7 Useful Lessons on Starting a Successful Blog
Quote of the day:
Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. -Saint Augustine
Recently I've had someone new to blogging ask me which was the best platform to use, Blogger or Wordpress. At least narrowing it down to just those two works well. Since I have used both platforms, I explained the pros and cons of each and explained that in the end it all comes down to personal preference. Besides, it is easy to switch from one to the other, and back.
It did get me thinking about my early days of blogging and the main reason for starting. I started because I needed an outlet for my thoughts, something personal like a journal but in this case -one that is open to the whole world to see. It was therapeutic and an escape. This suited me very well. I didn't have a specific theme in mind, because I had a lot of interests -photography, poetry, technology, architecture, travel and such. If I created a blog for all of my interests, there'd be no end in sight so I stuck with just one. All I knew was that I wanted to write and over the years the blog has evolved while staying true to its character.
I can't think of a more powerful tool. Either you are blogging or have a vlog on Youtube, you have a voice. And the louder you want that voice to be will depend on how much effort you put into it.
If you are new to the whole blog business it can be a bit daunting at first. Questions like: what content do I write? What platform do I use to write? Do I buy my own domain? How often do I post? And a thousand and one questions obviously. It easy to get overwhelmed with all the information out there.
Here are a few tips that could be of help.
1. Blogger/Blogspot or Wordpress
These two are the biggest platforms in use today. They are both free to use and signing up is easy to do. Wordpress has slightly more users than Blogger owned by Google, and when it comes to features, plug-ins and functionality Wordpress is the better of the two. However, Blogger is simpler to use. As a beginner -depending on your goal, you may want to sign up with each platform, play around with the features for a week or month, and then decide which one works for you. And with their import tools you can switch from one platform to the other anytime. Lastly, they both have vibrant online communities and offer numerous tools to help with the startup process.
2. Find your passion
Why do you want to create a blog? Remember that whatever you feel comfortable with can be your niche. Your passion will be the fuel needed to keep it all together. You can choose one area or combine different things. There are no rules. So pick something you are interested in. People often blog about their arts and crafts, travel, poetry, reviews, fashion, photography, food, health, gardening, painting, the list is just endless. The whole idea is to have fun with your blog.
3. Find inspiration
You will run into the dreaded 'writer's block' phase sooner than later. When you have no idea what to write, but its okay as you find inspiration all around. Visit blogs similar or even different to yours, read articles or stories, think of new ways to do old things, and make new friends in the process. Visiting others will increase your confidence and ability to focus and write more on your passion.
4. Time is everything
As a new blogger don't expect results overnight. It is a lot of hard work to maintain a blog, so don't start with a rush or you will be exhausted before you even get anywhere. You can start with one post a week -depending on your niche, and then build it up from there. The idea is to find your comfort zone -being able to create and maintain your blog, while also taking care of yourself and pursuing other things in life.
5. It's a work in progress
You'd do well not to worry too much about how your blog looks when you start out. The truth is it will always change over time. You will tweak and tweak till you get things right. It's like moving into an empty house. Leaving your stamp on it won't be overnight. There are many free tools and websites -say free stock images for instance, that you can utilize to your advantage. Also keep in mind that your mindset and purpose will also change at some point, and there is nothing wrong with that.
6. Use social media
In terms of getting word out about your blog, using just word of mouth won't cut it. Don't be afraid to share your blog with the world. There are enough resources online to help you keep track and engage with others. Building a social media presence will help you along the way.
7. Keep writing
Write, write, write. Until it becomes a habit.
If you are new to blogging I hope you find these tips useful. If you need more help feel free to send me an email. For the pros, please leave a comment and maybe an advice for the new bloggers visiting? Thank you.
Peace. Love. Light*
Current Listen: Chicago - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?