Blogging has become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information. More people have been turning this activity into a full-time job and making a living off of it. You’re probably wondering how to start a blog and what the first steps of creating and writing posts are. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you figure out the basics, it will be a piece of cake.
Bloggers share their thoughts and opinions about specific topics and interests with an audience. They distribute information through research, writing, publishing and sharing articles. Blogs are great for expressing yourself and developing your passion.
Choosing a platform
The first step to starting a blog is choosing a blog platform. This is where you’ll be posting, writing articles and interacting with your audience. The most popular blogging platforms are:
- WordPress.org – the world’s most popular blogging software. It’s super simple and easy to use. You are free to do anything you want and customise it as much as you need. They also offer powerful tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking.
- Blogger – this easy to use blog hosting service was created for non-tech-savvy users. It’s free and simple to manage.
- Tumblr – this tool is quite different from the tradition blogging platforms. It’s a combination of a social network and blog. It’s also free and easy to use. It allows you to quickly blog videos, images or GIFs.
- Medium – this platform has grown into a large community of bloggers and experts. This is great for starters since there is no setup required and no coding skills are needed. Here you can focus mostly on writing, instead of designing a website.
As a beginner, you may want to start with a simple platform to get the hang of things. You don’t need to be a tech expert to blog; anyone can make one. It takes time to adjust and learn how to use each platform, but once your blog grows, you’ll see improvement.
Choosing your blog name
Your blog name is the first thing your followers will be seeing. Make sure you choose a name that is unique and relates to your niche. It should catch peoples attention, while also not being too flashy or over the top. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but try to make it original. Stand out! Remember that it should be easy to remember and non-offensive to anyone.
The reason your audience will be reading your blog is your content. Focus on informing your reader about the specific topic you choose. Think outside the box, keep it interesting, but also keep it simple. Don’t force difficult vocabulary- the reader cares about your actual content, not words they don’t know meanings of.
In order to know what type of content to post, you have to choose what type of blog you’re going to have.
There are many types of blogs:
- lifestyle – these blogs cover a variety of topics, from everyday activities to beauty or finance. Lifestyle blogs are great because you don’t have to limit yourself to one category and you have a broader audience.
- food – sharing recipes, pictures of meals you cook, reviewing restaurants are just a few things food bloggers discuss.
- travel – travel experiences inspire travel bloggers to write about them and capture the moments. Visiting new places is their biggest passion.
- music – music blogs discuss new music releases, rank albums, share their own work or write about instruments and music equipment.
- beauty – these blogs test out products and review them, discuss skincare trends and all topics in the beauty industry.
- fashion – showing off fashion looks, covering the latest trends and fashion shows are some things you can do on a fashion blog. Fashion bloggers usually collaborate with clothing brands and model their items.
Discovering your niche is important because it determines what you will be writing about and the type of audience you’ll have. Think about what you love doing and what you’re best at. Keep in mind that you’ll be posting about this topic consistently, so make sure it indeed is something you enjoy researching and writing about.
This is the fun and creative part of running a blog. It’s up to you to decide which theme to choose and how your blog will look. Keep your aesthetic simple and not too crazy or over the top. It should look professional while also having your signature style. There are many themes available that are easy to customise and navigate. If your audience has trouble with moving around on your website or clicking on links, they will probably give up and just exit your page. User experience is just as valuable as the actual appearance of the blog, so make it as simple as possible.
Figuring out your target audience can be hard at first. It all depends on your niche and what interests your followers the most. Remember to post what you want, but try to match your content with the type of content your audience enjoys. If you post about beauty related topics, you should know that your main audience is teenagers and young adults. Eventually, you will notice who your main target audience is, and new followers will be discovering you through others. Once you gain a stable group of followers, they will continuously be returning to your blog based on the previous content you posted.
Huge paragraphs and thousands of written words aren’t exactly appealing to most readers. It’s best to divide your writing into smaller fragments and make it interesting by adding graphics. You can try pictures, videos or even GIF’s, depending on what type of post you are adding. All graphics can transform the look of your blog into something very intriguing.
Keep it interesting!
Show the world what makes your blog different from everybody else’s. Have a unique perspective on your blog topic, and you’re guaranteed to have a lot of curious followers. It isn’t always easy to be original, but it is definitely worth it. Think outside of the box.
Once you gain an audience, you have to keep it. Posting regularly and even creating a posting schedule will make blogging so much easier and more organised. Prepare and plan posts ahead of time instead of last-minute writing. Consistency is the key to success.
Once you’ve started blogging and got the hang of it, you can consider monetising your blog and making a living off of it. Sponsored articles, ads, reviews and affiliate links are some examples of ways you can start earning money and collaborating with brands. Try to see what brings the best results and which options to avoid. Focus on the content and quality of your blog instead of only earning money, and soon enough brands will be reaching out to you.
Sponsored posts are paid for by brands who are trying to promote their product or service and reach out to bloggers that are able to reach their target audience. The collaboration fee is either in the form of a barter or money/products.
Ads are usually in the form of testing out a product, similar to reviews. A brand might ask you to post a picture of a product and promote it. Sometimes a brand may want a longer post reviewing a product or service. Again, this all depends on the deal with the brand you’re collaborating with and what their expectations are. Don’t expect them to offer you thousands right away, but you should know how much to charge. Many factors determine this:
1. Your target group
Brands prefer to invest in bloggers that are able to reach their potential customers. If a brand is marketing a brand new makeup line, they will try to collaborate with beauty bloggers or influencers.
2. Your influence
If you would consider your blog to have a large audience, you can automatically charge more for posts. Sharing a brand’s work will bring it exposure and is one of the best ways to gain popularity as a blogger. This is why social media influencers are so successful with sales.
3. Your experience
Being a newbie to blogging might stop you from earning a lot at first. Having years of experience in blogging allows you to charge more for ads and sponsorships. Working with numerous brands helps you have an established position on the market and shows brands you know how to win over customers.
4. Your creativity
Is your approach to certain products and services unique? Original ideas and creative projects will distinguish you from the rest. Brands look for new and fresh ideas that will shock their audience (in a positive way of course).
Remember to keep information someone on your blog letting brands know that you are open to offers and willing to collaborate. Do this in moderation, though. Spam of ads and sponsored posts will make your audience less trustworthy and unwilling read your blog.
If you find it difficult to manage everything yourself, there are also a ton of websites that offer bloggers help with investments and statistics. Here are a few:
- Whitepress.net – a platform on which bloggers can provide their services and invest in their posts.
- Indahash – a website dedicated to social media influencers where they can sell their posts’ advertising space.
- GroupHigh – they provide numerous statistics for social media influencers.
- Pressboard – they collect entries for creating content for a particular project.
- BlogVertise – a site dedicated to content and sponsored articles.
In conclusion, starting a blog is only intimidating at first, but it isn’t too hard to do. Remember that you started your blog because of your passion for a particular topic. Being too hard on yourself to do well and post a lot can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Once you start monetising, keep in mind that blogging isn’t all about making money, but of course, it’s a great benefit to be able to make a living off of your hobby. It takes time, patience and hard work to become successful and reach your goals. Starting and running a blog is as simple as you make it.
Use your original ideas and be confident in what you write about. The rest will come easily!