As one might expect, my first thoughts about becoming a blogger were: You're not able to do that, your writing skills are less than zero, you don't have the time for it, your knowledge of a specific theme is not good enough, what language to write it in... And thus, like many other ideas, I postponed this one for a later date. And than five more times after that, but who's counting :) However, once I managed to sort out my negative thoughts I tried to get more information about blogging itself. Several questions went through my head before starting reading about it:
How to start a blog?
The question I asked myself a million times. How to start blogging, where to start, what's the first step to take? One day, (the 21st of March, 2014, to be exact) I was fed up with dreaming about something and not doing anything about it (sounds familiar, right?). I was motivated as I've never been before, which led to me finally taking the first steps. By choosing the blog theme, purchasing the website domain and the website, my life as a blogger started. Just like that. So you can do it too. Less procrastinating, more starting a blog! :)
After some research on how to get started, I would recommend following this 6 steps - sounds easy, right? That's mostly beacuse, it is :)
1.) Decide what you will be blogging about.
2.) Choose a domain name and get a web host.
3.) Create a logo.
4.) Set up a website (blog).
5.) Read about SEO and optimize your blog.
6.) Write your first blog post and enjoy!
Does it take a lot of time?
To be honest, YES! It takes time. Especially at the beginning by setting up the website and the design of the website, cropping, resizing, compressing pictures, creating a logo, etc.
Once you that's been taken care of and the foundations have been set, it's just about writing and inserting pictures. Oh, did I write "just"? That's a bit of a lie, since editing pictures, writing posts etc. is by all means a time consuming activity - I would say it takes me approx. 4-6 hours per week. It depends on what kind of blog post I'm going to publish (photo diary, informative post, travel story..) and how many photos do I have to edit. There, happy with the truth? But hey, it's worth it! I don't regret a moment of my time spent on this blog! Again, just do it!
Does one have to post daily?
No, of course not. Don't write posts because you "have" to, to get more visitors on your site. Believe me, visitors won't return to your blog if you post content that feels forced and you worte it just for the sake of writing it. Take your time and write memorable, useful content for your readers. Know you readers and provide them information they are looking for. In this case (as in many others), less is more. I've once read a post from a girl who choose a life of travelling, and she (believe it or not) only wrote 6 blog posts in 2 years so far. Yes, your eyes did not decieve you. That's 6 posts in 2 years. Now I know what you're thinking: she can't be any good at this whole blogging thing. Well, you would be wrong, as she was choosen as one of the best 50 travel bloggers in the world! Naturally, that is a bit of an extreme and doesn't mean, you should write as few posts as possible, but you get the idea, right.
What would people read?
What I've learned so far is that people DON'T exactly read blog posts. They scan them! After scanning the content they decide if they are going to spend some more minutes of their lives for the post. So back to the question - what would people read? They read articles which have special value to them - that might be know how, information, good advice, solutions to their problems etc.
Is blog design very important?
Short answer - yes, but not as much as you might think (or hope).
Long(er) answer: I don't think that an amazing blog design with crappy content would keep visitors on your site. It is always essenital that you have good valuable content for your readers. The blog design is just icing on the cake, as they say. Your design should be easy on the eye, not too visualy intrusive and most of all, easy to navigate. I wouldn't recommend having a frightening web design, though. You're point is to keep the visitors on your site, right? However, to be honest with you, I've spent a lot of time on blogs with boring designs or even with some very visible erros, but hey the content was interesting.
What positives does blogging bring you?
Well, that depends on why you're doing it. For me, it's first and foremost a challenge. I tend to be shy and never feel comfortable expressing my thoughts, but most of all, I constantly fear what others think of me and what I say.
Therefore, my challenge in writing this blog lies in:
- writing - I'm probably one of the worst writers I know
- language - writing this blog in English is a challenge for me (I'm bilingual, raised in a Swiss/Slovenian family), so please forgive me if there are any grammar mistakes
- know how - writing a good post about a subject takes a lot of research. Before you start writing, you think you know, but as it usually turns out, you have no idea :)
- and last, but maybe the most important: stepping out of my comfort zone and overcoming the fear of doing something wrong. Generally as a shy person, putting my thoughts out in the open is not something I'm used to doing, but I feel like for the first time in my life, I honestly don't care. I want to do this!
Bonus: Don't give up!
Don't give up if your blog doesn't go "viral" immidiately. That's actualy quite normal, as some blogs tend to catch on right away, while others take time. Sometimes a lot of time, to be honest. Even more than a year. Remember the girl I mentioned earlier, one of the top 50 travel bloggers. Well, her blog took more than 6 months to catch fire. So, don't quit, if you love to write, by all means, continue doing so and remember, patience is a virtue.
So, when are you gonna start blogging? Any fears? Tell me about it in the comments!
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