If you want to start your own blog, go for it. It does not require elaborate planning; but, there are a few things to do before you begin.
The following is a quick guide on what to think over before creating your blog:
- Your Topic: What do you want to write about? At least decide on the nature of the content that you will be sharing with your readers. As I have said before, you must have a sincere interest in the topic. In fact, some passion around it will help a great deal.
You can choose almost anything – politics, poetry, arts, current affairs, cooking, skiing, raising Dalmatians, etc. You can choose one theme or create more of a personal journal and write about whatever concerns you on a day-to day-basis. Since it is your web journal, you can basically do whatever you want to do.
- Blogging Provider: Choose a blogging provider service. Do some research; see what others are saying about the various providers. Check with friends and acquaintances – which providers do they recommend – and why. Of course, you can always pick one at random and jump in, you will quickly find out whether the service works for you, or not.
Below is a list of popular providers.
Personally, I prefer WordPress and highly recommend it if you plan to do anything more than just blog.
- Templates and Layouts: Every provider offers a wide range of templates so you can choose one that fits your theme and your personal style. There will be a wide range of layouts and color schemes to help you personalize your blog.
- Freebies: The blogging service providers make your blogging experience as dynamic and interactive as possible. They enable you to install add-on features that include buttons, pictures, blog chalks, imoods, tagboards such as www.myshoutbox.com, guest maps, guestbooks, comment boxes for readers’ thoughts and views, etc.
- Additional Features: There are, of course, many additional features available at a price – most of them quite reasonable; but not necessary in the beginning.
- Building Traffic: What kind of audience do you want to attract? Do you want it open to the public or only seen by a select circle? The nature of your content will generally determine the answer to this question.
- Content: The main points about content are that it should be original, well-written, and authentic (from your heart). Plus you should post regularly. When you first start, it may be a bit of trial and error. Start with your best idea about a topic that interests you and see what kind of response you get. Let the response be your guide and modify or change course if necessary.
- Blogging Circle: Build a blogging circle. Get in touch with other bloggers around the world – especially with others who have sites related to your own. Visit many sites and when you find ones you like, comment – but be sure your comments are genuine and sincere – DO NOT SPAM.
- Skins: Customize and enhance your blog (when you are ready). Learn to use software like Photoshop to create your own skins to make your blog even more attractive as well as to express your own personality.
- Publish: Finally, when everything is ready (it does not have to be perfect), publish your content. Be sure to send the link to your blog to your friends and acquaintances so they can visit your site. (Also include the link in your e-mail signature.)
It does not take a long time to set up your blog. The most time-consuming part is getting in the rhythm of creating your content. Once it is up and running, maintaining it is the next phase.
Maintaining Your Blog (Next Steps)
- Update: Update (post) frequently otherwise visitors will stop visiting. Also, good writing and interesting posts come with practice.
- Personalize: Even though you may be discussing general and/or universal themes, add your own personal touch to make things lighter and more interesting.
- Theme: If you have a theme blog you can Google for other blogs of a similar kind and build your network.
- Spelling and Grammar: Make sure you proof read your posts. Spelling and grammatical errors can be a major put-off for many readers.
- Advertisements: You could play host to sites like Google AdSense and earn revenue by placing their links on your blog.