In this day and age, the internet is becoming an important part of our lives. We use it to communicate with family and friends, check emails, check grades and watch funny cat videos. It is also a great time to start a blog.
Blogs are great for almost everyone, because you can write about any topic you want. You can write about blogging (inception? blogception?), or you can have a hobby or DIY blog. You can write about college and productivity or even about parenting.
I am going to tell you all about how and why you should start a blog.
Blogging, whether you have a small account on Tumblr or a huge website, is a great way to build your online presence. Even if you do not plan to make money from your blog, it can give you a place to be creative.
Blogging involves so much more than just writing posts. You have to find or create good quality images to share, optimize posts for search engines, share posts on social media and interact with your visitors. Blogging teaches you how to do a lot of different things, and you learn skills that you can apply to almost any job.
If you are interested in marketing, starting a blog can be a great way to get experience in the online marketing field. You have to write compelling content and share it in the right places to get views.
If a career in graphic or web design is more your speed, a blog will definitely give you relevant experience. All of the skills you learn or improve through your blog can go on your resume and can set you apart when applying for jobs.
Want a career as a writer? A blog is the perfect way to build your portfolio to showcase your skills and experience. Writing posts on a few different, yet related, topics can help you gain experience in your niche as well as gain clients who trust your skills.
Even if you don’t want to turn blogging into a career, you can use a blog to share information with your family and friends. You can post regular updates of what you are doing, or you can just create a blog for you.
How to Start a Blog
Now that you know why you should blog, how do you start? There are a few things to consider when starting out.
What’s your budget?
Can you afford to spend a little bit of money or would you prefer to do it completely free? Your budget will determine where you can start your blog, because some programs cost a bit of money while others don’t cost a thing.
You also have to consider the costs associated with blogging. Will you need a new computer or a new camera? How about an internet connection?
What will you write about?
If you do want to turn your blog into a career, you need to come up with a certain niche to write about. I will talk more about what a niche is in an upcoming post, but it’s basically just the main topic of your blog. It can be about blogging, school, parenting, fashion or whatever your heart desires.
If you just want to write as a hobby, you have a little leeway at the beginning to work to find your niche. After awhile, you will still want to pick a niche so that you can grow your audience.
What program will you use?
Once you know your budget and your niche, it is time to pick a platform. There are countless options, but the most common blogging platforms are WordPress (.org and .com), Blogger and Squarespace as well as a few others. WordPress.com and Blogger can be used for no cost at all, and WordPress.org and Squarespace come with monthly fees for hosting and yearly domain fees.
If you decide to go with WordPress.org, you need to pick your own hosting company. I decided to use SiteGround, and it was the best decision I made.
Related: WordPress (.org) vs. Blogger
After choosing your platform, niche and getting the proper accounts set up, you are ready to get started with your blog. At this point, you can write your first blog post, work on the different pages of your blog and customize the look to make it your own.
I plan to write more posts about starting a blog here in the future on different topics related to starting a blog, so stay tuned!
Have you started a blog? How did the process go? Let me know in the comments. Also, be sure to read my previous post and follow me on Twitter (@HannahHaefele) so you don’t miss future updates!
Thanks for reading!