This blogging howto article is to help you get started with blogging. This post is meant for future bloggers, writers, and all you scholars out there. I will first talk about the concept of blogging and blogs, then I will offer concrete and applicable guides to get you started with blogging.
Blogging HowTo: So what is blogging?
Blogging is very simple, technical aside everyone can become a blogger. The word Blog came to be by combining the word Web and Log, therefore Blog. Web log is a giant piece of wood that occasionally appears in the world-wide web and blocks the internet. No, weblogs are records of things online, like an online log book. Weblogs are typically generated by computers to record activities, errors and whatever information that is worth recording.
So for me a blog is someone’s journal posted on the internet. Kind of like this one you are reading now. It is the CEOs blog.
How to Start Blogging
To start blogging you need to first know what you want to blog about. Although that is very easy and you don’t have to linger hard on it for long since blogs about nothingness or everything is very common. It is your journal, you have the right to write whatever you want. Just remember, other people can see it too. You can also write private blogs, where only you and those you want have access.
To have a good blog you need to have good content. Contents are your journal entries. Everything you write becomes content of your blog.If you already have a journal on a subject you want to blog about, then great you finished the hardest part about blogging, and there should be no reason to stop you. If you have good knowledge on a subject that is not covered well on the internet, then there are people who’s going to love your blog.
If you don’t have a journal or the habit of writing one then content can be challenging for you. You can hire people to write it for you, get copyright free, or freely distributed articles from other people. These contents are never going to be as good. People want fresh and original content, google knows this, so does Bing. So original content will get you more visibility online.
Lear How to Write
Like I said earlier, if you are not very good at writing and wants to improve then there is nothing better than writing a blog. Remember a blog is a journal that you are allowing the world to see. The world knows that, and you are not going to get grilled for bad grammar or spelling. Although both are very important, that is why you are writing to improve them. Offering valuable information however is the absolute key.
Some of the best blogs out there offers valuable information that people respond to and enjoy reading. So write to help people and offer something useful. Extreme self-centered publications will also garner interest but it is no light work either. Ask Kim.
If writing anything coherent is not in your gene, but you can talk a storm about a subject then you can also try video blogging. You can publish your videos on your own youtube channel then publish it on your blog. Like your writing, your video doesn’t have to be fancy or professional. It is fine as long as your audience understand you.
It is easy to get lost while blogging. There are always new programs to tinker with, widgets to get you distracted, and fancy templates to download. Those are very important and aesthetically pleasing but the Zen of Blogging is information. So like everything else online a blogger’s true way is to create good and useful information.
One lesson I learned is that don’t spend too much time on figuring out the things you don’t know at the moment, start writing first.
If you have absolutely nothing of value to write about, that is okay too. Remember the way is to give information and the best way to do that is first gather information. Once you gathered enough information on your blog topic it wont’ be hard to write original information that is valuable to you and your readers.
Remember as a blogger you have to make many decisions, it’s almost like running a publishing company where you have to do everything. Above all that providing valuable information is key.
Blogging Howto: Requirement
Even though I say that content is the most important part of owning a blog, but you need to know how to transform your journal into a blog. To do that you need a few things.
Since this is a blogging howto article I will offer a step by step guide to help you own your first blog.
Ways to Own a Blog
There are a few ways to own a blog. Run a dedicated blog site where you own the website name, storage, and blogging platform. This method will cost some money. You can also sign up with a free blog site provider if you don’t want to spend any money.
Suggestion: It is important to figure out which one is best for you. If you want to make money from your blog, then having a dedicated blog site is good because it gives your reader a professional image. However, if you just want to have a blog as a hobby then a good free blog provider will do.
You want to make this distinction early because if you want to change later on moving all the content is something that you could do without.
Dedicated Blog Site
Below is a step by step guide to get you started with a dedicated blog site. You can follow exact steps using my recommended service providers, or you can learn the process and find your own provider later on.
Web Hosting: To own a dedicated blog site you need a place to host your data. There is a way to build your own server but that is out of fashion because it is neither worth the money nor the time. Unless you really want to learn how to build a server.
Go to hostgator a cheap and good quality hosting provider that offers dedicated blog hosting services.
You will see a page like this:
Website name: Think about a website name, its best to choose one that is related to what your blog is about. If you are going to talk about gardening, then don’t name your site hot-rod. Once you have picked a name fill in beside wordpress domain. This will also be your site name where people visit using www.yoursitename.com
If once you registered and feeling lost you should contact support at HostGator for any questions you may have. They also offer articles that will help you with the technical side of blogging. Explore a little bit.
It is going to take some time and tinkering to get everything in order. Don’t worry about that, you will have plenty of time to tinker.
Free BLOG SITE
The purpose of this blogging howto guide is to show you good and practical ways to start owning a blog. In the last section I showed you a typical process to get a dedicated blog site. Now I will show you how to get a free blog site.
One popular free blog site is tumblr. It looks like this:
Click get started and fill out any required information:
Follow the instructions and you will have your own blog on tumblr in no time!
Top 5 Blogging Platforms
A blogging howto guide is not complete unless I present you with all the options right? well not if you really just want to get a blog going. What you need to focus on now is get going. Don’t waste time searching what platform is the best, it really doesn’t matter because whichever platform you choose you are gong to have to learn it.
So I’m not going to make a list of platforms, that will only delay you further from owning your own blog. I will make it easy, for dedicated blog sites wordpress is the best. Easy to use, lots of support and it is by far the most popular platform for blogging. For free blogs play around with tumblr as I suggested. Get a feel of how blogging works, if you really don’t like my suggestions after a while start looking for platforms that suits you better. By then you will have a better knowledge at finding what you need.
I am pretty sure you can’t go wrong with wordpress or tumblr. You could say they are my top 2 on an imaginary list of 5.
Dedicated Blogs: WordPress
So if you have finished signing up with HostGator next thing to do is to make your first post. I know you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed now and writing a post is the last thing you are thinking about doing.
Here is the thing, remember why you are reading this blogging howto article. You are here thus far to learn how to blog. So far all you did was get a dedicated or a free blog hosting. Congratulations that now you are a proud owner of what could be a blog.
A blog without any content is not a blog, so you are here to learn how to make a blog so in order to do that it is absolutely important for you to post something, anything, right now!
Depend on the version by the time you signed up you may not have something that look exactly like this: (Don’t panic if yours doesn’t look like this, wordpress and hostgator improves all the time.)
What is important right now is that you find “write yourfirst blog post” and click on that. This will take you to your writing tool. Every entry you create is called a post. It looks like this:
Once you have done that press publish, and congratulations you have just published your first content to what I hope will soon be a resourceful and popular blog.
You can then click on view your blog and see what it looks like live. There are many things you can do with wordpress, such as adding sharing buttons for you to share with your friends on social media like facebook and twitter.
Spend some time learning wordpress, if you are lost you can always go to www.wordpress.org and look for help.
Free Blogs: Tumblr
Now is time to get your blog going if you chose to go with Tumblr. After you log into Tumblr with the credential you used earlier you should see something like this:
Find that pencil icon, whereever it is, find it and click on it. Once you click on it you are given a choice of the different kind of posts you can do. Lets just do a quick text one and get your blog started.
Now write your title and spin a few lines about the subject of your post. Once you are done make sure you click post.
Congratulations, now you are a proud blog owner.
Blogging Howto: Everything Else
The reason why it seems that I pushed you to write your first blog is because without content you have no blog. One of the biggest reason why people give up on blogging is simply because they have spent all their energy, focus, and enthusiasm on everything else that is not about content.
Design your blog with your flare is part of web design, it is not blogging. Adding all the cool widgets and plugins is great for your blog’s functionality but it is again not blogging.
Remember when I said blogging is like running a publishing company all by yourself? and that is absolutely true. What is important is that you need to be able to identify the core productivity of blogging. Which is creating valuable content.
Spending a month on an awesome logo is horrible blogging, because you have not created any content. No one cares about your killer logo if you have nothing valuable for them to read about. Needless to say even find you.
Blogging Howto: The Core
Now that you have your own blog your number one goal is to build your core. The core of a blog is content and content is king. If you have a clear idea of what you want to write think about how you can approach it.
Sometimes you approach a subject that you think you know well enough, but once you start writing you realize quickly that you run out of things to say. Never fill up content with gibberish. If you have nothing valuable to write don’t write at all.
Running out of things to say about your chosen subject is actually quite serious. Especially if you named your site after something you only have enough knowledge to cover one article.
I should have told you this before right? Well, if I did, and told you to go to the library or get a PHD on the subject you would still not have a blog. That would mean I wrote a failed blogging howto guide.
I am not interested in letting you read a blogging howto article that doesn’t help you get started with blogging. By the end of this article you will have a blog and you will have the knowledge to run one properly.
It is perfectly normal to run out of things to say. It is possible that you don’t know enough on the subject you want to write. Good news is since you chose the topic it should be something you like, better yet passionate about.
Why should you write something you like? well, you are not going to make the effort to research on things you don’t like. No research, no new knowledge, no content.
One of the biggest joy in blogging is the journey of your own progression. The blog is your journal. Say you decided to write a blog about gardening. One post later you exhausted your gardening knowledge and you are stuck.
Unless your single post is super long and detailed and covered everything about gardening and some. Your one post about gardening simply won’t make it a blog. Its an essay at best.
Sadly, this is where most people quit. If you search online for blogs you will come across tens of thousands of dead blogs. Many of them have a few good posts and that was it. The blogger ran out of things to write and the blog starved to death.
There is no shortcut to good content. You have to write your own and you must do your research.
Wikipedia is not where you research for your content. If it is already on wikipedia you don’t have to talk about it. You can use it to support your point in an article, it is easier to link to wikipedia than to a book. Information on other websites belong to other people. You won’t get an F for plagiarizing but google will make sure no one sees your blog ever. There is no point to blog if you offers nothing new.
Here is a blogging howto pro tip: read books! There are a lot of information online, but there are way more in books. Most of human knowledge are still stored in books.
Borrow a gardening book from your public library, or buy a book from amazon, read it and I guarantee you will find new information that you can share with the world on your gardening blog. Keep the blog alive.
Think of your blog as a living breathing entity, it will thrive if you feed it lots of genuine and original content or it will starve and eventually join the fallen.
Blogging Howto: The Start
Congratulations and thank you for reading this Blogging Howto guide. I hope that this article was able to get you started with a blog. If you’ve done everything I asked you to, by now you should have your own blog. The reason why I wrote this post is because I want to write something that can get someone a blog by the time they finish reading. I want to make no mistake on what blogging really is.
This is however the start of blogging. You understand now that the core is what keeps your blog alive and potentially successful. You still have to work on everything else, which is also important in the sense of publishing. If you want to talk about fashion and your blog is anything bug fashionable it doesn’t add value.
I don’t think that it is even possible to write a fashion blog without being fashionable. Hence my point.
Here here you, the beginning of your blogging journey. Have fun, create something valuable and share with the world.
Making Money with your Blog
I know that this is one of the main reason why some of you are reading this blogging howto guide. This section alone should be another post on itself. I will write it some point in the future and will add the link here. I do have sufficient knowledge to write it but I don’t not yet have a practical result to back it up.
Blogs have great potential to make money, actually many full time bloggers do quite alright financially blogging. Right now however, if all you have is a brand new blog with one post that I asked you to write, monetizing your blog should be the last thing to consider.
Focus on your content, once you have enough, you can look for suitable ways to monetize it.
Here are some books on the subject for you.
Good Luck and Bon Voyage Blogger!
Since you have made a blog by reading this blogging howto article I invite you to drop a link down in the comment section! There are still a lot more to cover as a blogger but for now, safe sailing and all the best to you fellow blogger!