Starting a blog is now easier than ever. In this article, I would like to share the first steps you’ll need to take in order to start a blog (in the 1990s, “weblog” was shortened to blog). After reading this, you’ll know perfectly well how to start a blog and will be well on your way to publishing content, just like the pros.
Here are the first considerations:
1. Decide on a publishing platform.
Do you want to pay for your blog, or would you like it to be free? There are many free platforms, the only catch is that it will always read as a sub domain (or, your work will always be attached to another’s brand). So, the URL would be http://yourblog.wordpress.com, to take a common example. There are numerous free platforms available. WordPress and Blogger have long dominated the scene. If you’d like people to access your blog via a professional sounding website, at the very least you’ll have to buy a domain (or URL) and have it redirect to your blog platform. 1and1 is a domain registration program I’ve used many times.
2. Choose a name.
This is necessary to set up the subdomain and/or account for your publishing platform. The best idea is to select a name that reflects the kind of writing you’ll be doing, especially if you have a niche. In most cases you can change the name later, but this may affect how your work is perceived and/or your following.
3. Settle on your audience and niche.
This step may be done in conjunction with the previous one. This is important because the most successful blogs all have a niche—it’s what makes interested readers return to your blog. It keeps them loyal to the brand that you’re developing. So who are you writing for? Your mother? Your work team? Your entire social network? You’ll have to custom tailor your content to be appropriate to these audiences and their specific interests.
4. Establish through a publishing strategy.
How often will you publish to your blog—every day, or a few times a week? This is referred to as posting frequency. If you are overly ambitious to start, your audience will soon notice if your posting frequency drops. To build loyal followers, most people expect at least 2-3 posts every week. Of course if you post daily, that will increase your SEO standing, which basically refers to how well you rank on search engines. Whatever you decide, stick with it and remain consistent.
5. Start writing and hit publish!
Finally comes the most fundamental part of blogging—actually creating valuable content. You don’t have to type your work in the platform and hit publish in real time. Most platforms allow you to schedules posts. So you can write 15 entries, stream-of-conscience-style at that cabin in the woods, then enter it into your publishing platform later and space our your posts. Either way you choose to do it, keep it up and stay in the game.