“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Blogging has become one of the cornerstones of our lives as a society. It has become the new journal, the diary and the novel of the world at large. Everyone seems to blog these days from corporate executives to the grandmother in the retirement home. Businesses can use blogs to boost brand recognition and grieving loved ones might use them to work through their pain and communicate to loved ones. The number of people starting blogs and their reasons for doing so vary wildly. Despite this, there are still quite a few people out there that are afraid to put their toes in the water. They still have fears about getting started with a blog. If you are one of those folks, here are some quick and easy tips to make it easier to get going:
Decide what you are blogging about
What do you want to communicate about and who are you talking to? Virtually every decision will flow from this very important information. For example, if you are blogging about your dog Samson and it is meant to be a silly, fun type of blog, you will probably go with one of the free platforms like Blogger. If you are blogging about your small business products, you will likely go with WordPress or a paid platform.
Once you decide what you want to talk about, brainstorm a list of topics you will cover. Keep these in a file for those days when you are completely stuck for a topic. Many people are afraid that they will not have enough to talk about once they begin blogging. These brainstorming sessions can be a lifesaver both for confidence and organization of ideas. Knowing you have a storehouse of things to write about will help you to take that first step without concern.
Choose your platform
Are you looking to grow your blog and make money or are you simply using it as a personal journal? Are you wanting it to be seen by the masses or are you looking for something private to only a few family members? This will largely decide which platform you need. Most people are perfectly happy with a free service like Blogger. If you want something easy to use and quick to set up, this is your best bet.
Blogger, however, has it’s downfalls. You will have very limited options about what your blog looks like and you will not be able to make much money if that is your goal. Some folks do make money with Blogger blogs but few would argue that it is on par with other platforms like WordPress.
WordPress is the standard that most folks use and it is also quite easy to use. You have a small learning curve but within a short period of time you can be running it like a pro. WordPress also has countless features to boost your visibility, make your blog unique and help you earn. You have no need to learn coding here…. WordPress can do that for you through their various settings and features.
Take a dry run and experiment
The best way to get comfortable blogging is to blog. The cool part is that you can do so without a soul ever seeing your initial efforts. You can see them and how they will look “live” by previewing the posts. Do a few posts and look them over. What do they look like? What looks wrong or out of place? These things can be fixed and then your confidence will rise even more.
Commit to a Schedule
The hardest thing about blogging is actually producing the content. If you are blogging for the purpose of building readership like most are, you have to be regimented with your schedule. Someone very famous once said, “writers write” and this is extremely poignant when you think about it. Without tapping those keys, your blog will remain unchanged. Commit to a schedule, however sparse, and never stray from it.
Trying to start a blog is very intimidating to a newbie, but the fact is it is rather easy. The nuts and bolts are a breeze and you will have a great one started in no time. The hard part is maintaining the blog so that people will return over and over to see what you have to say. That will be a lesson for another day.