Learning how to start a blog is not difficult. Blog hosting services such as WordPress, Blogger, Weebly and other, similar sites offer simple drag and drop widgets that make it very easy for you to learn how to start your own blog without needing to know HTML and CSS. Following are five simple steps that outline how to start a successful blog.
Choose a Topic
How do you start a blog? Well, the first step is to choose a topic matter for the blog. You can learn how to start a food blog, how to start a fashion blog, how to start a photo blog or what have you. However, once you pick a topic, you will want to stick with it so it is important to choose a topic with care. Following are some pointers to bear in mind when choosing a subject for your new blog:
- What subjects do you know a lot about? You do not have to have a degree in the subject, but you should know enough about it to create multiple articles on various aspects of the topic in question.
- What subject are you passionate about? Are you concerned about the environment and finding ways to conserve energy and recycle? Or perhaps you collect stamps or coins and enjoy talking about and learning more about these collections. Blogging is a lot of hard work and the key to learning how to start a blog that matters is to choose a subject that matters to you.
Choose a Hosting Service
Once you know what your blog is going to be about, it is time to choose a hosting service. As was outlined above, there are numerous free hosting services to pick from; however, it is important to bear in mind that some hosting services offer free features and amenities that are not provided by others. What is more, it can be hard to transfer a blog to another web host, so it is important to do careful research when choosing which service you want your blog to be hosted on.
Some pointers you will want to consider when choosing a hosting service include:
- See how much storage space the service can provide. Some hosting services provide an unlimited amount of storage space while others have a limit. Once you exceed the limit, you will need to pay for more storage space.
- Make sure you will be able to do what you want to do on your free blog. It is not uncommon for free blogging services to put limits on services provided. For instance, you may not be able to upload video and/or audio files directly to your site without paying for this specific service.
- Make sure the host provider you use provides good customer service. It is inevitable that you will run into problems and issues with your blog at some point in time; when this happens, you want a hosting service that will respond quickly to your questions and concerns.
- Check the template options to see if you are happy with one of the sample templates that the blogging service provides.
- If you intend to have advertisements posted on your blog, make sure the free blogging service allows this. WordPress.com, for instance, does not permit you to put up certain types of ads or engage in some forms of affiliate advertising. Other free blogging services post their own advertisements on free blogs and you will need to pay to have these removed and/or to post your own ads.
Choose (or Create) a Site Design
The next step is to choose your blog design. All free blogging services offer a number of sample templates that you can pick from. In many cases, you can modify the template in question to make it more personalized. Adding your own header and/or footer image to the blog is a good way to make your blog stand out from the rest.
If you intend to make money from your blog, it may be a good idea to have a unique template designed by a website designer. While free blogging services offer various templates, these are used by thousands of blogs the world over and can tend to look like “cookie cutter” blog templates. Having your own template designed from scratch will ensure that your blog looks original.
Black on white (that is, black text on a white background) is best, as it ensures that your blog is easy to read. Be sure to choose a font and font size that is easy on the eyes. Cursive fonts are beautiful and can be in order in some cases, but they are not suitable for long blog posts.
Learning how to start blogging is not the same as learning how to set up a blog. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Decide how often you want to blog. You will need to have a regular blogging schedule so your readers will know when to check your blog; however, there is no “perfect” schedule” that fits every single blogger. Some people are able to post content on their blog five or even seven days a week; however, this is not a realistic schedule for most people. In many cases, posting new content three or even just two times a week is sufficient.
- Make a schedule. As the old saying goes, “plan your work and work your plan.” Determine which days of the week you want to post content and what type of content you want to put up. A monthly planner will make it possible for you to ensure that you are covering all aspects of the topic in question. What is more, planning your posts a month in advance will help you know which topics you want to cover; you can then compile interesting links that go along with these topics ahead of time.
Promote Your Blog
The final step in learning how to start a blog for free is to learn how to promote the blog for free. Thankfully there are various ways in which you can go about doing this.
To start with, let your friends and family members know that you have started a blog. You can do this via email and by posting a link to your blog on your social media pages.
Depending on the nature of the blog, you may want to start separate social media pages for your blog. You do not need to start pages on every single social media site, but it can be a good idea to have a presence on important social media pages such as Facebook, Google + and Twitter.
An effective yet simple way to promote your blog is to put up video content on YouTube. As Google owns YouTube, it often lists relevant videos on the first page of search engine results. If you add the URL of your blog underneath the video, you should get a fair number of visitors to your site.
You may also want to consider targeting certain keywords and use these regularly in various blog posts. Do some experimentation to determine which keywords are the most effective in getting traffic; however, do not overuse the keywords as Google may then classify your site as being spammy.
The question of “how do I start a blog?” is a fairly easy one to answer. Learning how to start a free blog does not take a lot of work; however, you should be aware that it will take a considerable amount of time to maintain and update your new blog. Even so, blogging can be a fun and fulfilling way of not only expressing your views but also earning some income on the side. All you need to do is choose a topic, pick a hosting service, choose or create a template, create content and then promote your content on social media pages, via email and in person.