So you've decided to start a Blog, where do you start?There are three main things that you need to consider carefully before you start your Blog, you can find them listed bellow with some tips.
- Decide on which Blogging service to use: You've got a choice of two free hosted blogging services available in the form of WordPress & Blogger and two self-hosted services in the form of WordPress and Blog engine. If you want a simple life with your blog that doesn't really require any maintenance then I'd go for a WordPress or Blogger hosted blog. WordPress offers a large selection of Add-ons that you can purchase that even includes a custom domain name for your blog that gets rid of the .wordpress.com part of your Blogs address, where as Blogger only offers a custom domain name (a custom domain name changes say blogname.wordpress.com to say blogname.com) a custom domain makes your blog look more professional. Both services allow you to either buy a custom domain through them or have a domain name that you already own mapped to your blog (I'd personally go for buying direct from your blog provider over mapping an existing domain name as all the configuration is done for you and you don't have to do it yourself.
- Choose your blog name/URL: If you’re using Blogger you don’t get much of a choice when it comes to choosing the URL of your Blog as it’s tied to the name of your Blog, but with WordPress you've got to choose wisely as the URL you choose is separate to the Blog name meaning that you can start your Blog with one name then change it once you've chosen the subject of your Blog. If you’re a Blogger user I’d suggest choosing the subject of your Blog and creating a Google account to go with it so you’re not stuck with a blog URL that you don’t like say 5 weeks into the future (unless you create a new Blog within your Blogger account with the name you want for your blog).
- Choose the subject of your blog: Decide if you want your Blog to be a Sports Blog, a Fashion Blog, a News Blog, a Technology Blog, a Politics Blog, a Diary/Journal style Blog or a mix of the above.
Once you've gone through the three steps above you've got a choice of doing two things. You can find them listed bellow.
- Customize your Blog to look how you want it: You can customize your Blog with a theme you like along with adding any sidebar widgets, an about page, a banner logo or image, & a background image that you want to use before you start work on your first Post/Article.
- Take time on writing your first Post/Article and Publish it before you start customizing your Blog.
the above to points depend on whether you want to give your Blog a professional look. If you've got a custom URL or have gone down the self hosting route then I'd spend that bit of extra time getting your Blog to look professional before you start writing your first Post/Article.
Is Blogging time-consuming?
When you first start your Blog you have to Publish a Post/Article at least once a day until you get enough content up. Once you've got at least 100+ Posts/Articles on your Blog you don't have to be as regular as when you start your Blog. If you want to get a lot of readers regularly to your Blog you're going to have to put in the work, but I post when I can and as much as I can and still get a decent amount of visitors a day.
If you can afford the expense of going down the self hosted way with a WordPress Blog, or get enough views on a Blogger Blog that you can live from Google AdSense income then you could potentially survive off of Blogging full-time, but running your Blog as a full-time job and your only source of income you're going to have to be Publishing high quality Posts/Articles every day if not multiple times a day.
Blogging full-time means that you've got time to work on high quality Posts/Articles, but the down side is that you're not going to get much free time as you'll be working long hours writing.
Being at your Computer for hours at a time and having to sacrifice breaks in your work to get content out will then impact your health with the risk of suffering from RSI or eyesight problems will then limit your working hours in the long run meaning that your Blog will suffer and as a result your income will too.
I love writing content and running my Blog & would love to be able to afford to make my Blog my full-time job, as being my own boss appeals to me. Especially the fact that I'd be working from home and would get to spend time with my family while also working.