So if you want to start blogging - where do you begin?
The 2 main tools for setting up a blog are:
- Blogger - A blogging website set up by Google
- WordPress - a hosted software platform available with most mainstream hosting companies.
WordPress is much more powerful and with the help from your friendly web designer, it can be used to create very impressive looking blogs and even fully fledged websites.
Blogger is accessible on the Internet via a browser at www.blogger.com There you can set up your account and get going straight away.
You can follow a tour of Blogger via this link http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g which is great for anyone who is new to blogging.
The other option is WordPress.
As I said, your hosting company will probably support WordPress. You can find out all about it at the WordPress website. http://wordpress.org/
The great thing about Blogger and WordPress is that they are both FREE to use.
If you need help getting either of these set up and working then please get in touch and I can point you in the right direction. I'm sure others who can help will be adding their comments here so keep a look out in the comments section below this article.
What's your Subject?
Once you've got your preferred blogging platform set up you need to write your first blog. I'm not going into the mechanics of each and how they work etc. Both are very intuitive and won't take you long to get to grips with writing, editing and publishing.
What you need to think about is what you are going to blog about? What's your area of expertise? What are you passionate about? What industry are you in?
Have a look at some of the other blogs you like or blogs written by others in your sector. This will give you some good ideas.
But it's important you find your "place"; your vibe for what you want to write about.
Then just go for it. Get writing. By following your passion and writing about stuff you find really interesting, it will be far easier for you to keep going. You'll also find that other like-minded people will also find what you write about interesting.
I keep a list of blog ideas on my Notepad app on my iPad and iPhone and I add to this list constantly. This blog was an idea I got from reading another blog. So make sure you start and keep a list of new ideas for blog articles and add to it as often as you can.
Once you know what you're going to write about and you've got a few ideas for articles then you need to decide how often you're going to write. I would suggest once or twice a month to begin with. If you're good at writing then you could go for once a week, but remember; once you get an audience - even if it's just an audience of 2 or 3 - they will get used to how often you write your blog and people like consistency. So don't write loads of articles and then stop for a month or two. This will lose you readers, and one of the reasons for you blogging is to increase your audience size.
You also need to think about how you let your connections know about your blog. I'd suggest an email to your close friends and family is a good start. They'll help spread the word. You can also drop an email to your customers; if you're writing about your industry then your customers should find it interesting.
Then use the different Social Media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ecademy etc and before you know it you'll be blogging like a pro and your blog will be gaining in popularity.