I write this on the day of officially migrating my blog to WordPress after its two-year tenure on Google Blogger, where it first reached 32000 pageviews. This is truly a feat that I could have never fathomed, and I feel grateful to have achieved it.
As I introspect, I realize that blogging has been a great outlet for me, not only to express my opinion, but it’s also become one of the reasons that I have become more knowledgeable and inquisitive. This is because while I’m researching to write blogs, I inadvertently learn more about the topic that I’m writing about.
It’s also a great way to share new ideas, to connect with other people and to express yourself through words. Read on if you’d like to start your own blog.
The method that I utilized can be neatly summarized by this acronym:
- P – Purpose: Why are you writing? What is the motivation or need for your blog?
- P – Platform: What will you write on? Is it a personal, shared or business blog?
- A – Audience: Who are you writing for? Which demographic are you aiming for?
- C – Content: What will you be writing about? Will you utilize media?
- R – Reach: Where will your content be spread or shared in order to reach the audience?
I like to think that this is a feasible criterion when you initially plan a blog. It’s certainly something that’s worked for me, and it also helps to keep you centered towards the main objective of your blog, as it’s easy to get carried away when writing.
Keep in mind that there’s no set structure or way going about this and it’s all up to you. It’s like a metaphor for life.
The worst part about life is that eventually, you figure out that you aren’t the protagonist of the universe. You are just some random jackass.
That’s some existential humor for those that read my last blog. Good times.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand.
You can only really produce fulfilling, great content when you’re writing about things that interest you, rather than to satisfy the audience that you’re writing for. Remember that you’re not writing to regurgitate three different articles worth of information, you’re writing to produce and present your own unique outlook.
Often times, you need a stimulus. This may come in the form of an article, a video or the evening news. It could also be something that you stumbled upon in your daily commute. Inspiration is everywhere.
There’s only really one thumb rule, and it’s this:
Blog like no one is reading.
Blog for yourself, first and always.
Blog because you feel compelled to share things you’re passionate about,
and you’ll never run out of material.
So, where do you start?
The most popular, powerful and accessible platform is without a doubt, WordPress.org. However, it’s an open source and self-managed platform, which means that for the amateur or casual writer, customary server maintenance is an undesired hassle. You are responsible for all the layout design, hosting and other blog related operations yourself.
In contrast, WordPress.com offers plans which take care of all of this for you, leaving you with only the actual writing and theme design to do, and some tools for widgets and such. It’s also the most utilized content publishing platform and offers a variety of plans to get you started. Have a look:
You can read this article to find out more about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is free, but hosting and buying a domain will cost you roughly $25, or 1600 INR.
WordPress.com has a free plan but will come with branding and advertisements. You can get a basic yet complete plan for $2.99 or 200 INR/month.
Similar to WordPress.com, Wix is a hosted platform that allows you build websites, in a simple drag-drop format, and you can use the Wix Blog app to add a blog. There’s a ton of templates to work with, and it’s extremely easy to use.
The basic Wix website builder is free. You can add a custom domain for $4.50/month.
This is one that I’ve used ever since I started blogging, until today, actually. I’ve switched over to WordPress.com, but I must attest that it’s a deprecated yet easy to use, easy to set up and just overall good software.
The thing is that Google owns Blogger, and knowing Google’s history of abandoning projects, Blogger may be at imminent risk of shut down. The site hasn’t received any major updates for years now, its templates are limited and support is difficult to find.
However, it’s a free software, protected by Google’s robust security protocols and allows you to easily share your content.
There’s a lot of other good software, you can find a link that details all of them down in the sources.
Other things you’ll need to know
Writing and publishing good content is only one step of the process. Your content’s reach dictates its success, and it’s important to build a network of places to share your content in order to get the most performance out of your blog.
You’ll need to supplement your blog with its own social media pages in order to maximize its reach. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit are very good places to begin. These platforms draw in the most crowds, and you’re going to want to use them.
A note on thumbnails and titles
Please, please, please choose your post thumbnail and titles wisely. Social media is built in a way to generate curiosity through small amounts of information, so you’re going to want to effectively use it. Choose thumbnails that best capture your post’s essence and titles that hook the reader and make them read further.
All in all, you’re writing for yourself, so make sure you imbue that unique kick to it.