You could be just beginning a job as a communications specialist for an important non-profit advancing a vital cause and looking to raise money to continue its philanthropic efforts. Perhaps you are looking to sell a product and are looking for ways to showcase its diverse and varied uses. Or maybe you are simply looking to share your thoughts with other folks who share your common interest.
Whatever the case may be, you have decided to start a blog for professional or personal use. The question now becomes…how do I begin? While not exhaustive, here are five things to consider when starting a blog.
1. Decide what your topic will be about and who you are blogging for. DO NOT FORGET TO COME UP WITH A NAME!
If you are writing for a non-profit, a private wealth management firm or other business organization, your topic will most likely be determined for you. Easy, right?
Well, maybe not. While a company will have established a mission statement about what it would like to achieve, a potential blogger should consider how a blog could help advance that cause. If it takes away your time from other responsibilities, you have to evaluate whether the blog is worth the time spent on creating content.
In addition, before you even begin to blog, think about your target audience. Who are you trying to get to read this blog? Should you write in a more analytical, academic style or focus more on cultivating a casual conversational tone? Should it appeal to the young or old?
If you are beginning a blog from scratch for your own personal use, you will have to think of a topic. The key to establishing a blog that will keep you motivated is to select a topic you already know about. Not only will it be essential to find a topic that you will not abandon, but it will also be more fun once you focus your passions on something that excites you. Once you find that passion, you will be less likely to run out of ideas and are more likely to attract a larger readership.
Lastly, the name of your blog can make a difference. Be sure to create a custom name that entices people to click the page or enter the web address to find out more.
2. Choose a blogging platform—and do not be afraid to try hosting your own website!
Once you have selected a topic for your blog, now is the time to create a blog. The first step in blog creation consists of choosing a blogging platform.
The most common blogging platform is WordPress, but there are more that you can examine and choose from. For instance, Blogger and Tumblr are also popular as well as site platforms such as SquareSpace and HubSpot.
Despite the abundant choices, WordPress remains the easiest because it is easy to set up and free to use. Additionally, it has numerous themes and layouts to make your blog visually appealing. Finally, your content can be shared and commented on easily if WordPress becomes your blogging platform. The bottom line is to choose one you feel comfortable using and to use one that fits to your blogging needs.
However, the question can become how does one choose a blog that stands out from the millions of blogs on the web? The simplest answer to that question can come in the form of hosting your own site.
What is “hosting?” Simply put, it is the company that puts your site on the internet and allows others to see it. There are many providers that you can choose from that allow you to sync it with WordPress so that your web address is an easy-to- follow link rather than a clunky address like yourblog.wordpress.com
A provider like iPage is one of the cheapest means of a provider who gives you a blog domain and hosting site for a little less than $2.50 per month. However, there are more you can find in articles such as this one: https://misshowtostartablog.com/best-webhosting- for-wordpress- blogs How ironic that this also came from a blog!
3. Choose a blogging theme and make your content engaging
After you set up your WordPress blog and find a hosting provider, the next step is to select a blogging theme. Your options include finding an eye-popping theme pre-designed by WordPress or select one you like for $40 on themeforest.net.
In addition, you have to make sure your blog is easy to navigate. If your blog consists of too many options, readers could become overwhelmed or frustrated with the site’s functionality. Make sure it is easy to find older posts or comment on new ones.
In a similar vein to making sure your blog’s functionality fits your professional or personal goals, make sure your posts contain an attention-grabbing headline as well as engage readers by asking questions in the article that allows them to respond and begin a dialogue. If you use pictures, make sure they are high-quality pictures found online or taken with a high resolution camera. If your content is distinctive, your readers will keep coming back for more.
4. Be patient if your blog does not take off right away
The internet contains many voices found on almost any topic. This saturation should not preclude your involvement in this conversation; rather, it should encourage you to provide your own opinion in a thoughtful and convincing way.
If you are looking for a quick profit, a blog might not be for you. Instead, if you are willing to stick to it, you will make it. It can take a long time for your blog to gain recognition, but if you initiate a discussion with other blogs, you can begin to grow your own blog’s relevance and prominence.
5. Promote, promote, promote!
If your blog only spreads by word of mouth or is found on an isolated page of your company’s website, it could take a long time to gain recognition. You need to ensure your blog also maintains a regularly-updated Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account where your users who may be visual or auditory learners may be looking for more unique content. If you are thinking of starting a blog, be sure to provide ways to engage all people who could enjoy reading a lengthy blog post on a topic or reacting to a picture or video. Your blog should be as unique as your readership.
There you have it, our top five things to consider when creating a blog. Ultimately, your blog will never get going if you are not committed to growing along with it. Seek out others’ opinions who have started blogs and learn what you can while making your blog uniquely your own.