So you want to blog.
So do I. Infact I wanted it for a long time and I did start. Twice. But both times my passion couldn’t withstand the commitment and planning a successful and sustainable blog needs.
Following two failed attempts (and lessons learned, research and a lot of soul searching) I am better prepared this time to make it work. I am more structured, more organised and much more determined to succeed.
This time, I also promised myself that I am going to share what I learn with my readers. Both my successes and failures, as they happen.
I am going to do it through this weekly newsletter. If you choose to subscribe to it, it will come to your mailbox once a week with useful links along with my comments, recommendation and spectacular failures.
Through this newsletter, I will be sharing my journey with you not only as a blogger but also as a reader, writer and a student of creativity with the hope that it might help you with your journey.
Here are my ten tips for this week.
- Business plan for your blog. You need one. Believe me on this one. But you don’t need a very elaborate one. It took me just a couple of days to write mine and it brought a lot of clarity in my mind about what I wanted to achieve with my blog and where I want to go with it.
You can read a number of blog posts on the topic by experienced bloggers but here are four I recommend Blogging Business Plans 101 – ProBlogger, Business Plan: How to Create a Business Plan for Your Blog, How To Write A Blog Business Plan (Free Template!), How to Create a Bangin’ Blog Business Plan (Workbook Included …
Check them out and use whatever you find is relevant to your blogging goals. Keep it simple. My business plan has only 5 sections.
- Choose a portal from where you are going to speak. Without a portal, you are soon going to be lost. You can’t write your blog like you write your diary or journal. In your diary, you can write whatever comes to your mind but in blogs, you write what you want to share with others. For me it is reading, writing and creativity.
- Decide whether you are going to be a hobby blogger or a professional blogger. A professional blogger is someone who is making her living from blogging. If you like you can read non-stop, for the next ten days, on how to make money from blogging or you can do what I did. Just settle for hobby blogging while you learn the ropes. Besides every professional blogger was a hobby blogger first.
- Decide what you are going to register as your domain name. Your name or a name relevant to what your blog is going to be about. You can read How To Choose a Blog Name You Won’t Regret to help you decide. How to Choose the Best Domain Name will give you tips and tools to construct one. Having both my previous blogs named relevant to the contents of the blog, this time I decided to register my name as the domain name.
- Decide which blogging platform you are going to choose. Although there are severel free and paid platforms and How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform in 2018 compares a number of them the choice for free platforms is really between WordPress and Blogger. Having tried both of them for my previous blogs I had no hesitation to choose WordPress again.
- Decide which hosting service you are going to choose to register your domain name. 10 Best Domain Hosting and Registration Services (2018) compares the main ones. BlueHost won hands down for me.
- Learn to host your blog on your hosting service. This is relatively simple. You log in through your hosting service, click on the link. And viola! You are in the blogging platform. If you want to learn more read 15 FAQs on Starting a Self-hosted Blog.
- Construct your blog. This is a fun time. Frustrating and rewarding at the same time. You first need to choose which (WordPress or Blogger) theme you want. Learning about the themes can take up a lot of your time so be kind to yourself if you don’t pick the right one in the first instance. Choose one of the popular ones to start with and you can change it later. There are thousands of YouTube videos to guide you through the process.
- Write your bio. This could be a separate “About” page in your blog or just a few lines on your blog page to start with. You can build it up later.
- Write your first post. Keep it simple, even experimental. You can delete it later if you are not happy with it.
All of the above is a lot of work even though various blogs and podcasts let you believe that you can start your blog in half an hour. You can, provided you have done all the background reading and planning beforehand.
But let me not dissuade you from starting. Every hour I have spent on learning all of this has been most rewarding. I do not mind that I have been staying awake past midnight and thinking through things while doing mundane work around the house (washing dishes and vacuuming has never been so enjoyable).
I can bet you too will find the experience equally gratifying. Your journey might be different than mine and you will learn different things during the process. Share them here and we all can benefit from it.
PS: Next week I will share how to write and plan blog posts.
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