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Beginner’s Guide: How To Start A Blog In 6 Easy Steps

Beginner’s Guide: How To Start A Blog In 6 Easy Steps

Blogs are big business. Everywhere you look on the internet, you’re faced with weird and wonderful blogs of all different types and conveying lots of great information. You can seem like a small fish in a big pond when it comes to starting a blog, but that by no means should be a reason to not start one. Blogs are a great outlet for thoughts, advice, and creativity, and can even be used to make money.

If you’ve always wanted to start a blog but just weren’t sure where to start, then I’m here to tell you that it’s actually very simple and can be achieved in as little as 20 minutes.

The thing that throws most people off is deciding which platform to build your blog on. There are a plethora of different domain name companies and hosting accounts to choose from which can all seem daunting and can cause you to give up and just “do it later.”

If you want to learn how to start a blog, here are some simple steps to highlight what to expect from the process.

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Step 1: Decide Your Reasons For Starting A Blog

We all start blogs for different reasons. Perhaps it’s an added feature of your business, you have a unique issue that you want to talk about, as a way to allow people to better understand something you’re doing, to offer advice, or just to get yourself published and practice your writing skills.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to know for yourself why you want to start a blog, as this will give you a better drive and sense of direction.

Step 2: Choose A Blogging Platform

This is the most daunting part of how to start a blog as there are many many blogging platforms to choose from. There are two differences when choosing a platform and that is whether or not you want to make money from it or not.

There are sites like Tumblr and Blogger which you can check out but WordPress is by far the most popular. This is because they offer both a free platform and a self-hosted platform and is already used by millions.

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  • Free blogging websites: Free to use and almost no fuss to set up but if you want to make money then this prevents you from doing so. Your blog domain name will usually have the hosts name stuck on the end. Fr example, myrunningblog.wordpress.com.
  • Self-hosted platforms: These cost money to set up and it takes a bit more time but they give you the freedom to make money from them through placing ads and you will pay for an own your own domain name such as myrunningblog.com.

It really depends on whether your blog will be purely personal or if you intend to build it up and make some income from it. The latter will give you greater freedom. If you just want to play around and get a feel for blogging then the free option is probably best. It is possible to transit to a self-hosted platform down the line but this can be a bit tricky (but doable).

If you want to go for the free option then visit any of the blogging sites and sign up for their free options.

wordpress-org-vs-wordpress-com-infographic
    infographic via bluchic.com

    Step 3: Choose a Domain Name

    If you’ve opted for the paid self-hosted platform, then this is where it starts to get exciting. Thinking up a domain name is what will be the first thing that people see and represents your blog and potentially what it’ll be about. For example www.myrunningblog.com is simple and self-explanatory. It’s always a good idea not to pick a name that’s too long – you want people to be able to remember it.

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    Head over to a domain hosting site like DreamHost.com. This is a great site because they set up your domain name and web-hosting at the same time. Alternatively you can choose separate sites for each; it may be cheaper that way but it can be easier to have it all under one hosting umbrella.

    If you want to choose a domain name separately then NamecheapGoDaddyName.com and HostGator are all great places to head to. Some of which also set up web hosting too. You can pay as little as $10 a year for your domain name but prices vary depending on who you decide to go with.

    Step 4: Set Up Your Web Hosting

    Web hosting is basically connecting your domain name to the internet. You are effectively renting space on the world wide web and allowing people to have access to your blog.

    If you haven’t opted for a contained domain name and hosting package then there are a lot of web-hosting sites to choose from. The top three are DreamHostHostGator and BlueHostBlueHost is particularly recommended for WordPress sites and regularly do lower monthly prices. You can pay as little as $4 a month for web hosting. All these have excellent customer service as well so if you need a bit of extra support then they’ll be on hand to help you out.

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    The web-hosters will point you in the right direction for installing your site and if you’ve opted for WordPress this will be really straight forward.

    Step 5: Log in and Set Up Your Theme

    This is where it gets creative! Once you’ve logged into your new site you will be faced with a blank canvas so it’s now that you need to think how you want your blog to look. There are numerous free themes to go for while you think about it, some of which are pretty nice and stylish.

    You can opt to buy various themes and get extra plugins thrown in for free. Take your time to navigate your way around and get used to it all. It may seem over-whelming but just spending a day or two thinking and planning about the way it’ll look will allow you to come to a concrete conclusion to move forward with.

    Step 6: Write Your First Blog Post

    Once you’ve set up your theme and written an About page introducing yourself and what your blog is about, then it’s time to write your first blog post. Here are some tips on how to write the perfect blog post:

    Good-To-Great-Infographic-edit-750x3208
      infographic via webhostingsecretrevealed.net

      Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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      Jenny Marchal

      Freelance Writer

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      Last Updated on April 25, 2019

      How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

      How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

      Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

      Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

      A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

      3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

      Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

      Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

      One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

      Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

      • What’s your ideal work environment?
      • What’s most important to you right now?
      • What type of people do you like to work with?
      • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
      • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
      • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
      • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

      Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

      The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

      Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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      What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

      Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

      What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

      Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

      Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

      Step 3: Read the Job Posting

      Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

      When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

      5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

      The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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      Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

      1. Contact Information and Header

      Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

      Example:

      Jill Young

      Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

      2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

      This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

      Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

      Example:

      Qualifications Summary

      • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
      • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
      • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

      3. Work Experience

      Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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      How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

      For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

      Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

      Example:

      Work Experience

      Theater Production Manager (2018 – present)

      YourLocalTheater

      • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

      4. Education

      List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

      Example:

      Education

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      • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
      • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

      5. Other Activities or Interests

      When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

      Example:

      Other Activities

      • Mentor, Pathways to Education
      • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

      Bonus Tips

      Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

      • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
      • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
      • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
      • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
      • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

      The Bottom Line

      It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

      Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

      Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

      More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

      Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

      Reference

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