So you want to start a blog? Of course you do, it’s one of the most enjoyable pursuits out there, right? Plus, you’ve heard it’s a surefire way to get rich quick without even getting out of your pyjamas, haven’t you
How to start a blog – begin with these questions
Starting a blog is really
A lot of this advice can quickly become confusing, and many people give up on their blogging dreams before they even start. This is a real shame, as it doesn’t have to be as hard as it can first seem.
However, before you even start out along this road, there are a few things you need to make sure of. So, you want to start a blog? Great, but first, it’s time to ask yourself some questions about your goals and ideas.
Why are you doing this?
Really though, why do you want to start a blog? Is it for a hobby or a creative outlet? If so, great, you’re on the right lines. Is it because you think you’ll make millions from it in your first year? If that’s the case then you need to backtrack a little and adjust your expectations.
Yes, it’s possible to make an income from your writing, as I discussed in this post, but it takes real time, effort and perseverance. Plus, you have to really love writing, otherwise this blogging thing you want to jump straight into is going to become little more than a fun fad that quickly burns out.
Bottom line, if you’re only in it for the idea of money, you might as well stop right here before you get any further.
What kind of writer are you?
Notice I said ‘writer’. This is because blogging and writing are slightly different to me. I can’t stress this point strongly enough, but this is my opinion, not a statement of fact. Bit of a disclaimer there in case the blogging crew come after me with some serious @-ing on Twitter after reading this.
Anyway, blogging, to me, is more of a daily life-based, opinion driven genre, where you document your thoughts and experiences in something of a serialisation of your lifestyle. This is a fast-paced, interesting way to gain an insight into another person’s world; the best bloggers give you glimpses into their lives, their families and their experiences through their content. Bloggers are experts at sharing their own thoughts and feelings with their audiences.
Writing, for me, is slightly less personal in terms of this insider knowledge. I believe that it’s more of an outlet and a discipline in its own right. For example, I enjoy writing topical content and guides on topics I’m interested in, such as rugby or curly hair. They’re no less personal to me because I wrote them, but they’re not slices of my daily personal life in the same way that blog posts
I view myself more as a writer than a
So, are you a writer or a blogger? There’s no right or wrong answer, but it will help you to decide on the style of work you want to create in the long-term if you can work this out now.
Do you actually enjoy writing?
Similar to point one, but if you’re someone who wants to start a blog purely for the potential money involved, then you’re not going to get that far. The same applies for your actual content. Do you enjoy writing? It really, really helps if you do. If you’re not that keen on it in the first place then it goes without saying that starting a blog probably isn’t going to be for you.
But, if you do enjoy writing and think you can create interesting, well-crafted articles that others will enjoy reading, then you’re on the right track!
The key here is to write because you love to write, but also keep in mind that you should be writing things that others will (hopefully) enjoy reading and/or find useful. Don’t churn out any old tat – nobody wants to read dull content, no matter how frequently it comes out.
Can you make plans and stick to them?
Speaking of frequency, a huge part of starting and running a blog is being able to plan your workload and stick to it. It’s so easy to fall off the horse when it comes to having a blog. Consistency is key. If you’re going to make a real go of this, you need to be able to make plans for when you’re going to write, what you’ll write about, when you’ll post it and how often you’re going to update your site.
This doesn’t mean you have to write and publish every day, or even once a week – but you need to have some sort of plan in place to keep you on the blogging straight and narrow, otherwise you’ll soon find yourself languishing in the pits of creative block with a pretty dry website to show for it.
So, where do you start?
Ok, so you’ve asked yourself some questions and you definitely want to start that blog – great! There’s a whole ream of sites out there that will give you the basics on how to get started, as well as a lot of online ‘courses’ that will try to sway you into parting with your cash in exchange for a walkthrough.
This is not a promotional or sponsored post – when I say you need to check this out, I’m saying you need to check it out. Totally Blogging was clearly created with the intention of being a completely free resource for anyone wanting to start up a blog and learn the in-depth information needed to get going on your blogging journey.
It’s a complete toolkit for anyone who wants to learn the ropes of setting up a blog or website for themselves, right down to the finer details of content and networking.
In short, its your research goldmine.
If you want to know how to start a blog fast, check out Totally Blogging
I’m always a fan of free stuff, but I actually really rate what’s being offered on Totally Blogging. This a genuine recommendation on my part for you to check it out if you are thinking about getting started with your own blog because it has invaluable information that I wish I’d had when I first started.
I’d have learned a lot more, a lot faster had this been available a couple of years back! It’s important to note that the information on Totally Blogging is (obviously) geared more towards those who are planning on blogging, but the tips and advice translate easily for anyone who’s looking to create a content platform that’s not specifically blogging-oriented, such as a magazine, satire or
Are you ready to start a blog?
Taking everything into account, you should have more of an idea by now if you do really want to start a blog. If you’re still on the fence, you can always pop your questions or thoughts down in the comments here or over on Twitter. I’ll try to answer them as best I can!
Anyone can start a blog, but that doesn’t mean everyone should. If you’re serious about starting a blog though, you need to start by asking yourself what you’re passionate about writing.
If this is your main motivation for starting a blog then you might want to rethink things. Blogging is not a one-way ticket to the land of free stuff. However with skill, hard work and a passion for creating good content, it is possible to earn some money from your new blog.
As often as you like, but just make sure that you’re not just churning out filler content all the time. Quality is always better than quantity!
You should blog about whatever you want to…but if you want to get serious about it, you need to consider your audience. Make sure your blog isn’t too general or too personal and provides content people will find helpful.