Saturday, August 15, 2015

Starting to Blog

So you've decided to start blogging.  Good for you!  A blog is a great way to begin creating an online presence for yourself.  However, before you create your first post, there are some things to think about.

1.  What is your blog about?  The answer to that questions is what do you know?  Are you an computer expert?  Then that's what you write about.  Do you know a lot about gardening?  Then maybe you should write about that.  It's best to pick a subject that you are knowledgeable in.  That will greatly increase your ability to continually have topics for blog posts.

2.  What is your passion?  Passion is important in blogging.  Your enthusiasm will show through in every post.  And it is easier to sit down and write habitually when you are passionate about your topic.  So if you are equally knowledgeable about computers and gardening, for example, choose the topic you are most passionate about.

3.  What is the purpose of your blog?  Are you looking for a place to share your ideas and passions?  Do you plan to monetize it to make money?  Is it part of an overall marketing plan for your business?  Are you trying to share your expertise and gain influence and publicity?  All of these are possible through blogging but you must know what your goal is to help you create your blogging style.

4.  Where will you host your blog?  There are several good platforms available.  The two most popular are Blogger and WordPress. Both have good and bad points.  Personally, I use Blogger because I find it much easier to work with than WordPress.  However, I have many friends and clients who swear by WordPress.  Choose whichever is easier for you.  The key is to choose a good, reliable platform that is comfortable for you to work with.  You can also choose to self-host your blog but I do not recommend that if you are just starting out.

5.  What will it look like?  Both Blogger and WordPress have many free themes you can use to create the look of your blog.  Some bloggers feel that free themes aren't effective; that the only way to look truly professional is to buy a theme.  I disagree.  What matters most is the content.  If you are habitually posting insightful, compelling content, the theme is secondary as long as it is easy to navigate.

Congratulations! You have just taken the first steps in starting your own blog.  That wasn't so bad, was it?  Next step: get writing!  We'll talk about that in our next post.


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