How to Start A Blog?
Are you looking for information on how to start a blog?
Hmmm, which are you looking for? Advice on what to write in your first blog post? – I provide that below under Why Start A New Blog? My Personal Reasons
Or maybe you want the practical steps to follow when starting a new blog? – I provide some of the basics for that now too so feel free to scroll down to Practical Steps to start a Blog 😉
Regardless of what information you are looking for let me just say one thing:
Yes you are probably about to start a new journey if you are thinking about starting a blog, but there is no need to be anxious about it. Blogging is a fabulous thing to do and it is very forgiving of any ‘mistakes’ you might make….
For example, when writing this post originally I called it New Year, New Blog. After learning more about blogging I changed the post a bit to provide an example of how I start a new blog. In other words providing advice on what to write in that first post. Now this post has changed again to include some practical steps to help you get started.
Why tell you this? Well just to let you know that writing a blog is a continual process of learning and change. Even if you don’t do it ‘right’ at first you can always adjust things, so don’t turn your head inside out trying to get it right straight away. There are very few rights and wrongs when it comes to blogging. A blog is YOUR space to do with as you wish.
Regardless of how long you spend learning what to do and how to do it there is no better way to learn than just going for it. As you start writing you will find your blog takes on a life of its own. You can plan everything down to the last detail regarding the topic, the structure and appearance only to change them later. Believe me when I say your blog will develop as your skills develop, and your skills will only develop when you write a blog. There is nothing else that compares to the experience….
To help you take that first step and start your blog here are my ‘words of wisdom’ on the topic:
Why Start A Blog? My Personal Reasons
When you decide to start a new blog it can be difficult to know what to write for that first post. Personally I like to just explain about why I have started the blog and what I intend to write about. My personal reasons are:
For those who don’t know me already I have been blogging now for several years. I have struggled with it sometimes though. You see I keep trying to have a new blog for each particular thing that I am doing. Then I start doing something else and I can’t blog about it unless I open another new blog. You can see where this is going, right? I start a new one, then I end up with too many blogs. With lots of different ones I can’t update them all…..so it all falls apart.
Recently however, I have been using a kind of social media mini blog site where I just post whatever I feel like. Unfortunately that site is looking like it might fall apart, and I will lose that option. All is not lost though, when I went out for a walk today it suddenly struck me that I should just open one blog where I can post all my ramblings – Hey Presto here it is! Now I just need to figure out how to combine everything I want to talk about in the one place…..
So what am I likely to be writing about? Apart from general brain farts of thoughts which will no doubt take up much of my writing time, I will be discussing online earning, health, business, what I have been up to and my general focus of the day or week or month.
I tend to discuss things linked to mental health, physical health and how I personally overcome many of the problems I tend to face because of both of these. My various attempts at starting a business, the crafting I do and quite a lot about online earning and selling are also likely to come up as I write.
So that is what I am hoping will feature in this blog. Lets see how it develops shall we?
Why Change A Post?
The small section above was my original post when I started this blog. As you can see this single post has changed a lot. After learning more about things like search engine optimisation I started to tweak this post to help increase traffic from search engines. I changed the title several times and added a lot more information. Search engines like that kind of thing….
Apart from that it is good practice when writing a blog to review your posts regularly. Once you see how many times a post gets read you have information about that post. Perhaps it is not very popular in comparison to other posts. Maybe changing a word here and there will help it be found more often….
Basically you learn how people react and then you can adjust it a little at a time. Its very unlikely you get it perfect the first time around!
Update June 2017 – Practical Steps to start a Blog
This new blog has developed pretty well now, and I provide a lot of work from home type info. If you are thinking about starting your own blog you might like to consider the following:
Why do You Want to Start A Blog?
There are all sorts of reasons to start a blog. It could be to have a public place to express your thoughts for example. If you would like to be able to discuss a topic you are passionate about with others who are also interested in that topic, a blog is a great way to do that. Perhaps you want to develop better writing skills? A blog can certainly help you improve those skills. Maybe you want to use a blog as a way to promote a product or service? Or as a way to create an income in its own right?
There are many different reasons to start a blog as you may have guessed by now. It is important to know what your own reasons are as this will influence certain aspects. If you want to use a blog to create an income for example you will probably want to know how to add advertising services like Adsense. If you want to boost sales of a product you might want to know how to add payment processing links such as a buy now button.
Regardless of the actual reason you want to start a blog you need to know why you want to do it. If you don’t know the purpose you can’t tailor it to suit that purpose, therefore I advise sending some time thinking about that BEFORE you start.
Make sure you can answer the questions “What do I want my blog to do for me?” AND “What do I want my blog to do for my readers?” The answers are likely to be very different.
My Benefits of Blogging post can be helpful if you are unsure of your purpose.
Importance of the Blog Name
There are a few things to know before you settle on a blog name. Firstly, does the name include words that people might search for? Although it is not necessary to have topic related words in the name of your blog it can help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). That means making your blog more likely to appear in search results.
As you can see this blog does not have search terms in the title- People are not likely to search for Truly Quirky Me when they want to work from home (unless they have heard about my blog). My reason for this is because I want to keep it open enough to include many different topics. That is my whole point for starting a new blog after all.
When choosing a blog name it is also a good idea to do some searches with the potential names you come up with. You might find a blog with that name already exists in which case you might want to think again.
Choosing Your Blog Address
Just like your blog name you will want to spend a bit of time thinking about the blog address you want to use. The blog address is how people will find your blog so it should be something memorable. It also needs to be a reasonable length. Remember that you want your visitors to type it. It is much easier to type www.trulyquirkyme.com rather than www.ellieblogsattrulyquirkyme.com right? And www.tqm.com might get mixed up with www.tom.com!
Checking Your Chosen Blog Address
Next you need to check if the blog address you have chosen is available. Unfortunately the chances are high that you will think of the PERFECT name and address for your blog only to find its been used already. There are ways you might be able to get this ‘perfect’ address but most people simply think of another one.
To check if a blog address is available you need to use a domain name provider. There are hundreds of providers available, but they all have a full list of the addresses (or domains) that are already being used. Personally I highly recommend either Global Domains International or Bluehost. They are both paid services which are very reasonable and will grow with you if and when your blog develops. They are both great for beginners and professionals alike as well. In addition, if you want to earn from writing a blog I can advise you and help you gain an income from Global Domains International – In my opinion you might as well make a little cash at the same time as writing a blog as not 😉
For more information about that you might like to read Want Cheap Website Hosting Fees? My Provider Pays Me!
Regardless of the domain name provider you choose usually you simply type the address you want in a search box. When you click the search button you get the result. Either it is available or it is not. If it is available you will then be prompted to register that address, if not then just search again.
Registering Your Domain
When you get to this point it is time to actually create the address you want to use for your blog. It doesn’t exist until you register the domain. There is usually a cost associated with registering the domain you want to use, and this can vary a lot depending on the company you use.
After searching for your chosen address and found it to be available there will be site specific instructions available from that provider on how to go ahead and register.
Designing your Blog
For me this is a very exciting part of writing a blog. It is where you can let your creative ideas flow and just try lots of different things. You can change the colours, the fonts, the images, the layout, the structure, decide if you want menus, multiple sections or just one etc etc. All of that kind of stuff is controlled in your ‘back office’. If like me the first time you look at your back office you think you will never figure it out. It does take a little time to learn what bit does what. Personally I just play around with the settings and figure out what they do, but I know some people prefer actual instructions!
In my free blogging mastery course I do offer some guidance regarding design and other useful tips:
Don’t miss my Free Blogging Mastery Course.
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