New to blogging? Here's everything you need to know
New to blogging? It can be pretty overwhelming starting a blog. There are many different aspects you need to think about and get right — from the design of your blog, to how you should be building traffic and then how you should monetize it. Luckily, we've put together a step-by-step guide for beginners which includes everything you need to know about starting a blog.
What is blogging?
If you’re new to blogging, you may have some questions about what it is, why people do it, and how to get started. You’ve come to the right place!
Blogging Meaning: What is a Blog?
A blog is a type of website that usually consists of textual content (blog posts). There are various types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content but also in the way that content is delivered or written. Blogs didn’t start off as online diaries and live journals; they evolved from online communities where users could share their thoughts with other users.
Some blog examples include:
An individual’s personal diary (although this use isn’t common today)
A political commentator sharing their opinions on current affairs
A professional working in an industry sharing his expertise
A company using a blog as a marketing tool for their business
What's the point of blogging?
There are a lot of reasons to start a blog, but the two most important reasons are to share your personal experience with others and build a community. To share your personal experience, you need to think about what you know that you want to share with others. Then you should think about why your story is unique and important; it's not enough to just write about yourself. Your post has to have value for other readers or else no one will bother reading it in the first place.
To build a community, think about what kind of people would be interested in your writing. Are they people who like poetry? Are they people who have had similar experiences as you? Try searching online for blogs that are already written by people who might be interested in your blog and reach out to them to see if they would be interested in sharing or promoting your work. You can also try advertising on social media and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics such as keyword research and content marketing that will help get new visitors traffic coming in through Google search results pages (SERPs).
How is blogging different from vlogging?
Vlogging is video blogging, which means that instead of writing a blog post, you record a video in which you provide valuable content.
Some of the major differences between vlogging and blogging have to do with the format. Blogging is text-based and vlogging is visual. As such, it can be argued that blogging is quicker and easier than vlogging because it’s often more time-consuming to create videos than it is to write posts. Additionally, vlogging requires different equipment for recording purposes, though these days most people already have the necessary tools in their pockets (smartphones). Lastly, since one of the main aims of both types of content creation is building community with your audience through engagement, some experts argue that vlogging is better at that than traditional blogging simply because viewers relate better to seeing someone’s face as they communicate with them rather than just reading words on a screen.
How do you start a blog that people will actually read?
Choose a platform to host your blog. There are a number of free options, such as WordPress and Blogger, that have easy to use interfaces and a wide range of themes to choose from. If you want full control over how your blog looks and functions, consider paying for software like Squarespace or Ghost.
Make it easy to navigate. Make sure the top bar on your blog is visible at all times so users can easily find their way around (unless you're using a one-page layout). Also, set up an archive section where people can read through all your previous posts by date or category.
Create content that’s engaging and informative. The most popular blogs are the ones that share original content on topics readers care about. Write about things that interest you and you'll naturally infuse your personality into what you write — this will make it much easier for readers to connect with you as well as keep them coming back for more!
Who reads blogs?
Who reads blogs?
Anyone who has an internet connection could read a blog. But who is likely to read a blog? We did some research to find out.
According to this study, the majority of regular blog readers (defined as those who read blogs at least once per week) are millennials. Women make up a larger share of the readership than men. Readers also tend to have higher levels of education, and they are more likely to be employed full time. Perhaps most encouraging for any aspiring blogger is that more than half of American adults say they have read a blog in the past year.
What kind of blogs are there?
Before you even begin to create your blog website, it’s important that you decide what kind of a blog you want. There are many different options out there and finding the perfect match for your passion can be tricky, especially if you don’t know all the different types of blogs out there.
That is why we have decided to create this in-depth article about all types of blogs out there. By reading this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the different types of blogs and their individual characteristics. You will also find some useful advice on which type of a blog suits your needs the best and how to effectively turn your passion into a successful online venture!
What makes a blog successful?
We've been blogging for three years now, and we've made the decision that creating content is what we love doing. We know our blog is successful when we get comments like this one: "Best travel articles by far. Keep up the good work."
It's nice to know our readers appreciate not only the quality of content but also the sincerity with which it's presented. That's why we decided to compile all of our tips and advice on building a successful blog into this guide. If there's something you'd like to see added or changed in this section, please let us know!
What's a niche, and how do I find mine?
Many new bloggers make the mistake of thinking they have to write about everything. In reality, that's a sure way to waste time and energy. It's much better to find a niche and hone in on it. Your niche is the topic you're passionate about and knowledgeable enough to teach others about.
So how do you find your niche? Start by brainstorming a list of topics you're passionate about and know something significant about. For example, I'm passionate
about golf (which I play) and wine (which I drink). Are there any passions that jump out? What are your hobbies? What do you love reading or watching movies about? Make sure it's broad enough that there will be plenty for you to talk about, but specific enough that people will want to listen because it's unique. Once you've found a few candidates, do some research online; are there already too many blogs on this topic? Then try another! When your niche feels right, stick with it—it's yours!
Should my blog be personal or professional? Or both?
Although your blog should never be *all* about me, me, me, your personality is still a huge part of it. How you express yourself and what you share with the world will make a difference in the kind of people who read your blog and decide to trust you.
It’s common for people to think that being more personal will hurt them professionally. But when it comes down to it, people want to do business with actual human beings—not faceless corporations or companies without personalities. So if you're running a business and are worried about sharing too much, don't be! You might end up attracting more clients by letting them get to know the person behind the brand.
If you sell products or services online, I highly recommend including some sort of "about" page on your site where readers can learn more about you and why they should care about what you have to say. It also helps people find common ground and relate more easily to what you're writing about!
Do I need to be an expert to start a blog?
One of the biggest surprises you might encounter when starting a blog is that no one expects you to already be an expert in your niche. Most new bloggers will tell you they're still learning, and that's perfectly fine.
You don't need to know everything before starting your blog. You can learn as you go along, and share what you've learned with others.
If blogging about something really fascinates you, it's likely that the more time and energy you devote to it, the more skilled you'll become at it—even if it's only because of the sheer amount of research and practice required for your blog posts!
There are many bloggers who started out knowing little about their subject matter, but became experts through writing about their passions on a regular basis. For example, Darren Rowse took up photography as a hobby, but knew nothing about composition or lighting when he started his first photography blog in 2006. He taught himself how to take better photos by taking thousands throughout his travels across Australia, then blogging about what he'd learned from each retreat and course he took along the way until his skills were good enough to start another site teaching other people how to improve their own photography skills.
How often should I post on my blog?
The frequency of your posts will depend on how much time you have available. Don't make promises that you can't keep, and don't publish posts just for the sake of publishing. If it takes you three weeks to produce a high-quality post that people are going to love, then by all means, dedicate yourself to that pace. On the other hand, if you have plenty of time to spare—and ideas flowing faster than you can handle—then go for it. Just be sure not to sacrifice quality for quantity. Know your audience and figure out what kind of content they expect from you in terms of frequency and depth—then make a commitment.
Do I really need a site or can I just put everything on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram?
You don’t have to have a site at first: You can get started with a free blog and “free” is good when you are first testing the waters. But, here are a couple of reasons to think about starting out with a domain name and hosting account from the beginning:
You don’t really own your content on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. You risk losing all your hard work if they change the rules or go out of business.
It will be easier for people to find your blog if you have a single site instead of trying to manage multiple social media accounts that may not link well together.
It takes too long to get your ideas organized. How can you speed up the process of figuring out what to write about and writing about it too?
The average blogger spends multiple hours organizing ideas and composing content. What if you could cut this time in half? The most effective way to do that is to set yourself up with a list of topics and questions you want to write about. Organizing your ideas will ensure that your posts are well-thought out, targeted toward the right audience, and engaging.
Make a list of topics. What types of topics interest you? Get specific about what sorts of things you want to write about on your blog—that way when it comes time for inspiration to strike, you can refer back to this list instead of scrambling for something new.
Make a list of the questions you want to answer within each topic. If your post has one purpose and one point, it'll be easier for readers to get through it—and more likely they'll read through all its key points as opposed to skimming over them or getting frustrated by losing their place within the post's content.
Keep refining your lists as needed as you begin writing more posts; ideally these lists should grow over time as not only do they become longer but their content becomes more specific and helpful toward both yourself (as a writer) and your audience (as readers).
It's fun to create a blog but it does take some planning and effort.
Creating a blog can be a lot of fun, but it requires some work. Before you start putting word to page, it's important that you have a plan for creating your content. You'll have to come up with ideas for your topics, decide which format is best for the content you want to create, and then take the time to organize your material in a way that's easy-to-read and interesting. There are lots of blogs already out there so you've got some stiff competition!
Let's look at what it takes to create an excellent blog.