Blogs can be a lot of fun, but at the same time they can be a great source for a little extra spending money, depending on which direction you take. Of course, going into this you can’t expect to make money right away, or gain a wide following, whatever your motivations are, but with enough time and commitment you could easily become one of the next superstar bloggers. Either way, you’re sure to have a blast along the way.
The first thing you need to decide for your blog is what you want to talk about, and what your goals are. There are a lot of different types of blogs, and each one is suited for a particular type of goal. No matter what, choose something that you know. Most blogs are expected to post at least once a week, though it’s usually better to go for 2 or 3 times a week, and that means a lot of writing about just a few specific topics. The more you know about those topics before you start, the easier it will be to keep going.
Make sure it is a topic you are passionate about, not only does it make it easier to write for the blog, but your passion will shine through!
After you know your topic, you have to decide which platform to publish on. There are a lot of options for this, and they all fall under two categories: Free and paid. Free platforms like Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, and Tumblr offer an excellent starting point, but if you plan to do this for a long time you may want to jump straight into having your own domain and hosting.
Your domain name is the URL of your blog, and you can choose any domain name you want, provided it isn’t already in use. Try to pick something easy to remember and easy to type, so people will have an easier time finding your blog a second time. A dot com domain will usually cost between $12 and $20 per year, depending where you register it. As you can tell it’s not very expensive at all.
Hosting (actually getting it live on the net) also varies in cost, and can run between $4 per month up to $20 per month. The great thing about starting a blog nowadays is that you don’t need to know any coding or web development knowledge beforehand. Most hosting services will give you the option to install something like WordPress, which gives you everything you need to get started blogging.
If you decide to go the free route, you can have just as much success as a hosted blog, even though most people eventually decide to make the switch over to paid hosting. If you’re trying to get in on blogging without spending a lot of money, a free blogging platform is your best option.
Once you get your blog set up, the next step is to choose a template. The way your blog looks says a lot about its personality, and luckily you can choose from hundreds of free templates around the web to give it that unique touch. With a template installed, now you want to add a few widgets or gadgets to make the blog more interactive. Add one for subscribers, popular posts, recommended links, and anything else you want.
Once it’s all set up perfectly the way you want it, it’s time to start blogging! Have a few posts ready to go and start publishing to get the ball rolling. Once you get started blogging, you’ll never look back.
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