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You've read several blogs, followed a few others, and then one morning, you're sitting in your easy chair and you have an epiphany…."I can do that!" You've felt the creative juices and want to nurture the budding writer within you. But the sensations of joy and excitement are quickly diminished when you suddenly realize that you have no idea how to get started. You have the urge, you have the desire, and you want to take the leap as a blogger. You have a story to tell and feel you can pass something on to the people of the interwebs. You stare at your computer, scanning yet another blog entry and think to yourself, ‘now what?’ This article is all about how to get started on the right foot. Blog building basics for those that want to explore their new-found passion, even if you don't know that's what it is yet!
Let's Get Started
So, how DID they do that? How did someone's thoughts end up in a neatly formatted web page for all the world to see? For those that are just starting out, I fully intend to ‘demystify’ the process for you. In fact, you'll be surprised how easy it really is, even if you're not too savvy with technology.
Let's take a look at what makes a blog…the foundation, frame, roof, and trim of the article you were reading so intently just a few moments ago. Or…the article you find yourself reading right now.
In the early days, the concept of web hosting was a little more daunting. You'd have to do your research, find a host that had the resources to stay accessible 24/7 all while providing a user-friendly means of getting your files to the server in a way the made sense. Today, most of that is nearly automatic. Both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer excellent hosting options and can provide a home to your page with very little effort on your part.
Oddly enough, to some extent the ‘hosting’ part of it has become less a requirement as full service sites such as Weebly are offering the same thing as part of their service. But we’ll get to that in a minute! So what do today’s hosts provide? A name. Do you want to be BobsBadBlog.Wordpress.com, or do you want the professional look of www.bobsbadblog.com? Do you already have an idea for a name? Give it a whirl and see if it’s available!
Not ready for the name part? That’s okay too…we can forgo this step temporarily and focus on getting things up and running first…which brings us to the next key ingredient, the Medium. A little later we’ll delve a little deeper into the hosting setup process, but for now, try one of these links and see what they have to offer. You’ll find it’s quite a bit easier than it sounds.
I know that Wix and Squarespace do not offer a free option, so for those starting out, I would either suggest Weebly or Wordpress.com, Wordpress’s latest venture into the ‘full-service’ hosting world. Simply create a page using their free plan and play around. If you like the feel, the customization, and the look, then you’re able to take a small step up and pay for additional services like more storage and more importantly, custom domain names…which takes us back to the foundation…Hosting. Using the tools within their sites, you can either signup for a new domain right there, or link your existing domain to your new site!
From there, you’re laying the groundwork for your content. As you write small articles, your writing becomes more fluid, you begin to see a ‘style’ form in how you write, and your posts will start to take on the form of a real blog! But don’t forget the basics!! If your platform doesn’t include a spellcheck or grammar checking option, I would suggest typing up your ideas in Word or Google Docs…at least until you feel comfortable with how things are coming together. Plus, word count is a good thing to keep an eye on as you go.
So let’s say you were really on it and you cranked out 5 really good posts in your first month. That’s great!! In fact, you’ve already laid the foundation you need for a good following…but, according to your traffic stats, you only had 30 views! What?! This is where a lot of bloggers hang it up…they just don’t see instant results and assume it’s because no one cares about what they’re writing. WRONG!! Blogging is not a ‘If you write it, they will come’ project. The fact is, you’re not getting views because no one knows you’re out there. So how do you get the word out? Social Media.
Follow these basic steps and you’ll have your blog structure well underway. You’ll get several readers from your social media posts, and you’ll probably even get a few ‘organic’ hits from Google and Bing. So congratulations, the journey of a thousand steps is already underway! The key is consistency…give your audience enough to whet their appetite, and keep coming back with more information. Today’s informational world is alive and people are eager to soak up anything they can get on a topic that appeals to them.
Hello, my name is Scott...I'm a husband, father of 3, and work full-time in IT. If that's not enough on my plate, I'm also tackling the biggest 'creative' project of my lifetime, bringing Mists of Kel Doran to life. I hope you like what I'm trying to pull off and I truly appreciate all of those who have supported this dream of mine. Here's to following your heart and having the courage to put your ideas out there for the world to enjoy :)
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