How to Start Writing a Blog
It seems like everyone these days has their own blog. Whether it’s a notable celebrity keeping their fans informed of their career or a soccer mom that enjoys showing off her crafting projects, you may be wondering how to start writing a blog of your own. In this article, we’ll give an overview of all the considerations, as well as the general nuts and bolts to get your blog up and running.
What’s Your Blog About?
The first thing you should consider when writing is the obvious: What will you be writing about? Blogs have evolved significantly from their early origins of being a repository for the personal thoughts of lonely web dwellers. Depending on your purpose, you can blog for fun or profit—there really isn’t a wrong way to blog. If you’re interested in the finer points of how to start writing a business-oriented blog, check out our previous article, “Blogging for Business”.
Nevertheless, if you want your blog to resonate with a large audience, then your blog has to be about something. Try to avoid having a scattershot blog. The fact of the matter is that some bloggers have multiple blogs, each for their own purpose. Don’t muddy the waters. If so, you may confuse your audience on what your intentions are…
Consider Your Audience
If you want to appeal to a wide audience, it helps to have a game plan for blogging. There’s two approaches to attaining an audience:
- You are a dynamic enough person that your life, thoughts, and ruminations are worthy of being read.
- You have a business model from the get-go, looking to use a blog’s inherent up-to-date function to persuade an audience to read your works on a regular basis.
Think of your ideal reader. What do you want that person to think about your work? Are you trying to keep people abreast of your newest projects, or do you want to publish white papers (explanatory how-to’s) to show the public that you have a working knowledge of topics that they’re interested in.
Keeping Up the Content
It’s easier to answer how to start writing a blog, but it is more elusive to answer how to keep writing a blog. If you don’t have any serious plans beyond seeing your thoughts on the screen, then this shouldn’t be a concern. However, if your blog is part of your business (or side business), you need to consider how to keep your content up to date.
There are implications of blogs that seem like they’ve been abandoned. For instance, if you’re trying to prove that you’re an industry leader, a blog that hasn’t been updated in months or years sends a message that you may not be what you claim to be. This is especially true if you work in a tech-related field, where blogs serve as a crucial piece of the PR pie (tied in with social media, of course).
The key to blogging is to have a consistent rhythm. If you post once a week, you can ensure that your ideal regular visitors would check your blog out a least weekly. If you post more often, you’ll not only attain a wider audience, but your search engine rankings will rise accordingly. This is because your blog will seem more relevant than your competition. This regularity is a key element of search-engine optimization, or SEO. For more info on the finer points of SEO, be sure to educate yourself here.
Some writers like to create a large amount of content beforehand. After they have a significant bulk of work, they use automation to release each on a set schedule.. Whether you create those blog posts in sequence yourself or outsource your work to subcontractors, the fact remains that you must be consistent in your approach to keep a steady audience.
How to Start Writing a Blog: The Nuts and Bolts
If you’re ready to start your blog, the process is simple:
- Pick out a domain name
- Find a webhost
- Modify your blog for your desired visual impact
- Post new content
There’s variations on these four steps:
- Pick out a domain name: Your domain name directs traffic towards your blog. The more apropos your name is, the more likely that people will remember your name and remember what your blog actually is about. Free services, like Blogspot and WordPress, offer ways to get your blog up and running, but remember that your domain will have a “.wordpress.com” added to the end. Paying for a domain allows you have an unadorned website that looks more professional.
- Find a webhost: If you’ve chosen the free services, you don’t have to worry about finding a webhost. However, if you’ve purchased a domain name (typically for year), you must find a web host to hold the files and info that will make up your blog. HostGator, Bluehost, and a multitude of hosting services are available. Be sure to shop around to find the hosting service that fits your budget.
- Modify your blog for your desired visual impact: For the free services, you are usually given a few options in terms of templates to choose from. Simply pick one that you think reflects your blog (i.e. a flower pattern for a gardening-based blog) and insert the information into the different pages that make up your website. For the paid services, be prepared to learn a little bit about web development. WordPress is a popular platform for hosting blogs, as you can use their templates as well as modify them with HTML, CSS, and other programming languages to tailor your page.
- Post new content: Last but not least, you begin blogging. Either adding media or text, you begin distributing your thoughts throughout the Internet.
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That about covers the basic of how to start writing a blog. Of course, this is the just beginning of your blogging and you’ll find that the longer you blog, the more you’ll want to fine-tune it for maximum effect. Blogging is a modern way of distributing your message and bootstrapping your business. Join the 21st century and start blogging today!