Blogging can be a great creative outlet and a fun way to engage with people who share your interests. If you’re thinking of starting your own blog in the new year, here’s what you need to know to get going!
Starting Your Own Personal Blog
Here are some practical steps you can take to get started on your blogging journey.
Be clear about why you want to start a blog. Do you want to share knowledge or discuss topics that excite you? Are you looking to share your personal stories and experiences? Who do you hope will read your blog and why? Do you want to make money from your blog one day in the future, or is it just for fun? Ask yourself these questions first, and they’ll guide you in your next steps.
Choose a blogging platform.1,2 There are plenty of platforms out there, so do some research and compare what they offer and how much they charge before you commit to one. Ideally, if you’re just starting out, choose a platform that offers a ‘Free’ membership tier. Once you start blogging more regularly and seriously, you can look at progressing to a paid membership, depending on your requirements. It also helps to choose a blogging site that provides a built-in hosting platform.
Choose a name for your blog.1,2 This will be your domain name as well. Depending on the type of blog you’re writing and why you’re writing it, this could be something as simple as your own name or your business name. On the other hand, you could choose a completely new creative name that reflects your personality as a blogger, or describes what your blog is about.
Set up your template and design.1,2 Many blogging platforms today offer you a range of attractive templates and customisable designs. That means you can easily set up a look and feel for your blog that suits the “personality” of your posts and appeals to your readers.
Consider your community.2 Think about the readers you want to reach out to with your blog. What topics will excite and interest them? Where do they hang out when they’re online, and what phrases do they search for? You can use tools like Google Trends to give you some insight into their search habits.
Optimise your blog.1,3 Make sure your blog is properly optimised so that potential readers can easily find it using search engines like Google. You don’t have to be an SEO professional to do this – there are plenty of tips and tools available for you online. Some blogging platforms also have functions and plugins to help you optimise your blog for search engines.
Write about what interests you. If you’re writing about a topic you really care about, that passion will shine through in your posts. It may take a while to find your niche, but start off with a topic you know well and enjoy talking/ wiring about.
Keep a blog notebook. It’s often useful to plan out your blog content on paper beforehand. Keep a notebook and some colourful pens handy for when you want to brainstorm or write up a rough draft – it’s also great to have your notebook nearby in case inspiration strikes unexpectedly!
Check your work. You don’t need to be a professional writer to be a successful blogger, but it always helps to make sure your writing is clear and easy to read. Run a spelling and grammar check using a free tool like Grammarly. You can also ask a friend to read over your posts before you publish them, to make sure you’re getting your message across and haven’t left out any important details.
Mix it up. If you’re not a natural writer, or you have times when you struggle to get inspired to write, that’s okay too! You can use a variety of different media to create your blog content, like your own photo essays, voice notes, videos or digital artwork. Video blogs (vlogs) have become increasingly popular, as they give you a way to interact with your community “face to face”.4
Get social. Promote your blog across your readers’ preferred social media platforms. Engage with them and encourage them to share.
Set goals. As your blog starts to grow, keep thinking of ways to attract more readers, expand your reach and even start making money as a blogger. You can use your blog to promote and sell your own products and services, or you can run ads, join affiliate programs and create sponsored posts.1
Have fun! Enjoy the process and use it as an opportunity to get in touch with your creative side.