Some people think blogging is dead today. Why? Well, back in the day, blogs were everything. There was no YouTube or social media. Now, people can get their thoughts out into the world on various social media platforms, post their videos to YouTube or even create their own podcast. But, blogs are still very popular. So, how do you start a blog?
Last year, I did a post about how to start a podcast, which you can read here. I got a lot of comments about it being helpful. So, I figured, why not do the same for a blog?
What is a blog?
This is really the only blog that I run. I manage several other websites, but those are strictly news websites. What’s the difference between a blog and news website? Well, the latter is a publication that gives people, of course, news. News sites are publications that are more formal than blogs and have a more formal writing style. Think CNN.com or the Associated Press.
In contrast, a bog is a regularly updated site that’s written very informally and in a conversational style. In its purest sense, a blog is run by just one person. But, some outlets that are blogs have modified this definition to be run by a group of people.
What’s interesting is that in a day of AI, some news sites are adopting a more blog-like kind of writing style. This way, they’re trying to tell people that, “Yes, this content is written by human beings.” I’m doing this, too. Even with the content that I write for my news websites, I’m using more first person and talking much more informally, so that people who are reading it know that it’s actually coming from a real person. It’s taken some getting used to on my end, but I’m getting there.
How do you start a blog?
Starting a blog is easy. The great thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of gear. For example, if you’re going to start a new YouTube channel or podcast, you have to invest in gear that will give you the kind of quality sound and video you need. But, with a blog, you just need a website, photos and the ability to write.
Tips on how to start a blog:
Pick a blogging platform and hosting platform. You can go the free route, and do something like a Wix.com or WordPress.com blog, but then you won’t really own your domain name and your content will live on someone else’s platform. But, it’s easy and free to get a blog on Wix.com, WordPress.com and a variety of other free blogging platforms. Weebly and Blogger are other popular free blogging platforms for beginners. If you want to own your own stuff, it will be a bit more expensive and complicated. I use WordPress.org and have my site hosted from an outside company. If you go this route, you might want to pick a “WordPress hosted” plan, which many hosting companies offer. Pick a hosting company with good customer support and bandwidth.
Pick a topic. What do you want to blog about? The nice thing about a personal blog, such as mine on this website, is that I can write about any topic. Since this blog is just about me, I can write about everything from the best sunsets in America to music to fashion to podcasting. But, if you want to choose a niche, that’s great, too. For example, you could start a personal blog about cars or football. Just pick a topic that you’re passionate about, so that you don’t get sick of writing about it.
Pick a blog name. This is hard for me. I just went with my name for this blog, Anne Erickson, but the domain is ItsMeAnne.com. Pick a blog name, either your name or something that represents your topic.
Brainstorm blog post ideas. Have some fun coming up with a bunch of different ideas for blog posts. Write down anything and everything that comes to mind, and save it for the future.
Write blog posts. Now, it’s time. Start writing your first blog post. Maybe you want to introduce yourself to your readers. Maybe you just want to talk about the topic of your blog. Whatever it is, start your first blog post, and publish it for the world to see. Also, make sure any images that you use you either own or have permission to use.
Be consistent. You don’t have to write every day. You don’t even have to write every week. But, you do have to write. Make sure to get a post up on a semi-regular basis.
Promote your blog. Market your blog and blog posts to get them out there. Share your blog posts on social media. Ask your friends to share your new blog, too. Also, feel free to hit up people in your community who might want to read the blog. You could even contact local media to try to get some plugs on your new venture.
Most importantly, enjoy your new endeavor. Blog on, my friend.