Getting started with your very first blog
I’ve had so many people ask me, “wow Raymond. How do you do it? How do you get all your words on the internet. I want to do it too but I lack the skills and knowledge”. And I always tell them, actually. All you need is patience and determination. There are SO many websites out there that do all the hard stuff for you. All you need do is write. It’s writing that’s the hard part. Transmitting that mind-babble into constructive sentences. It’s hard, it takes work, and it takes experience. But, everyone needs to start from somewhere, right?
You should have seen my first blog three years ago. My first blog was a random selection of my own thoughts and experiences throughout my daily life. It had no direction, no plan and no goal. Just to get those words out. And it worked; not only did I get an awesome insight into my own individuality I also learned to write really really well. I also collected a good few followers on the way as well.
Now I’m a person that keeps battering on about how important it is to get yourself a hobby and you can’t instantly be great at your hobby from day 1 (A problem I suffered with for a long time). So, I’ve decided to start an entire section about hobbies, what you can gain from them and tips, tricks and hints. Today, I’m going to teach you to start a very basic blog to get your words out to the world if you want to write. Personally or professionally. I would start personally first; in my experience that’s how you learn
Your very first blog
There are a few options out there for total beginners but the one I’m going to recommend straight away is wordpress. WordPress is a beautiful (and free) platform where you can express yourself in many, many ways. There are many free templates to choose from and you can get started straight away. Remember that when it comes to choosing a username. Chose something related to what you’re going to be blogging about. So don’t call yourself Kentherepairman if you’re going to be writing about holiday lifestyles.
Remember and keep your posts relevant to the theme of the blog and write content consistently. If you blog once a week, keep it that way. Don’t deviate from the routine and people will learn when you post and when to look out for you. You will be surprised at the amount of people that enjoy reading your work, and equally the amount of people that don’t. You will also be surprised at how much of a boost you will get from people just being there and reading your content.
Great bloggers share the love. Link and link lots. If you read or see something great then link out to it. It’s great that you have awesome content to read but if you think your readers would benefit from additional content then do so. Teachers always do that in session. Additional reading! Shhhh. It also builds your SEO (more on that later)
Remind yourself to write attractive titles to what you’re going to write. If you’re writing about your awesome experience with Thomas Tours and your holiday in Cyprus. For the love of God please don’t do as I did and title it “My awesome holiday” because no-one knows who you are. No-one is going to be interested in that story except people that know you and friends. People will more than likely click on “Thomson Tours: Why my holiday to Cyprus was the best ever” because people know Thomson Tours and people know Cyprus. You see?
People go crazy over SEO. People invest serious amounts of cash into optimising the SEO for their website. I’m quite happy with the visits I get from Google, Yahoo and Bing and I rank quite highly for a few search strings. (ranking is the placement of the link to your website on search engines) The trick is to just not focus too much on what you’re trying to rank in the search engines for. Keep writing, and keep it on topic – and you’ll find the search engines will rank you for basically the search strings you want. It’s quite different with a self hosted blog, but more on that in another post.
Use pictures and use them lots. If I think to some of the entertainment Facebook pages I have, the highest engagement ratios are when I share pictures; it’s not because people don’t want to read, it’s because pictures are aesthetically pleasing, and help your writing along. Include relevant pictures and video. Create super rich content for your audience to engage with. It breaks up the writing. Words are tiring, or at least they are for me anyway.
Watch other bloggers, how they do and and if you are unsure, ask them how they do it. You never know, the person on the other end might be super helpful. Skinny and Single has been super helpful to me. Read articles, videos and learn how to do it. I’d honestly love to say that where I am today has been through all my own thoughts and experiences but it’s not. I’ve had lots of help and lots of collaboration.
If you’re thinking about starting a business my recommendation would be to start a personal blog first and write your thoughts and ideas down. That way when it comes to opening your own business and starting a website / blog you will already be in the knowledge on the ins and outs of everything already.
And, once you’ve knocked everything down to a fine art, perhaps it’s time to start your own self hosted blog and look at some passive income? More on that later.