Hi, friends! You may be wondering what blogging is and why so many people are doing it. And the next question is inevitably, should I start a blog too? Each person you ask will have a different answer for you.
What’s my answer for you?
Go for it!
Blogging can be a fun way to express your creative self. You get to experiment with:
- Time Management
- Stress Management
Not to mention, you can make money on the side! Yes, you can! It’s not easy though. Nothing worth while is easy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t join the millions in their quest to change the world one blog post at a time. Have I made money from my blog? No. Not yet. But I intend to! Why? Because writing is what I love. I do it every day anyways, so why not share it with the world and make some extra pocket change while I do!
Now let’s get into the basics of how to start your own blog.
Pick A Hosting Site
I highly recommend doing your research here. There are many different options. What did I do? I started with WordPress.com because it’s free. I then failed to do my research and signed up for a yearlong domain contract for Antiquarius.org under wordpress.com, which means I had my own domain name, but was still operating out of wordpress.com. It cost me quite a bit of money and I was still limited in all the things I could do on my blog. About a month into this, I realized my disillusionment and conceded that I had made a mistake. It happens.
Anyone you talk to about getting into serious blogging will tell you don’t start with wordpress.com. Instead they direct you to wordpress.org, which is a sister site that is run a little different. Through the .org version, you can download a program to operate from, but you will need to buy your own domain through a separate hosting site. The advantages to this are: It’s cheaper, you have full run of your domain with fewer rules, more design options, and more opportunities to monetize. The disadvantages? If you are new to blogging, you might not want to pay for a domain right off the bat. Especially if you are just starting out.
I recommend you do start with wordpress.com just to get your creative fins wet and see how it all works. Once you are comfortable with the free version of blogging and have built up a reader base, no matter how small, then you can consider moving into the big games and buying your own domain through a separate site.
This is a basics post, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Just do some googling and pick an option you feel would work best for you at this point in your life. I chose wordpress.com. You can choose whichever platform you’d like.
Pick a Niche
This is where I sort of went all aquarius and said “F that! I can do what I want!”. I chose not to niche, and I now realize after one full year of blogging, that niching is pretty darn important. Why is having a niche important? Because people come to your site for certain things. That might be an interest in cooking, painting, bullet journaling, writing, or how to market. If you have posts that do not relate to the topic they are currently interested in reading about, chances are good they aren’t going to click through to another post of yours, and you’ve lost a reader.
For example, if I was a cooking blog and only 1/3 of my posts were about cooking while the rest were about makeup and how to fix cars, chances are good no one is going to stick around. I know it’s tempting to write on everything that interests you. Don’t do it! I am speaking from personal experience! This year, 2019, I need to rebrand my blog so that I fit a niche. Because my viewer retention is just not doing well. People come and read one post and then disappear. I want people to come and read one post, then read another, and another. You can’t do that if your post topics are all over the board. Stick to one topic you know well.
The hardest thing about blogging is blogging. It’s great when you have a good writing day. You get a couple posts banged out, sit back and take a righteous sip of coffee, thinking well, that’s it! I’m done! But the key to having a blog is to be consistent. Blogging is writing. So if you aren’t doing the work, you aren’t going to see much progress. What happens on the bad days when you have nothing to write about and nothing sounds good to you? On those bad days, you are still a writer, and you are still a blogger. Just power through the writer’s block and get those words out. You can always edit later. But you can’t edit what’s not there.
I like to set scheduled posts for when I hit these uninspired days. That is, when I am on a writing roll, I write on all the topics I want to and then stagger then so they fall once a week. That way, if I have a bad day or a bad week, I still have content to post and I never have to feel like I am letting myself or my readers down. This helps relieve the stress of omg I don’t have a blog post for this week. Shiiiiiit.
But don’t be fooled. Blogging looks easy, sure, but it’s a lot of writing. It’s a lot of sitting there hunched over your computer with a hurting back and blurry eyes trying to figure out how best to word that thought you’ve had in your head. It’s not all glamorous like those minimalist coffee photos want you to believe. Don’t get me wrong, it is fun, but it’s also work.
Interact With Others
You can reference my post 5 Ways To Get More Active Readers for more information on this. Everyone always wants people to interact with their blog. They write this post they think is really great and then they sit there waiting for the views and comments to flow in. But often, this doesn’t just happen. Unless you have an established reader base, you are going to have to do more work in order to gain those views and comments. How? You visit other blogs just like yours. You leave nice comments. You introduce yourself in those comments to form a personal connection. It’s so easy to forget that each blog has a real life flesh and blood human behind it.
I recommend joining a few blogging or writing communities on facebook and pinterest. There are tons. All you have to do is look around until you find one that suits you and your blog’s style. These communities often have promotion posts where you can post your latest blog post or new social media site in exchange for visiting others as well. It’s this give and take relationship that helps many young bloggers grow.
And remember; be the sort of blogger you want to see out there in the world. Be kind to people.
I do recommend adding personality to your posts. After all, there are thousands of bloggers out there. You need to make sure that the posts in the niche you are writing about stand out from the others. Have fun with it, don’t get too obsessed with perfection. Just let it unfold naturally. Success takes a long time. I mean a really really long time. You just have to be patient. You are not going to see 10k views overnight. Make sure to set your expectations low so that you don’t get discouraged and quit. This project is first and foremost for you. If you aren’t having fun while doing it, then why do it at all?
Are you a new blogger? Go ahead and introduce yourself in the comments section! Was this post helpful? Share your thoughts!
Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!