How to get started with blogging

Whether you want to celebrate a personal passion, share skills or turn your interests into a useful income stream, blogging can be a satisfying outlet for your energies. Some people struggle with the initial stages of setting up a blog but it’s really not hard.

The first step is to decide whether you want to use a blogging platform like Blogger’s Blogspot network, Tumblr, Soup.io or a similar service. These have the advantage of letting you start straight away, without worrying about hosting or uploading software. The downside of hosting your blog on a platform controlled by someone else is that you’ll have a certain lack of flexibility and freedom. It’s not really so hard to find inexpensive web hosting and host the blog yourself, uploading blog software such as WordPress or Typepad. This gives you greater scope when you want to customise your blog and is especially important if you wish to monetise your efforts.

Next, you’ll need to think about your topic. A general blog discussing your day-to-day life and experiences? A pop-culture blog where you talk about your favourite genre media? An instructional blog? Don’t worry if you feel you have nothing to talk about. Everyone has something to offer, whether it’s a skill-set or a favourite hobby. A home-maker can share housekeeping advice; a highschooler can start a study blog; an online poker fan can start a blog with tips to make things more fun.

Deciding on an update schedule is a good idea. It’s often tempting, in the first rush of enthusiasm, to blog several times a day. This risks burning you out and leaving you with no material to keep the updates coming when that first rush has subsided. Instead, try to update once or twice a week at first and keep additional entries as offline documents. That way you’ll have a ready supply of content even if inspiration doesn’t strike for a while.