Do you want to start blogging to either share your thoughts on things you’re passionate about or promote products or services? Whatever your goals are, blogging is an excellent way to do all that and more.
When we first started our blog here at Vodien, we didn’t have any idea about blogging or where to begin. Through time and consistent practice, we were able to master the basics of blogging and continuously increase the frequency and quality of our blog posts to make more relevant content for our audience.
One thing we’ve learned is that creating a blog is quite easy and doesn’t require a background or expertise in programming at all. In fact, the entire process of blogging including the tools used, is pretty straightforward and automatic if you just know how. This blog will guide you through the steps to successfully start your own blog.
6 Steps to Start Blogging
1. Think of topics that you love
You should ask yourself: What are the things you’re interested in that you’d like to share with your readers. Do you like cooking? Mixed martial arts? Travel? Photography? Make sure that whatever topic you decide to blog about, it should be something that you will enjoy writing.
It also helps if you have an extensive background or expertise in a certain field or industry that you’re interested in, because you could be considered an expert in your field, making your blog a credible source for related information.
But, if you don’t know what niche or topic to write about, make a list of hobbies, life events or experiences that might be interesting to write about. However, don’t get too caught up with the theories that you never reach the point of starting.
Remember, your first blog won’t be a smashing success, but it will pave the way for a great learning experience. The important thing is for you to get moving.
2. Blogging platform
There are virtually hundreds of blogging platforms that you can choose from. Most of them are easy to use because everything’s already set up so the user won’t have to manually code the website.
Should you choose a free or a self-hosted blog? We strongly recommend your blog to run on its own domain rather than piggyback on free platforms if you are really serious about blogging. Here’s why:
- With free platforms, you don’t have ownership over your domain; you will get a subdomain instead. For example, if vodien.com (a self-hosted website) were to use a free service from WordPress, the web address would look like this: vodien.wordpress.com. You’ll see that free blogs won’t allow you a unique branding for your web address.
- Free blogs have limited options available for themes and plugins.
- When your blog is hosted on these platforms, you don’t have complete control over your blog. If they found out that you did not follow their policies, they could remove your blog without warning. A self-hosted blog, on the other hand, gives the owner total control over their site and allows them to customise it any way they like.
If you don’t have the budget and the time to blog frequently, then start with a free blog platform. But, if you see it as something that you’d like to do in the long term, get a domain name and web hosting which should only cost a few bucks per month.
Get a theme that has a simple and clean design. Avoid anything flashy and cluttered. There are various options available, but we suggest you pay a little extra to get the premium themes.
Premium themes provide for greater customisation that will allow you to build up a unique website. If you are working on a WordPress platform, Vodien does provide free Premium WordPress themes and plugins to assist you to build a website.
Another tip is to look for blog-specific themes so that you will not have to spend additional time designing it to best showcase content.
Once you’ve set up your web hosting and themes, plugins will be next in line. Make sure to keep plugins to a bare minimum because they can add weight to your site and make it slower.
If you are using WordPress, here are some useful plugins to install:
- Google XML Sitemaps – build a sitemap that Google can crawl
- Social media share buttons – to share posts to reader’s social media networks
- Akismet – protects websites from spams
- Popular posts – to automatically generate popular posts from your site
- All in One SEO Pack – as the name suggests, it has everything you need related to SEO
It goes without saying that content should be of great quality–something you would want to read yourself and share to others. Read blogs from Problogger, Copyblogger, and Moz for tips on how to improve your blog posts.
To get ideas for your next content, successful bloggers don’t rely on their own knowledge. They follow other bloggers or influencers within their niche.
So say, you’re into food blogging, you can follow Lady Iron Chef (a Singaporean food blogger). If you’re passionate about arts and crafts, A Beautiful Mess is a great blog for your next art inspiration. Find a blog that resonates well to your blog niche. But don’t copy their style. Create your own brand.
So far, the best advice we can give you is to make each post personable. You can blog based on personal experiences and enrich it with a creative storytelling that grabs the reader’s attention. People are naturally drawn to bloggers whose genuine personality shines through the written words.
Lastly, just start writing. And do it regularly.
6. Promote your blog
Sadly, there are blogs that have amazing content but remains unknown simply due to lack of promotion. You can’t just sit down and wait for traffic to pour in, because the truth is, it won’t. You need to go where your audience hangs out. You can promote through the following:
- Promoting your blog through social media network like Facebook and Twitter.
- Being active in at least 2-5 relevant forums with your blog URL in your email signature.
- Leaving meaningful comments on other blogs (no spamming, please).
- Reaching out to other bloggers and network with them.
- Offering to do some guest postings.
Path to Blogging
By following these steps, you are on your way to your new blogging journey. At this point, you won’t see any sensational results just yet because building traffic and audience takes time and a lot of testing.
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to start blogging and you don’t need to be a pro to start at all. All you need is the time, discipline, consistency, and of course, the tools needed to make your blogging dream a reality. These tools include your Content Management System (a platform where you lay the groundwork for your blog) and a web hosting service.
If you’re thinking of using WordPress as your blog’s main CMS platform, we suggest that you read our in-depth guide on how to start a WordPress website. It is a comprehensive tutorial intended for new and intermediate WordPress users.
As for web hosting, Google search should give you more than enough suggestions that you can choose from. While this might sound self-serving, it would be awesome if you try and check out Vodien for your web hosting needs.
We are Singapore’s biggest ICANN-accredited web hosting provider that offers premium-grade hosting service for bloggers, online merchants, government agencies and just about anyone hustling on the Internet. You can talk to one of our SuperSupport staff without any commitment at all. Just CLICK on the link below to get started.