Blogging Basics: How to Start Your First Blog in 7 Steps

August 26, 2013 | Freelancer

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Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and Pinterest pins aren’t the only social media platforms on the Internet – blogging is quickly becoming a social media trend for people to share information and experiences with others. Whether for business or personal use, blogs present information to help people, from family dinner recipes to personal finance tips. Blogging has opened doors of opportunity for people who thought they never had modicum of talent for writing. Whether you’re considering starting up your own blog with the intention of monetizing it or for other reasons, it’s important to know the basics of blogging before you dive right into it.

1. Choose what you want to write about.

There are countless reasons why people want to start blogs. Whether it’s for your business or sharing your personal experiences to provide information to readers, choose a niche you want to write about on your blog. You want to write about a general topic that you love enough to write about frequently on your blog. If you want to write in multiple niches, there are blogs that allow you to have more than one blog on one account, such as WordPress.com.

 

2. Decide on a blogging platform.

With WordPress.com, Google’s Blogger, and Tumblr, there are several popular blogging platforms you can choose from. Most blogging platforms are free unless you want to upgrade your blog theme or use another enhancement that the blogging platforms offer. With free hosted blogging platforms, you’re able to test out blogging and see if it’s right for you without spending a dime.

 

3. Choose or create a blog theme to enhance your blog’s niche.

With most blogging platforms, there are already free blog themes you can use for your blog. For example, if you have a baking blog where you share recipes, choose a cutesy theme for it and find one with cupcakes, cakes or any other type of baked good on it. If you’re interested in creating your own theme, you would need to have intermediate-level web design knowledge and skills. Creating your own blog theme requires you to know HTML, CSS, and sometimes jQuery or Javascript. You can, however, hire a professional web designer to create your blog theme for you or purchase an already-made theme.

 

4. Network and socialize with other bloggers.

Discover other blogs that you want to follow or are in the same genre as your blog. Get to know your fellow bloggers and show them your support. Comment on their blog posts, engage them with questions and casual conversations, and participate on the online blogging community. You can make great blog pals while on your blogging journey and, in return, you can also gain followers when people see your interesting comments. Being active on blogging platforms allows you to indirectly promote your blog to others and be seen. If you’re visiting forums to socialize with other bloggers, remember to add your blog URL in your signature.

 

5. Use plugins on your blog.

Plugins are fabulous extensions that you can add, from fun features to protection. The best part? Most plugins are free and offer quality enhancements to your blog. Take WordPress’ WPTouch plugin for example. The plugin allows smartphone or iPhone users to view your blog on their mobile for easy access and reading. With hundreds of plugins available, you can fine tune your blog to make it fit your personality and niche along with protect it from spam and more.

 

6. Keep a blog topic ideas list on your computer or in a small notebook.

Sometimes, you can be stuck on what to write about for the day. Instead of coming up with blog topics on a whim, keep an ideas list with you at all times. Whether in a small notebook while you’re going shopping or in an online document while you’re browsing the Web, make sure to keep a record of your ideas, so that you don’t forget them. You never know when a blog post idea will pop up!

 

7. Make it easy for your readers to access your posts.

Add an RSS feed to your blog to make it easier for your readers to subscribe to your blog and be updated on new posts. You’re not only writing a blog for yourself; you want to help your readers by making your blog more accessible and convenient for them. By setting up an RSS feed to your blog, you also have a higher chance of maintaining loyal followers.

 

After setting up your blog, all that’s left to do is write unique, quality posts that make your readers want to come back for more. Remember to add photos, videos or other media sources to give your blog more than just words on a screen.

Author Information
Sara Collins
Sara Collins is a writer for NerdWallet, a site that helps readers find the lowest interest rates.

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