In this day and age where technology is really just putting a stamp on everything and anything, the art of communication has taken a whole new form. There are now more ways on how you can get your message across. It is now free speaking, creative thinking at its peak. It is the ultimate high for people to share their insights, ideas and opinions.
What Is A Blog
A blog is what you call a modern day soapbox. This is the modern day diary where you write any and everything that you want to write. This is where you share and shout your ideas, what is going through your mind; it may be a collection of some sort that you would like to share, or its comments and suggestions about something.
Why Should You Start A Blog
There are many reasons why a person should start to blog. For some it is more of promoting a business or a profession and for some it is more of sharing your thoughts and opinions on something that you enjoy and love.
For some writing is a therapy, for some it is a way to advertise themselves or their business. For whatever reason that a person may have, a blog is one way to get the word out there. To reach more people in a faster, much simpler way and to let people know what you think and feel. Remember that this is like a virtual book where you can write what sparks your interest or a form of free advertising where you can show and highlight what you do or what is your business.
If you are really interested in creating blogs and posting them online, there really should be an organization of some sorts before you proceed.
How To Start A Blog – Your Step By Step Guide To Build A Successful Blog
STEP 1: Picking Up A Niche
The mind is just really complex, and you should find a way to organize your thoughts. In creating blogs, you need to pick up a niche. You need to pick a general outline of what you want to write about. It’s like picking a theme, where the general trend of what you are talking about is there. Say, if you are interested or an enthusiast in a hobby or sport, say cooking, and you want to share recipes, your favorite food, restaurants and just about anything that is cooking or food related, you now have a general idea of what you should write about.
It is better to have a general idea or a niche before you start writing. It would confuse readers or people who are following your blogs if your posts are just disorganized and there is not general concept in your site. You will be more searchable if you can find your niche and work from there.
A tip: List down at least 6 or 7 items that you are really interested about. If you are selling products or services, same thing goes. Make a list of the products and services that you are promoting. With a list, you have the overall idea of what will be the content of your blogs. Pick the best idea or what interest you the most and start from there. In writing, one of the easiest ways to get the words going is to write something that you are interested in, something that you could easily express your ideas on or something that you could relate to.
STEP 2: Brainstorm and Register Domain
So now that you have the ideas, it’s time to narrow the list and start compiling your work. You can start with one blog and make a succession of blog to follow or you can upload and post finished works. For some aspiring writers and enthusiasts, this is one platform where they can highlight their work.
Next is step that you can do is register your domain. But first you need to understand what a domain is. Simply put, the domain is the web address that you will use. It will hold the records of your work. It would generally reflect the name of the company or person that it represents.
Now after you have finally made the decision about the domain that you will use, there is a choice that you need to make, if you want have a branded domain or a keyword focused domain.
Branded Domain Vs. Keyword Focused Domain
For many people, when searching for something in the net, they would just type word that would help them find what they are looking for and expect that on the first run, they would get the information that they need. In searching for information, remember that there is distinguishing factor that on needs to consider. It is like the comparison between the generic vs. the specific.
A branded domain focuses on the specific. If the name or domain is simple and unique enough to remember, then it you can opt for the branded domain. Just like with Google, Amazon, and Yahoo – these just a few examples of branded domains.
Keyword focused domain on the other hand, is another option that you can use, as pertaining to the generic. Search engines enable people to look for products, links or websites that carry keywords of what they are looking for. A Keyword is the information that we feed a search engine, and it directs us a multitude of sites and links that would give us choice of what we are looking for. If your domain has generic words, like books and your concept is creating reviews of them, you can opt for domains like book-lover.com or books-and-opinions.com, or something of the sort.
Weighing Your Options
In choosing between branded domain and keyword focused domain, the choice is really up to you, though there a few pointers that you can consider before you register you domain.
There is the availability of the domain that you need to consider. If you are going for the branded domain, you need to make sure that the name that you will use will definitely standout and is still available. Uniqueness is the key if you are opting for branded domain. Note though that will the multitude of registered names, the good ones – which are the single word brands are often taken. For keyword focused, it’s the retention that you need to consider.
For some two or three words to remember in a name is a bit of an effort. Then you have the specifics, since for most keyword focused domains, there is a hyphen (-) used. Comparing the two, there are also other factors to consider, which are product range and how or will you focus on growth in the coming times, the purchase price of the domain – there is free vs. paid; then there is the logo that you need to consider, since this is tied up well and good to your domain, and still the list goes on.
There are tools that you can use to check the availability of the domain that you would like to use.
You can use an Exact-Match Domain search (EMD) which will let you know if the domain that you want to use is not yet taken. There are tools available on the net to help you with this.
Tip: If the name that you would like to use is not available, you can use or add keywords that will co-relate your concept to your name.
Register Your Domain
Once you have decided on the name, the next step of the process is to register. With sites like GoDaddy.com, you can build and create your website. They offer a myriad of services with which you can choose from. For a certain price, you can register your domain, create a website, and get website hosting and more. There are many deals that you can choose from. You can also save, since they offer coupons which will save you a lot of money when you opt to work with them.
Once you register your domain, you will be asked to provide information regarding your name, email address, postal address and phone number. WHOIS will then automatically publish your name in a database. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that is responsible in keeping track and accrediting domain names registration is requiring that all information regarding the person who made the registration be accurate.
Upon registration, there is an option that you can make to make your registration confidential. This is important. Since there are people who can access your information off WHOIS database, make sure that you choose the option of making your registration private since it will protect you from scammers, stalkers, identity thieves, spammers and other unwanted personalities from contacting you and using that information. This feature also protects your domain since it gives you full control as a registrant, comparing it to proxy service.
STEP 3: Register Your Hosting
Web hosting is a service which enables people, companies and organizations to make their websites available and reachable to their target market over the World Wide Web. Companies who have web hosting services lease spaces to clients along with providing internet connectivity.
When it comes to budget, there are two types of web hosting that you can choose from. Paid web hosting and Free web hosting.
Paid web hosting
Paid hosting is for most part actually cheap, at times almost free. There are some web hosting providers who offer something for as low as $12, and then you can have the space that you need, but remember that if you want to have better packages, you need to shell out a little bit more. With paid web hosting, you have the advantage of having complete control of the appearance of your site.
None of the unwanted advertising and quite often annoying advertising that often pops out of websites unless you permit it. If you pay more, then you get additional services like databases, e-business solutions if you are planning on selling stuff, and other more advanced web functions may be added on.
Hostgator.com is an example of a paid web hosting provider. They have services like web hosting, reseller and VPS hosting. For subscribers, they also offer free services like file and domain transfers, if you are moving from one host to another. They have unlimited web hosting services that you can get starting at $3.96 a month and they have other packages that you can choose from, depending on what you want for your site.
They also provide their customers live chat support services, a 24/7 – 365 days in a year support and a 99.9% uptime which they guarantee. There is also a 45day pre-offered money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their services. They host over 9 million domains and to date, the numbers are still growing. Hostgator.com also offers coupons giving 25-30% saving on packages to $9-25 off on domain use and other services.
Free Web Hosting
Free web hosting is often used when shelling out money for a web hosting service is not an option. There are many sites provide their services for free, since they are supported by ads of other websites, who pay for spaces on the free sites that they create and provide. These are sites will usually offer you a subdomain (yourname.oursite.com) instead of a domain (www.yourcompany.com), or a directory (www.oursite.com/yourname), like an affiliation of your site to theirs.
Free and Paid Web Hosting – Which One Should You Choose
There are many comparative and noticeable differences between the two services.
For free web hosting sites, they offer you limited free hosting space, ranging from 100 MB or something slightly more, depending on the hosting site. In reality, this is not really that much space, but for the budget conscious and for the newbie blogger, this will do for the meantime. Comparing this to the unlimited space that paid hosting sites provide, it makes you really debate on the issue. Space is important, especially when it comes to files.
Then you have the advertisements. For free website hosting, there will be advertisements that will be popping in an out of your site, since they are supported by ads. This is totally eliminated when it comes to paid hosting websites since you have the control over what shows on your website.
Next on the list is support and control. For support, paid web hosting sites will guarantee you 24/7 support for your website. Since you are paying for a service, they usually have live chat and at times, a 24/7 toll free line are part of the services that you can use in addressing immediate concerns. Comparing it to free web hosting site, which also offer technical support, the live chat or toll free line is not offered, though you can email them and expect a reply regarding your concern for xx number of days.
Then the concern for control and ownership is also something that should be weighed. For paid web hosting sites, they give you a power to control and own your website. The domain and any subdomains created will stay in your ownership, though you need the fine print on any technicalities involved for subdomains. For free webhosting, there are incidences where ownership of a website stirred a bit of a dilemma for the owner. Websites which are termed “moved or deleted” are common occurrences with free web hosting sites.
Another point to consider is the speed and connectivity since for some free web hosting sites, there are many cases of downtime or issues with downloads of files and pictures.
Adding on to the list of things to consider is the search engine compatibility or “search-engine-friendly” features. If you are planning on creating a site that will encourage and pull in heavy web traffic, then weigh your options since this is one concern that you need to address as you make the comparative choice between the paid web hosting and the free-ad supported web hosting.
STEP 4: Choose A Theme
As you go down your checklist of the stuff that you need to do for your blog site, it is high time that you choose a theme. The general picture should be reflected in the theme. Being unique is imperative, but try not to be too complex that you confuse people who are looking into your site. Simple is still the best rule. Then you need to have usable information since this is really the gist of everything.
StudioPress and the StudioPress Themes
These are supported by The Genesis Framework. This is a nifty little program that enables you to create smart and solid sites from the ground up without that much of a hassle. The Genesis Framework has all the features that you would need to help search engines to find your site. It has an automatic update feature that ensure you that you have the latest version and the cleanest code that you can have for your WordPress blogs, thus making them more acceptable to search engine and optimizing search and site visits. The Genesis Framework also offers enhanced security for your site. Due to the never ending changes and updates, the Genesis Framework secures your site from possible hacks and security issues.
STEP 5: Start Blogging and Connecting
Now that you are done with steps 1 to 4, the fun part begins. You can now start blogging and connecting.
There is a formula that you can use to make sure that you gain success in your blogs. With the many number of blogs popping here and there like grass, it’s important that your site is unique and a definite standout. There are pointers that you can use to ensure that your site will generate the traffic that you want.
You need to identify what people want to know. If it’s self help, something that’s educational, or something about travel, food, books, etc., you need to provide the information that they need so you have to identify what is it that they are clamoring for. In line with the general idea of what you want to express, it is also essential that you give people what they are looking for.
One practice that works is that, you can pattern it to this question: What do I want to know? Knowledge is key, because people are insatiable with knowledge. May it be about something complex as to the explanation of cross pollination in rare species of flowers or something simple as the recent summer blockbuster movie that is showing, knowledge or information in any form will generate traffic for your site. Once you identify the answer to that question, you really are well on the path to blogging.
Remember that in creating blogs, they have a different kind of attitude. They are a mix and match of many forms of writing. One thing that separates them from the rest is that they are more personal and informal. So as a guide, you can apply these techniques or tips to making your blogs a success.
- Teach – these blogs are an extension of who you are since they enable you to share your ideas with other people. So if you are interested, at times obsessed with a certain subject, pour your passion into your blogs. Reach out to other people and share what you know.
- Inspire – success stories are always a bit hit when it comes readers. There is a certain affinity that touches the heartstrings when you read someone overcoming a great hurdle or challenge in life. So if you have something inspirational to share, then please do share it.
- Laugh – make your blog light hearted when it comes to the tone. Think talking to your best friend and regaling him or her with a story. Now apply the same technique or style to the blog that you are writing – minus the trash talk and profanities, of course.
- The Do Not! – though this is a free world and opinions are expressed freely and at times without tact, so as a guide for you, try to understand the do not’s or the inappropriate’s in blogging. Try not to create or write anything that will cast over a dim view of anybody. May it be your family, co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc., following the golden rule of not airing dirty laundry in public. Sharing information about work in a definite no-no especially if the company that you are part of does not permit blogging or blogs about them, so avoid the hassle and possible lawsuit by asking first. This rule applies to people as well.
Connecting With Other People
At the end of the day, blogging is really all about connection. It’s like building friendships and relationships by touching readers through your words. There is an affinity and a connection that is built. The information that you share becomes part of the reader, whether as an application, an opposing opinion or a basis for comment. The connection is still there.
So create something that will extend and reach far more than what you can reach with your hands. The world wide web has extended the reach of communication in a radical and often breathtaking way. so as you touch other peoples’ lives with your work, may it simple or ostentatious, make sure that you do it in great way.
Blogs or blogging is really changing the way people share their ideas. This now a faster way of communication that uses a time old practice of being able express yourself and now having the capacity to reach places that you have never dreamed of.
To further guide you on how to start a blog or blogging, you can visit Start A Blog That Matters and sign for their course in blogging. The course offers you 13 weekly lessons that will guide you in creating blogs that matters.
The course offers:
- 13 weekly lesson with step-by step action plans that you can use.
- 8 hours of video learning
- Answers to the FAQ’s from the first 800+ students who have taken the class
- Web hosting which is discounted for people who will take the course and also recommended tools that you can use once you start blogging.
- A 60 day money back guarantee, because with them, they want you to be 110% satisfied.
- And… 4 special bonuses
- 2 bonus videos –How to Start A Popular Blog, The Ultimate Beginners Guide and How to Use Authenticity to Feel Great and Build a Huge Following
- 2 case study videos – How I Helped Scott Dinsmore Create Live Your Legend and Grow to 10,000 Subscribers in Six Months and How We Built and Launched Expert Enough Using the 13 Factors that Make a Blog Successful
So really what are you waiting for, with the many resources that are available to you, you can be well on your way to being a successful blogger. For more information regarding the course, you can visit Start A Blog That Matters