some enviable traffic.
There are blogs covering all topics imaginable, from broad political blogs to niche animal-related blogs – in essence, there is something out there for every reader and the number of articles you would be interested in reading keeps growing.
All of this makes blogging an amazing hobby, passive income source, and even career – bloggers who have made a career of their website have somewhere along the line morphed into influencers, and some of them are well known figures in their niche and among a certain community.
If you asking yourself if you should start a blog – the answer is likely yes. All you need is something to talk about.
You may feel that everything has already been written about, and while that is true, you can always find a new angle on a story – after all, you will be talking from your own personal perspective and experience, which means you will always have something unique.
Here are a few things to have in mind if you decide to join the blogosphere.
The Idea Comes First
Starting a blog is very simple and it is something you can do in a few steps – when it comes to the technical side of things.
However, first, you will need a general idea of the things you want to write about. I can’t help you with that, but think about the things you are passionate about, the things you feel you can talk a lot about, an area you are an expert in, and flesh out an angle you feel might work.
After you have the idea, you can put together a list of topics you are going to cover, write up a few articles, and work on actually getting the blog online.
There are three key steps to starting a blog: choosing a name; launching it; and promoting it.
Choosing a Name
Choosing a name for your blog is something you need to give some serious and lengthy thought. This name is going to be your blog’s identity, its image, its brand; you do not want to look back further down the line and regret settling for a name you were not 100% sure of.
Your blog’s name should be short and concise, yet descriptive and informative. Your reader should know what your blog is about by just reading its name. Don’t focus too much on trying to fit words such as ‘cooking’ or ‘dog’ into your cooking- or dog-related blogs; you don’t need to have ‘cooking’ in your blog name to let your readers know its cooking-related.
If you are writing a more personal blog instead of something based on a specific niche, why not use your name? This gives your blog more credibility and is a great way to get yourself known, especially if you are interested in chasing a career in writing. When you have decided on a name, register it with a domain name registrar, so you can use it as your blog’s website link.
Getting a blog online is super easy, it can be done in minutes. You don’t need to know how to code, don’t worry. You don’t need to host a server in your outhouse. You don’t need to pay a lot of money for a developer to do it for you. In fact, you don’t need anybody but yourself.
There are lots of blog hosting companies online and these services allow you to set up a blog in minutes, use your own domain name with them and store all of your files on their servers. Popular blog hosting solutions include WordPress (by far the world’s most popular platform) and Blogger, owned by Google. Using a blog host is a much better alternative to hosting it yourself, and there is no shame in it either; some of the world’s biggest names (including Disney) use WordPress as a hosting solutions.
All blog hosts are different, so I recommend perusing their websites to get an idea of their services. There are plenty of in-depth guides online, too.
Promoting Your Blog
When you are all set up, have settled on a theme and have produced a few blog posts, you will want to start promoting your blog to the world and building up a loyal following of readers. When you first start blogging, you need to spend some significant time promoting the blog and getting your name out there.
There are plenty of ways to promote your blog, but by far the best and most modern way to do this is through social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or any other social media platforms. Not only can your friends and family see your blog, but the entire world can too if you set up a page for it and post to it regularly.
If you have some money to spare, why not create some engaging ads for your blog and publish them through Facebook’s paid advertising tool? This is a great method to reach a target audience relatively cheaply and start to get people interacting with your page. You do not need to spend a lot, and as people begin to interact with your page with likes, comments and shares, your overall exposure will increase, and more people will be able to find you.
When you have a truly great blog with a large pool of regular readers, it can quite easily turn into a full-time occupation which can earn you a good income. There is no reason why you cannot do this if you are willing to put in the time and effort to create something worth reading. There are plenty of resources on the internet which can teach you more about blog monetization, but we recommend focusing on creating a good organic blog first, where profit is not your priority.