This blog post tells you how to start a blog as opposed to how to write a blog. That is, it explains the background work you need to do to start a blog. Also, this blog does not include the details about using any one platform.
If you want to start a company or corporate blog, typically it is published on your company website. Company blog posts have to observe strict guidelines. This post helps you start a personal blog.
Choose a Topic
There are two paths you can follow. If you want to publish your thoughts and impressions online, you can do so.
Or, you may want to choose a particular topic, say, SaaS (Software-as-as-Service). You can discuss a wide range of sub-topics such as SaaS technologies, SaaS marketing, SaaS apps, SaaS Analytics, SaaS training, SaaS startups in town, and so on.
Pick a Name
Once you know what you want to write about, choose a name for your blog. If your blog is about your personal impressions, you can very well name it after you. Else, choose a name that reflects the topic of the blog.
Choose a Blogging Platform
You can use WordPress, Blogger, or any other such platform. These platforms provide a virtual space to publish your blogs. It is similar to setting up a shop. However, there are both free and paid platforms. Technically speaking, this is called hosting your blog. (The platform hosts your blog.)
If you are new to blogging, the best place to start is Google’s Blogger. Once you gain some understanding about what it takes to blog and how to use a blogging platform, you can explore WordPress. You can get a lot of helpful content about WordPress at wpbeginner.
Understand Keyword Research
Keywords or key phrases are the words or phrases people type into search engines to find information on the Internet. When your blog uses those very keywords or phrases, it appears in the search results.
However, understand that appearing in the search results and appearing on the first page have vastly different value propositions. After all, you want people to read your blog. It is unlikely that people will find your blog unless it appears on the first page and more importantly, in the first 3 places. Since only 3 results can occupy those 3 slots, competition is intense. That brings us to the aspect of blog distribution.
There are many tools, both free and paid, for keyword research. Type “free keyword tools” into the search bar. You shall find a plethora of sources.
To know more about keyword selection, read Keyword Selection for Websites and Blogs.
Distribute Your Blog
Distribution helps your blog reach a wider audience. Also, note that whether you use keywords or not, you need to distribute your blog.
- After you write a blog, copy and share the link on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media pages. A word of caution. If you are writing about funny cats, avoid LinkedIn since the audience prefers professional content and not content that entertains. In a nutshell, respect the content preferences of the audience.
- You can post the blog link as your WhatsApp status.
- Create an account on Medium and import your blog.
- Add the blog link to your email signature. (Don’t include personal blog links in your professional email. It’s a big no-no.)
Time to Act
Once you set up the above, set aside some time to write regularly. When you write regularly, and about a chosen topic, people know what to expect and choose to return.
Blogs attract comments if you enable the comments facility for your blogs. They generate interaction with your readers. Enable comments when you think you have the time to respond to comments.
Publish Your First Blog Post
Even after one or two edit cycles and assurances from your friends that your blog post is good to go, you may have butterflies in your stomach to push the Publish button for the first time. This is normal and you will overcome this feeling very soon.
Here are some pointers to develop your blogging skills.
To know more about keyword selection, you may want to read the article: How to Select Keywords for Websites and Blogs.