Many people blog nowadays – in fact, it is probably harder to find somebody who never tried it at least once than somebody who blogs on a regular basis. Some do it in hope to earn money, others believe they have something valuable to tell the world, still others consider it to be a fun way to pass the time and meet new people. However, irrespective of what your motives are, if you are an absolute newbie, you are probably asking yourself: how do I start? Let’s try to answer that question.
1. Decide on the Niche
You cannot blog about nothing in particular. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t expect for anybody to be interested in reading your ramblings on random subjects. The first question you need to ask when you try to decide how to start a blog is not a technical one, but that of content.
Can I write something that will be interesting for a wide audience? Am I passionate about this subject and will I be able to continue writing about it for years to come? What is this audience going to be like? What are their needs and wants, and can I adequately address them? Do I have anything new to add in my chosen niche? Will I be able to keep on producing content on this topic for a hundred posts? Three hundred?
Ultimately, new bloggers must define their niche, and as they say, the rest will take care of itself.
2. Don’t Start a Blog for Free
A variety of websites will offer you a possibility of starting a blog for free in a matter of minutes. This offer looks incredibly tempting, and perhaps you may try it out – just to see if you are cut out for this blogging life and are capable of writing on a regular basis.
However, all free blog platforms have serious downsides: you won’t be able to earn money, they have poor security, you don’t have real control over your blog and, when all is said and done, it simply doesn’t belong to you.
It is much better to go the whole hog from the very beginning and start a standalone blog – this way you won’t have to migrate it later on.
3. Brainstorm a Name
The name of your blog should be memorable, unique and, ideally, immediately suggest the topics covered by the blog. Be patient and don’t rush picking a blog name because once you’ve started blogging under a specific domain, it becomes troublesome to change.
Discuss names with your family and friends, generate a list of options, let your ideas percolate your psyche, and make a final decision in a week or two. You are bound to stumble upon something you will absolutely love.
4. Choose a Blogging Platform
The absolute majority of blogs on the Internet use WordPress as their platform – and it is certainly easy to learn, reliable, flexibility and ultimately the best blogging tool out there.
The best part is that you can quickly set up a blog without any technical knowledge whatsoever and without the need to hire a specialist to do it for you. If you are an absolute beginner, there is certainly no better option out there, especially given the number of resources available for the open-source software.
5. Learn from Your Would-Be Competitors
Before starting your own blog, be sure to check out other bloggers in the niche you intend to enter. Ask yourself whether you are capable of offering your future readers something that isn’t already present on the market. Consider what you should do to be up to this task.
Blogging is a fascinating and quickly developing activity, whether you do it for business or pleasure. Starting out correctly and avoiding mistakes characteristic of beginners will certainly make your way across the competitive world of blogging a much more pleasurable one – so don’t be afraid of beginning. A lot of things will become clearer as you go along.
Featured photo credit: BLOG/Thomas Hawk via flickr.com