A beginner’s guide to blogging
If you love doing something share it with the world. A personal blog is the most effective and fastest way to do so. As Seth Godin said “Blogging is free, it doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the meta cognition of thinking about what you are going to say…”
The modern blog or web log evolved from the concept of an online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives in the late 90’s. Blogs now number over 400 million and new ones are being added to the blogosphere every day. Our natural social instincts and desire to be part of a conversation are the reason for the phenomenal popularity of blogging. So are you ready to Blog? You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to start a blog and there are lots of free platforms available online. Your blog is just 3 steps away:
Step 1: Pick a topic and name
Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
Step 3: Write your post
The topic should reflect your passion or interest as this is the only possible way that you will be able to sustain regular posting. A short catchy name which links to your topic will make it memorable and findable. You could also decide to buy a domain name to identify your blog.
There are many free open source blogging platforms to choose from online, such as WordPress, Typepad, Blogger etc. Personally, I like WordPress with its intuitive and powerful features and an array of design templates to give your blog the perfect look.
Original content and original ideas posted is what will set your blog apart from the multitude and attract readers. Some principles for a good blog are:
– Include some information about yourself as who you truly are, rather than read like a resume.
– Always use a free a free web based e-mail address such as a yahoo, gmail or hotmail address indicating to your readers that you are available, but display it on your blog as an image rather than text.
– Post a picture of yourself to build trust between yourself and your readers so that your readers feel like they know you.
Focus on optimizing the reader experience with original content. Nowhere is brevity more welcome than on the internet. Use short paragraphs, bold text, and bullet points. Use as few words as possible without compromising quality. And if possible, post consistently and often.
Most of the prolific bloggers state that it takes them around 15 or 20 minutes to write a blog post. So, what’s the secret behind prolific bloggers? It’s simply this: The more you write, the easier it becomes! Not only does it become easier but ideas for blog posts are generated more and more frequently.
Now is the time to add some more interesting features to your blog. In addition to text posts, you can post images and videos. This is especially true if you are a photography enthusiast. This is the perfect medium to showcase your best shots or videos and also receive feedback. This can then be shared with your social media networks such as Twitter, Digg, Flickr, StumbleUpon, Facebook and more. The comments generated will encourage and guide you to develop as a better writer.
This is just the beginning of the journey in blogging; advanced bloggers use their blogs for contests, polls, to influence opinion and even generate revenue through advertisements, Google AdSense and other online opportunities. Blogs also have long lasting shelf lives, as they exist on the internet until you decide to remove them. If you maintain your viewers and you respect the idea that you should be passionate about the content of your blog, then your credibility will go up, and this is what blogging is truly all about.
Register a domain – As long as it is relevant, the shorter the domain is the better.
– www.register.com to check domain name availability and, registration if available.
– www.namestation.com generates domain ideas based on your suggestions, linguistics, and semantic databases
Blogging Services (hosting provided)
Blogging Services (self-hosted)
Blog Design Inspiration, tips etc