The first thing I’d like to point out about blogging is that; starting a blog is totally free.
The process of starting a blog is a less than ten-minute process and easier than you’d think. While that's the case, it's not advisable to jump in without knowing a thing or two about what you're getting into.
|Tutorial - Starting your own blog
Starting Your Own Blog [Tutorial]
There are various questions you'll need answers to before starting your blog; What will you blog about
? What will you name your blog
? What blogging software
will you use? How should you write your blog posts
? How will you get and increase your readers
Choosing a Blog Topic
These days, a lot of bloggers write about specific topics. They can vary from a fashion blog, a business blog, an entertainment blog, poetry or creative writing blog, politics, local news, technology, comedy, photography blogs et cetera. Anyway, just because everyone blogs about a specific topic, doesn’t mean you have to
You may have lots to talk about; covering all the mentioned subjects and then some. When blogging, you don’t have to be imprisoned by a topic; in the end, it’s all you
. However, most readers like to follow a blog if it’s thematic so it may be a good idea to choose a topic – if you’re after a certain specific readership.
Choosing a Blog Name
Choosing a blog name is like naming a pet. Some people know the name immediately, others (myself included
) will struggle with several until they’re down to two or three really good names. However your method, this is a really important part of setting up your blog. It's a case of "you make your bed, you lay in it", give it enough thought. Try choosing a name that is relevant to what you'll be writing about or special to you.
Choosing a Blog Platform
is just a fancy name for blogging software... Anyhow, relax; you won’t have to install anything. These blog platforms are blog publishing tools offered on the net
. There are several options (let's call them websites
) that offer these platforms for free. If you’re really new to these platforms, here are the basics:
These are my five picks [Best Free Blog platforms]:
- Wordpress.com – The most popular platform. If you’re really new to blogging, or just not a big fan of computers, this would be your pick. Everything’s done for you; from html to Search Engine Optimization. Meaning that you have limited privileges on manipulating the site
- Blogger.com/ Blogspot – Blogger, which is powered by Google, is my personal favorite. When it comes to the edit the site, you do all the work; meaning that you have full access to the html.
- Tumblr and Posterous – These are two other great platforms. Tumblr is the lazy man’s blog; You can simply tumble a quote or link, and you’ve blogged.
I’d suggest choosing between Wordpress and Blogger
. If you don’t want to work on design, optimization e.t.c. Wordpress is your choice. If, however, you like working on its design and are not a web-layman, Blogger is your choice. Blogger may be hard to work with at first, but I assure you, it pays off, with its custom domain features and Search Engine Optimization.
Once you’ve selected a platform visit their site to create your blog: Blogger.com
, Tumblr.com or Posterous.com.
How to Write Great Blog Posts
When it comes to blogging, it doesn’t matter what you’re writing about, there are a couple of tips you can follow to maximizing on your post:
As I always say, behind every successful blogger is good content, repeatedly written. As an introduction to great blog post writing, here's an everyday tip; put yourself in the reader's shoes. Think of yourself as a member of your target audience. Then ask yourself," what would I want to read?" If you write exactly that, you can never go wrong.
- Write Original Content – Both search engines and organic readers detest copy-pasted material.
- Stick on Topic – If you’re writing a thematic post. Avoid wandering off.
- Be Provocative – Write articles that leave the reader itching to comment.
- Just Enough – Not too short and (unlike this post) not too long.
- Grammar – Re-check spelling and simplify your vocabulary, it helps.
- Make it Look Nice – Add a nice font here and there, an image even. What am saying is make it appealing.
- S.E.O – Use Search Engine Optimization techniques (keywords, tags etc).
- Be Educative – Try teaching the reader something new.
Read about these techniques, in detail, here: Writing Great Blog Posts
Increase Blog Visitors and Returning Readers
Starting a new blog can be a real trial if you have few readers. Don’t worry, every blog starts out that way. You’ll need patience – Patience is important
. However, instead of waiting for the readers you can go to them:
are some of the most powerful yet underrated exposure tools out there. Create a Twitter account and a Facebook account and post links to your new blog posts on either. When it comes to Facebook, you can find a like group or fan page
related to what you are blogging about, and post on their wall.You can also implement Facebook's Open Graph code on your blog and set it up as a Facebook page.
Bookmarking Sites and Blog Communities:
These are other very important tools: Stumbleupon, Digg, Google Bookmarks, Reddit
, e.t.c. Create accounts on these sites and update them on new postings just like Facebook and Twitter. You can join blogging communities
both online and offline (like Blogger's Association of Kenya - BAKE
) to get people with the same interests to read your posts.
Guest Blogging and Commenting
Writing a guest blog post on a related blog can expose you to lots of new readers
as well as increase your Page Rank through quality back-links
. Just identify a blog similar to yours, ask for the opportunity, write an original, well researched article and send it to them for review [with a link or two back to your site
]. If it's technology or entertainment, you can contact me for a chance to guest blog on this site.
If you’re a Kenyan blogger, you can take advantage of Blogs-Kenya.com
and @Blogs_Kenya on twitter
. It provides high exposure to your blog posts as soon as you update. I happen to be the creator and admin @Blogs_Kenya
and am working on a bigger fully fledged community at BlogsKenya.com
Please feel free to comment or add any other tips below
. You can contact me at @peteretelej on twitter
for blog-related help.