I’ve been blogging for more than 4 years now and the journey has been amazing. The blog has grown a lot since the time I started and is doing pretty good that makes me happy ! “Hi, I’ve seen your blog, it’s amazing. I want to start one, how to start ?“, “Bro, your blog is superb, I want to start a blog too, can show how to do it ?” these are some of the messages I keep getting on emails, twitter and all the other places. So I thought why not write a Quick Guide on How to start blogging ? I mean I’ve blogged for quite some time now and on different platforms so I guess I can help you out. Without any further adieu, let’s get started.
Nice to know that you want to hop on the Blogging bandwagon. But before that there are few things that you need to figure out. Blogging isn’t just hobby anymore, if you are serious, there are thousands waiting out there to reward you for your efforts. Before I get into the nitty-gritty details on How To Start Blogging, below are a few things that you should keep in mind before heading out. All the points mentioned below are generic and might not be what you might be expecting. So if you think I’ve missed out on anything, mention in the comments below.
How to Start Blogging – Guide to get you started.
Is Blog the right platform for you ?
This is the first question you should probably be asking. There are a lot of different mediums to share your story with the world. If you are into photography and plan to share a lot of photos then Instagram is ideal. If you are planning to post a lot of videos, then a YouTube channel is what you need. So think carefully before you venture out. If you think that blog is perfect for you, go ahead. I’m not saying that you cannot have a photo or a video blog. Rather if you choose different platforms, you might reach a larger and more specific audience.
What are you passionate about ?
Identify the area you are passionate about (niche as we call it in the blogosphere) – you need to figure out what you want to blog about. It can be anything from cars to gadgets. Your favorite hobby, poems, book review and everything you can think of. Once you identify the area, it becomes easier. I can understand that many of you will have multiple niches to write on. That’s fine. This blog too is a multi-niche blog. So first thing is to identify your area of interest / niche.
Free or Self-hosted ?
Blogging is free as I’ve told earlier too. Most of the service providers provide free blogging services which are enough for starters. But it has its own limitations. You don’t get to do a lot of customisations with your blog related to themes, layouts etc. There are a lot of options, but everyone wants to have a personal touch. Also, you have fixed storage space, you pay extra if you want more. So if you are looking for customisation, you need to opt for self hosting. For self hosting you need to buy your own server space and domain name for which you will pay on an yearly basis. Also you need to take care of the updates, setup etc. So self hosting is a costly affair indeed. But if you are just starting out, I’d suggest to go for free blogging and later you can switch if needed. A detailed guide on Self Hosting vs Free Blog coming soon on the blog. Stay Tuned !
Name your blog
You don’t want you blog to be ‘gumnaam‘ (without a name) After you’ve identified the niche you’ll blog about, it’s time to identify the name. You can pick up any name you want. But make sure, to have at least 3-4 options. Who knows that name might have already been taken ? If you are going to start free you don’t need to worry much. But if you are looking a Custom Domain name, you might to brain storm a little extra to find the name. Try to use online services to see if your domain name is already chosen or not.
Which Platform – Blogger or WordPress ?
Don’t worry if you are hearing these names for the first time. Choosing the right platform is a key here. In this guide of How to Start Blogging, I’ll talk about the two biggies in blogging industry – Blogger and WordPress. This blog is on WordPress. Some of you might have heard of Medium too. I’ve tried it, but maybe I’d take some time to get used to it. Blogger and WordPress are blogging platforms that allow you to blog. Both these platforms provide you free services to start blogging and you can start a blog in minutes. To start blogging on Blogger, read this guide. To start blogging on WordPress read this guide. Now the question might arise, which platform to choose – Blogger or WordPress ? Well I’ll talk about the pros and cons of Blogger and WordPress too.
Why Choose Blogger ?
Blogger or Blogspot is a platform provided by Google. Choose Blogger if you want:
- seamless integration with your Google address / profile
- free https certificate – you usually pay for this if you are self hosting
- free domain name mapping – if you buy a custom domain name, you don’t have to pay a fee to use it
- Utilize Google’s power
However you should not choose Blogger because of the following reasons:
- not much customisation can be done. (If you are UI/UX guy, you can)
- pre-defined themes aren’t too good
- not many widgets, gadgets you can use
- the UI could have been better
- doesn’t have an app for iPad
Why choose WordPress ?
WordPress is owned by Automattic and boasts of hosting most sites on its platform. Choose WordPress if you want:
- huge number of themes
- huge number of widgets
- quick setup
- A great UI
- allows to blog from your mobile / iPad
However, WordPress too has its share of issues. Below are some of the issues with WordPress
- you cannot map a domain name for free
- paid packages cost a lot
- you cannot install plugins on the free wordpress.com blog
Once you have finalized on the platform for blogging. Go ahead and create your blog there. It shouldn’t take more than 30mins to set it up. However you might take some more time if you are spending time to tweak the blog.
Now that your blog is up and running, ensure to post regularly. Make a blogging calendar if you need and stick to it. I believe that your blog is like a tree, you should shower it with fresh posts or it will die. I hope this post was helpful if helping you understand how to start blogging. How to start blogging is a common question that I’ve come across and hence this guide. If this post has helped you, do share it with your friends who are interested to blog. Mention your blog’s link and I’d glad to drop by.
How was this guide on How to Start Blogging ? Did it help you ? Do you feel I missed something ? Mention in the comments below or tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj for quick response.
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