It can be a great idea to become a blogger. Then again, it could be something that you quickly change your mind about. If you’re considering this line of work, you should really ask yourself why you want to start a blog. Getting into content marketing, which is what blogging is otherwise known as is fairly easy to do. However, making a success of it takes a lot more time and effort than you might realise.
To add to this, the rise and dominance of social media might have some wondering if blogs are a thing of the past. That’s debatable. Blogs have longevity and can assert expertise over time. Still, there’s a lot to think about if you’re wondering about the best way to share your knowledge and ideas online.
In this post, I’m going to be looking at some things you really need to consider if you’re thinking of starting a blog.
What do you want a start a blog for?
Starting a blog is
With so much conflicting advice, many people give up on their blog idea before they even start. That’s a shame, as it doesn’t need to be that way. The technical aspects of setting up a website can be a bit tricky. However, once you have that organised, the blogging part is fairly straightforward.
Still, before you even start out along this road, there are a few things you need to make sure of. First, you need to ask yourself some honest questions about your goals and ideas.
Why do you want to start a blog?
Why do you really 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 a salary from it in your first year, or even eventually? 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, 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.
The bottom line is if you’re only in it for the idea of money, you might as well stop now 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.
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 creative writing, rugby, curly hair or gaming. 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 are.
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 to your 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.
However, 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. Still, also keep in mind that you should be writing things that others will enjoy reading and/or find useful. Frequent doesn’t necessarily mean good either, so bear in mind the balance between output and quality.
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 writing.
Consistency is key. 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. However, 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.
How do you start a blog from scratch?
Once you’ve asked yourself some questions and decided this is the path for you then you can get started. There’s a whole ream of sites out there that will give you the basics on how to do this. Plus, there’s lots of online ‘courses’ that will try to sway you into parting with your cash in exchange for a walkthrough.
This isn’t necessary though. There’s a wealth of free information out there that can help you set up your website. The technicalities essentially boil down to choosing a platform and hosting solution that you’re comfortable with. Some of these will be more expensive than others, so you really should consider what you need.
My recommendation would be to buy your own domain with a professional-sounding name or alias. Ensure it’s something you won’t want to change a few months down the line.
Once you’ve got your domain, find a hosting provider that can help you get set up with your own WordPress site. The reason I’d suggest doing this as opposed to other platforms is the level of ownership you get.
If you want to know how to start a blog fast, slow things down
Take your time to really evaluate what your needs are. I’ve known people pour hours of time into websites on managed hosting platforms, only to discover that they can’t transfer their content elsewhere when they want to move. Do some research into what you’re actually signing up for when you buy hosting for your website. It really does make a difference long term.
Also, take some steps to learn the ropes of running your own website. It’s a learning curve, and there’s a fair bit of technical know-how that goes into setting up your blog. You’ll need to work on finding a theme, categorising your content, understanding SEO and keeping everything secure. Slow down and take some time to learn if it’s really something you’ve got the time to invest in.
Are you ready to start a blog?
Taking everything into account, you should have more of an idea by now if you 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. I’ll try to answer them as best I can.
Blogging basics FAQ
Anyone can start a blog, but that doesn’t mean everyone should. If you’re serious about it though, you need to start by asking yourself what you’re passionate about writing. Also, define your motivations. What do you want to get out of doing this? Be realistic about your expectations.
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!
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