Introduction to blogging – what is a blog and how to start one
Having its origins in early writing, blogging has evolved into the standard of web publishing in today’s web world. First it was papyrus, then good old pulp-and-paper. Then there came the web and those ancient-looking sites that began popping up here and there in the early 90s. Now, we have the easy-peasy web 2.0 writing tool, the blog.
If you are asking “what is a blog’ and “how to start a blog?”, you’ll find out just that in the following article.
What is a blog?
In simple terms, a blog is a website with posts or articles displayed in an order where the most recent post appears first. Whereas blogging is a process that involves writing posts, approving comments, promoting the blog and a whole lot of other things.
On the other hand, blogger is a title given to a person who writes posts and publishes them on a blog they either own or run for other people.
How to start a blog
Starting a blog isn’t really that hard to do. You can easily start one on free blogging sites like blogger.com or tumblr. That’s the easiest route to getting started down the blogging path. You can also setup a WordPress blog on your own servers if you want to take your blogging career seriously. Although I do not recommend it at all (I’ve explained why below), here are some free blogging sites you can create a free blog with:
BlogSpot, also known as Blogger.com is a free blogging site owned by Google. You can monetize your blog with Adsense but you have limited options to monetize your blog with other advertising networks as far as advertising is concerned.
All you got to do is head over to blogger.com, sign in with your Google account. Then setup a new blog by clicking on the “New Blog” button. Enter a name for your new blog, pick a template, enter your sub-domain name of choice, and you’re all set.
Tumblr is also another free blogging site. Usually people use it to create short posts with images and videos. At this time, there are hundreds of millions of blogs hosted or created using it.
This is another free blogging site you can use to create a blog. All you need to do is create an account, pick a template or theme, name your blog and you are all set. The options that you have for making money using a wordpress.com blog are limited if not totally absent. Affiliate links or banner ads are not allowed on the site.
Free Blogging Sites Offer No Control
The catch is that you shouldn’t use these free services to create a blog if you want full control over your site and do whatever you want with you domain name. You can’t do anything you want on your blog, or change the design as you please and you don’t have a lot of options as far as making money off of your blog goes. And the long, sketchy looking domain name won’t help you look professional in the eyes of your visitors.
A self hosted WordPress blog is the best option for the utmost control over your blog. I have explained how you can set up a self hosted WordPress here.
Steps to starting a blog
Choose a topic
When it comes to choosing a topic for your blog, your options are endless. You can choose from a wide array of subjects. Just make sure to choose a hot niche or topic getting a lot of search-engine searches when you look it up on a keyword tool. That will be the topic on which all the articles or posts on your blog are going to be written.
Pick a platform
After that you are going to pick a platform or blogging software to create your blog. As I mentioned earlier, you can either setup a blog with free sites like blogger.com and tumblr or install WordPress on your own server for the utmost control over your blog.
Buy a domain name and setup a hosting account
If you made your mind up on self-hosted WordPress blog, you are going to need to register a domain name and setup a hosting account using one of these hosting companies such as Bluehost. You will need to pay to register your own domain name and setup hosting, but it’s worth it since you are going to create a professional site that way.
The last step to starting a blog is installing WordPress on your own servers or hosting account. In a few words what you do is first download the software from wordpress.org, then upload the software with a FTP software, then run the setup and you’re good to go. After that, you can log into your blog and start posting stuff.
Maintaining your blog
Once your blog is up and running, you are all set and ready to start blogging, but your job isn’t over yet. You will need to keep your blog updated with fresh content by writing and posting articles on an ongoing basis. You also got to try and get people to visit your blog by promoting it on different places like blog commenting, article marketing or social media websites by creating an account and setting up pages.
How to start a successful blog
Making your blog a success is not a piece of cake or something that can be done simply and easily. It takes time and hard work. Writing, hiring others to write for you, promoting your site, SEO, social media and so on and so forth. The amount of time and work you have to put in at first is not too little, but it’s well worth it.
Don’t let failure stop you. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs, but that’s how you learn. You will develop your blogging skills, and with that grows your blog’s popularity and the money you earn off it.
But don’t let fear of success stop you either. As strange as it may sound you might be saying “what if my blog goes viral and I can’t handle it?”, but there’s always a way out.
What’s Your Feedback?
We’d like to know your comments and thoughts on how to start a blog. Your inputs will benefit all beginner bloggers.