As the internet and technology become more ingrained in our day-to-day lives, the benefits of blogging or building a website become impossible to ignore. However, unlike in the early days, bloggers don’t need to have computer science degrees or HTML knowledge. easy to set up a blog in 15 minutes.
Why Do People Blog?
When blogging started, the first blogs were really glorified online journals, and in all likelihood, becoming a professional blogger and making money online wasn’t the goal. Since then, the blogosphere has evolved, and now people blog for many different reasons. There are even distinctions among types of blogs – business, lifestyle, fashion, food, and entertainment blogs, among others.
While the blogging scene has developed over the last decade, the benefits of blogging are still plentiful. Here’s a list of reasons why people blog and how blogging can benefit your personal or professional life.
Express Yourself and Share Your Passions
The landscape has changed, but there are still countless blogs that serve as a platform for people to voice their ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Whether your passion is business, personal finance, cooking, politics, photography, or marketing, blogging gives you the opportunity to connect and network with like-minded individuals who share the same passions.
Make A Difference
Some people’s passions lean toward supporting a cause. Whether it’s a political, environmental or social cause, a blog is a great way to build awareness and garner support.
Share Your Knowledge
If you’re someone who loves to teach, starting a blog can provide the opportunity to educate others interested in your field of expertise. The best part is that, as you build resources on your blog to teach others, you may realize there is a chance to monetize your blog by creating educational products or services online.
Refine Your Writing Skills
The more you write, the better you become at it. Most professional bloggers write on a regular basis and therefore analyze and proofread their writing constantly. You may even get feedback from readers to help you become a better writer.
However, being a good writer is not a prerequisite for a successful blog. Many very high profile bloggers are self-proclaimed terrible writers, and part of their success could be attributed to their message of “If I can do it, so can you”.
Learn How To Make Money Online
Most people start out with one blog, but along the way, they gain experience and eventually generate ideas for blogs in other niches. What you learn from your initial blog – the dos and don’ts, marketing strategies that are effective, how to make money blogging, etc. – will help you accelerate the growth of future ventures.
Build Your Professional Network
Blogging is a community-based endeavor, and networking is one reason people engage in it. Whether you are a solopreneur or blogging to market your business, building relationships will facilitate your blog’s growth.
Meanwhile, growing your online network has its own side benefits, such as gaining access to valuable software and tools, seminars, workshops, product unveilings, and other events.
Earn More Exposure
Businesses create blogs primarily to expand their online presence, connect with potential customers, promote their brand in a positive conversation, and even generate online revenue.
Beyond the immediate results, businesses use content marketing to rank their posts in search engines, thereby generating residual leads and revenue.
Become an Authority in Your Industry
A blog can be utilized as a platform to showcase your knowledge and expertise. Publishing blog posts that are accurate, timely, relevant, and informative will eventually get the attention of industry insiders and earn you recognition as an authoritative source and thought-leader.
Build an Online Portfolio
Blogging is a great way for aspiring authors and freelance writers to build up an online portfolio. By showcasing their writing skills on large platforms with expansive reach, freelancers can grow their exposure and sign new clients.
Market Your Business
For companies and entrepreneurs, gaining online visibility is one of the best ways to grow subscribers, leads and ultimately revenue. This can’t be achieved with a static corporate website. Creating blog content that is valuable, helpful, and/or entertaining is an effective way to grow your website’s authority, online rankings, and traffic.
5 Steps on How to Start a Blog
There are five main steps you need to go through in order to set up a blog. If you follow this guide and the five steps, you’ll have your own blog set up in 30 minutes or less.
- Choose your preferred blog platform
- Choose web hosting for your blog
- Setting up a blog on your own domain
- Design your blog
- Useful resources for blogging
So, we made it. Phew. Better late than never! So, without further ado, let’s jump into step 1.
Step 1 – Choose your preferred blogging platform
Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s massive.
It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.
There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a lot, basically
Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with WordPress:
- Super easy set-up
- Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there are gazillions).
- There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
- Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!
- People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.
Here’s an article about different blogging platforms (including WordPress), give it a read:
Step 2 – Self-hosting or a free alternative?
Whoa, slow down there! This is the biggest decision you’ll have to make before we go any further. You need to decide whether to pay for your blog or grab a free one.
WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger all offer free blogs for anyone. Awesome, right? It’s perfect for those of us who aren’t super serious about blogging. But it does have downsides:
On a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL) will be butt-ugly. Like, really ugly. In short, create a free blog with any other the above free blog services and it’ll look like this:
I know, ugly right?
2) Limits and more limits
There are some limits to free blogs. You can’t fully monetize it, and you don’t have the possibility to upload all those videos and images you want to show everyone – it’s all limited. Worse still, you won’t even have access to the free themes offered by WordPress.
3) You don’t OWN your blog
It might sound silly at first, but you don’t actually own your blog. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want so. They have done so in the past, and keep doing it in the future. Which means all your hard work on your blog, all those countless hours of writing blog posts might be vanished within seconds. Sad…
On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog on your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example, “YourName.com” or “YourAwesomeBlog.com. You can end it with .com, .in, .me, .online, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images, and content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.
So how much is hosting and a domain name? Not as much as you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which is less than a couple of coffees.
If you still have questions, here’s some further information for you to look at:
- Should I Choose a Hosted or Non-hosted Blogging Platform?
I’m going to push ahead based on the premise you’ve chosen WordPress, and if you haven’t, you should. Seriously, it’s the best.
If you’re still a little confused by what a self-hosted blog is, allow me to explain and how you can go about setting one up for yourself.
You’ll need to come up with a domain name you like and also choose a hosting company that can host your blog.
Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple! Buy your own Domain Name to
Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved. Buy Hosting
I have Seven-year experience MY advice is Don’t start Blog on Free platform
Step 4 – Designing your WordPress blog
Now, the fun bit.
Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. So if you start getting tired of your current blog template, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images.
I usually choose something that looks professional and pretty easy to customize.
Step 5 – Useful Resources For Beginner Bloggers
Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.
These articles may help you avoid some of the growing pains when it comes to your first blog – enjoy!:
- Tips for Writing Feature Articles
- How to Get Targeted Traffic to Your Website
- Learn how to use content to market your business!
- 102 Simple Tips To Increase Website Traffic
Starting A Blog Today
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