It’s time. You’re a writer who is ready to start blogging. Here’s what you need to know; I learned these steps to setting up a blog the hard way – by creating a series of Quips and Tips blogs (which are now called Blossom).
In Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, Ann Handley shares tips for writing better, plus easy grammar and usage rules tailored for business in a fun, memorable way. After you set up your blog, you need to learn how to give audience the gift of your true story – told well. Empathy, humanity and inspiration are key to writing blog posts your readers will love and share.
If you want to learn how I started blogging, read How I Became a Blogger. The learning curve for setting up my blog was steep – and still is, in many ways! But it’s well worth it. Here, I describe what I learned so you can set up your own blog. Since I’m a writer, these steps to setting up a blog are geared towards writerly folk. But, they’ll help anyone interested in starting their blogging journey.
How to Set Up a Blog – 5 Tips for Writers
First, the benefits of blogging – especially for writers – include:
- The joy of writing articles or shorts that you don’t have to sell first.
- The satisfaction of immediate publishing.
- The freedom to write about the things you love.
- The motivation and discipline to write regularly (I definitely feel a sense of obligation to write for my blogs, and I write even if I don’t feel like it. Mostly.).
- The opportunity to increase your writing skills.
- The potential to meet new people (I love when people email me or comment on my blog posts!).
Below are my five steps to creating a blog, with or without blog software…
1. Figure out your hook
My focus for Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals (which is now called Blossom) is helping people achieve their personal, career, and social goals. I always try to include a quip with my tips. When you’re creating a blog, make sure you find something you love to write about — that won’t dry up in a couple of months or even a year. I love achieving my goals, I love life tips, and I love inspirational quips, so this was a no-brainer for me.
2. Decide if you want to make money blogging
See the Amazon ads, Google ads, and Kontera context links on the side panels and peppered throughout this blog? Decide if you want that when you’re creating a blog. This is how people make money blogging and writing. On the downside, many web surfers don’t like those Google or Amazon ads. So, you need to decide if you want to advertise products on your blog.
If you don’t know much about search engine optimization (a key tip for making money blogging), read SEO Tips for WordPress Blogs.
3. Choose a blog hosting site and blogging software
I’m familiar with WordPress.com, WordPress.org, and Blogger. I like them for different reasons. That said, my “Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals” blog is a WordPress.org powered site. That’s because I want to include ads, and Wordpress.com doesn’t allow ads. Deciding whether or not you want advertising on your blog can determine which blogging software you choose.
4. Choose a theme or skin
If you go with WordPress.org or WordPress.com, you’ll need to choose a WordPress theme. There are hundreds of free themes out there – and lots of blogging software – but I found none that offered all that I wanted.
I bought my theme that’s currently on Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals from Solostream – and it was so worth it! Michael Pollock, who created the WP-Magazine Theme, offers great, fast support. Anyway, there’s a lot of work in creating a blog – just because a theme is already created doesn’t mean you get a free ride.
5. Add content regularly
Writing for your blog every day is a huge task, but the more you write, the more traffic you’ll see. Plus, the more you do it, the quicker and better you’ll get at blogging. If you focus your blog on something that you love writing about – such as inspirational quotations from strong women in history for me – then writing for your blog won’t be a chore.
The benefits of blogging for writers definitely outweigh the hassles of creating a blog. For more help, read Tips for Choosing the Best WordPress Theme for your blog.
My websites are hosted through HostGator – their technical support is also amazing. They’re knowledgable, friendly, polite, and offer 24 hour support.
If you’re ready to start blogging but have questions, fire away below….
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