A beginners guide to blogging by a beginner — I wouldn’t trust that advice, but in actual fact the trained professionals and media gurus will perhaps forget the all-important first steps. Expecting overnight success is unrealistic and a blog is something you have to work on to make sure that what you’re producing is of a standard that other’s will want to read and more importantly: what you’re proud of.
Why do you want to start a blog? You have to make sure it’s for the right reasons, if you’re guided by the fame and fortune it will bring like it has to your role-models than perhaps it’s not right for you. Whereas, if you’re really passionate about a certain subject such as photography or politics then it will come more natural and others will buy into you. But at the same time, if you have a passion for writing itself or you have thoughts and ideas that you want to share then that is also a great way to start.
So now you’ve decided that the prospect of starting a blog is for you, how do you go about it? There a lot of different platforms for starting a blog such as WordPress and I have added links at the bottom of the articles to help you choose where you decide to launch yourself into the media world. Important things to consider are the displays, the wider community and the simplicity. The wider community is incredibly important because the larger the amount of users, the easier it is to find like-minded bloggers to yourself and accumulate an audience. Many blogging platforms will have tutorials and helpful blogs to get you started so you can improve as you go along.
The next stage once you have a domain and a layout that suits you, is to publish your first post. For most people this is the hardest part, you want to appeal to people but at the same time you’re hesitant of putting yourself out there. The best thing to do is think about your interests and what you want to achieve with this blog, and write it all down. If the blog doesn’t have spell checker then write your post first on Microsoft Word or a similar application and make sure everything is grammatically perfect. But if you’ve already published your post and find an error, don’t panic, you can go back and update it without having to delete it.
Once you’ve uploaded your first post, don’t expect 100’s of likes and comments to start flooding in, how can anyone discover your blog if you haven’t done the same. An easy way for others to find your blog is through tags, for example: #FirstPost and this is how you can reciprocate the action also. To engage with the wider community, there will blogs with the sole intention of bringing people together, a good example of this is the Community Pool via Daily Post on WordPress, you simply put in the link of a post you want people to see and introduce yourself to the blogging community. If you check other people’s blogs out by doing this and giving them helpful feedback then they are likely to reciprocate the favour.
If you’ve decided you’re really serious about this and want to stick at it, a helpful thing to do is pick a day that you will upload, for example: Tuesday’s every week or fortnightly. This will make your blog seem more structured and your followers will know what to expect from you. If you don’t do this, you may be at risk of struggling with your blog and putting off writing for weeks or months at a time. If you know that you won’t possibly have time to write the following week, you can always write your post in advance and set a date for it to be published automatically.
I’m sure there are lots more useful tips out there and this article won’t cover them all but they should help you get started. Positivity and enthusiasm, as cheesy it sounds, are a great first step towards success. If success doesn’t come to you straight away and it probably won’t for most, stick with it and eventually you will get there.
Helpful websites to get you started:
What do you think? Do you blog? What advice would you add? Have your say in the comments section below.