I’ve had many readers and new bloggers e-mail me for tips on starting a blog. I love answering e-mails and helping people, but I often found myself answering many of the questions multiple times. So I thought writing a series on how to start a blog would be a more effective method of helping people realize their goal of starting their own blog.
This “how to start a blog” series is intended to help you decide if blogging is for you, and if it is, how to set up a blog and get it going. There are thousands of other topics that can be covered outside the scope of this series, but I will leave it to the hundreds of blogger that blog about blogging, getting traffic, making money and similar topics. At the end of the series I will link out to several other resources that will help you on your journey of improving your blog once you get it going.
What is a blog?
Blogs, or weblogs, originally started out as a way to share links and stories with others on the web. As time and technology evolved, so did blogging. Now blogging is something that anyone can do – from a teenager, to a CEO from a Fortune 500 company, to your grandmother who may have only recently learned how to use the internet. Blogs can be set up for free within minutes or you can buy a domain and hosting and spend hundreds of dollars on customization, advertising, and other miscellaneous expenses. The quick answer is – a blog is what you want it to be – there are no rules except those that you set for your blog.
Why start a blog?
Blogging can be a great creative outlet that you share only with friends and family, it can be your full-time job, or it can be anything in between. The internet is the cheapest and most accessible way to communicate quickly and easily with a large amount of people. The internet also keeps a permanent record of what you post, which can be a nice way for friends and family members to keep up to date, or for businesses to share their product or services with the world.
There are many benefits to and reasons for starting a weblog:
- Informational: sharing news, information, photos, videos
- Professional: enhancing your business, as a career journal, to display your writing skills, market yourself or your business
- Personal: personal or family blog, thoughts and musings, as a family photo or video journal
- As a business: internet marketing, consulting, brand development
This list is by no means comprehensive and there can be overlap between the categories. The uses of a blog are limited only by your imagination.
Who should start a blog?
The beauty of blogging is that it is incredibly easy to do – anyone who can surf the internet or use a word processor can start a blog. But that doesn’t mean everyone should start a blog. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you enjoy writing?
- Are you passionate about a certain topic?
- Do you have specialized knowledge you want to share?
- Do you want to enhance or grow your business?
- Do you want to create an online journal to share with family and friends? What about a career journal?
- Do you have a portfolio of photographs, artwork, or web designs you want to market?
- Do you want to earn money?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are a good place to start. If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may want to consider starting a blog. Note that I added “earn money” last on the list. While some blogs are profitable and there are some professional bloggers, blogging can be hard work and it is not a get rich quick scheme.
See if your preferred domain name is available for purchase!
Does starting a blog interest you?
Good! Stay tuned – Over the next few days I will continue this series and explain some of the key elements of starting your own blog. The topics covered will include deciding which topic to write about, where and how to set up a blog, how to get traffic to your website, and yes, even how to make money blogging. At the end of the series I will include a list of additional blogging resources that I recommend.
There are many other aspects to blogging, so feel free to ask questions or suggest additional topics. I will do my best to give everyone a solid overview and enough information to go out there and start their own blog!