So you have decided to start your own blog? You’ve seen it all over the internet, maybe a friend of yours has one and you can’t wait to jump right into it. Maybe you love writing about things, about your day or about the latest book you read over the weekend. The reasons for wanting or starting a blog are numerous but what so many new bloggers don’t know is the time and work that goes into making one.
When I first started out I had no idea about blogging. With years of practice (I first started out in 2011) and doing and undoing blogs, with trial and a lot of errors, here is a rundown of what I learnt.
1. Get the name right.
My first blogs name was “The Bookshelf”. I had started out with an idea of wanting to write book reviews. The idea was pretty simple and the name fit right. I’d read a book and write a review on it and post it online. It worked great until I wanted to expand my niche. I wanted to write about seminars and workshops I attended. I wanted to write inspirational and lifestyle articles. But once you name your blog specifically for one niche, it gets hard to break out of that and expand. It’s always important to name your blog something abstract, something that wouldn’t necessarily push you into one certain type of blog post. Having the name “That Zen Blog” helps me to write on anything without having the audience forming an opinion on what to expect from my blog.
Make the name unique and something that is personal to you. Your blog is a part of you on the internet. Don’t try to be something you are not just for the sake of a jazzy name.
Don’t know what to name your blog? There are many name generating websites available online that give out a host of names for you to choose on.
2. Content matters.
After everything is said and done, the only thing that is going to get people to visit your blog is your content. Know what you want to write about. Have an idea about your target audience. What kind of writing style are you going to maintain? What tone do you want your blog to give to your audience?
Be original with your content. Plagiarism is something you definitely don’t want to be accused off. Write quality content that you will be proud of.
Use eye-catching titles and pictures but no click-bait. Nobody likes clickbait. Use pictures that are relevant to what you are writing about. NEVER use pictures for which you do not have the copyright. I know it is very easy to pick a picture off google and put it in your blog, not only is this stealing somebody else’s work but can also get you into legal trouble. I usually get my photos from free image websites like Pexels.
3. Social Media
The only way people are going to visit your blog is if they know about it. When I first started out I never used social media as a marketing tool. I’d write something with full enthusiasm but nobody would visit. It was only much later when I realized that no one will automatically visit your site and I began marketing myself. Put that link everywhere.
My favourite social media to use is Twitter. With accounts that retweet and hashtags it is a pretty simple tool as long as you know how to word yourself. Instagram is another social media that comes in helpful in marketing. Be consistent and active on social media and gain a following. This guarantees a steady viewership for your blog posts.
4. Planning your blog posts.
There will come a time when you are full of ideas. Note these down in that moment of inspiration. This is will come in helpful when you go through the writers-block phase. Whenever I think of an idea I make a note of it on my phone because it’s usually forgotten in a few minutes. All blogging platforms have the option to schedule posts in advance, this makes blogging easier especially if you have a ton of ideas that you want to write about but don’t have the time. Need inspiration during writers-block? Check Pinterest and create a board only for your blog The website is full of ideas, tips and tricks to help you get better at blogging.
5. Do not do it for the money.
I know there are many bloggers who make money from their blogs through sponsored posts, advertisements or affiliate links. But these are experienced bloggers who know the game and who have been blogging for years. If you are brand new to blogging do not only join for the money. Chances are you won’t make a penny. It takes hard work and patience to build content that people would be ready to pay money for. Blog because it is a passion and on the way, you might make a buck or two.
Enjoy your blog and welcome to the blogosphere. Why did you start blogging? Have you learnt anything new about blogging once you started? Let’s learn from each other.