With a rise in Instagram bloggers and influencers across different blogging platforms, digital media has turned into the latest buzz. From regular sponsors to starting their own brands, blogging is a full-time job. So if you’ve been considering taking to the digital space and beginning a career in the same, here are some easy steps that will guide you as you start a blog.
Starting a blog is a great way to promote yourself or your business. If you’re looking to start something new, a fashion line, a stationary store or even a new career like the styling or graphic designing, blogging provides you with a platform to let the world know of your capabilities. However, there is an entire section of people (including me) who blog to express themselves as it provides them with a platform to share their thoughts and talent. It also creates opportunities because the internet provides them with a safe space to connect with people from around the world.
A blog also serves as a great portfolio if you are looking for a job or freelance projects as it is an online database with public reactions - your followers, likes, comments, everything is recorded and available for public viewing. Plus, if you do end up with a hefty amount of followers, you can always collaborate with brands and causes, which will help you earn money from your account.
However, according to the type of outcome you are expecting out of the blog, there are a variety of types that you can pick from. A personal blog, a business blog or just a platform to expand your hobby.
Now that you have decided to start a blog, your next step is to pick the right kind of blog to work on building. Here is a list of options that will serve your purpose.
Have a hobby you’d love to share with the world? You could be a fashion enthusiast, a photographer, a writer or a graphic designer who wants a blog that will provide a platform which will put your hobby on the map, and provide you with opportunities in the long run. The blog will be an extension of your daily projects. From sharing your DIY videos or a tutorial to Photoshop, as long as you have something to share.
If you are someone who has already made a career out of your hobby, then a personal blog will help your followers humanise you. In simple terms, if you are a stylist, a writer or someone who has already made a mark on social media through your work, this blog will serve as a way for your followers to get to know you personally. Behind-the-scenes images, videos of you vacationing with your friends, things that you would like your audience to be a part of, but you cannot post on your work feed.
This one is for all you working woman out there. It’s time to pull up your socks and put your brand out there. If you have just begun a new venture and want to create a buzz about the same, then starting a blog will help you get the word out there. Most brands prefer social media platforms with ‘buy links’ when it comes to expanding the brand and building customers.
Before you jump head-first into the world of blogging, here are a few things you should keep in mind. It could be WordPress, Instagram or Facebook, but the concept behind a blog remains the same and these pointers apply to them all. These points will give you direction as to what you are looking for in a blog and what should form the foundation of this new venture that you are about to begin.
Before you become a serious blogger, keep in mind that it is a time-consuming task. You will be required to dedicate yourself to your stories and feed. So even if you have a day job apart from blogging, be prepared to invest in this venture.
As you begin blogging, you will be required to invest time and money into the task at hand. You should be ready to run ads on social media websites like Instagram and Facebook, especially if your blog is for a brand. Apart from that, you will be required from time to time, to buy images, vectors and strategies, so don’t consider this a 100% free platform.
Before you begin designing or writing your posts, it is important to know who you are going to be writing for. The age group you are aiming to draw likes, comments and business from. And the kind of cities your focus is at. It plays a huge role when it comes to the language, hashtags and colour combinations you use on your blog. Determining your target audience will give you a clearer picture of what you’re trying to achieve.
Your writing style needs to be clean, precise and engaging, without the fluff. When you begin banking content for your blog, keep in mind that your images and content is clean and easy to understand, no matter where your reader comes from. Do not beat around the bush, and always provide necessary images when you’re referring to a product, situation or place.
If you are serious about continuing your blog in the long run, it is a good idea to learn the basics of HTML which will help you code the blog and customize it to your needs.
SEO, on the other hand, is Search Engine Optimization that will help search engines like Google to pick up your article when the necessary keywords are searched on the internet. It plays a huge role in increasing the online visibility of your blog and gathering traffic for your page. SEO will increase the organic and unpaid views your blog receives, so reading up online or taking a short course in the same can be beneficial for your venture.
If you are outsourcing the information on your blog then you are subjected to copyright issues. Make sure that you take the permission from the photographer, writer or designer whose work you are using. Unless the work is labeled free for use, in which case you should give the artist credit on your blog whenever you pick up anything from their social media profiles or otherwise. Every artist spends hours perfecting their skill, which is why you owe them the credit due. This also applies to data and stats that you pick up from other websites, mention their names whenever you do so.
Everything on your blog should represent you and the brand that you are trying to create. I often find people copying the websites they love or the blogs they admire and losing out on the originality and uniqueness of their own personality. You can get inspired by the blogs that you look up to, but make sure that you include your personal style and distinct individuality in the product that you are creating.
Unless you have a degree in design, do not try to wing your blog. Hire a graphic designer and a website designer, especially if you want to take your blog to the next level with a brand. If this is to be your day-job and you have a serious inclination towards turning it into a business, then invest time and money into the designing of the blog. Because visuals are what attract the reader and words retain attention. So your first step should always be to get the reader’s attention, with appropriate and aesthetic visuals.
Picking the right platform to share your content is the first step to deciding your audience. There are visually-driven blogs, text-driven and then blogs which require video integration. Once you have decided the nature of your blog, you can work towards starting one on any of three platforms, each of which will serve a particular purpose.
Starting a blog or page on Facebook is recommended for people who have another page alongside. You cannot just have a page on Facebook since it doesn’t give you aesthetic and design options to customise the page. However, you can link your existing blog to your Facebook page and use it to market and boost the views you get.
Creating a page is recommended for people who have an existing blog on WordPress. However, it is a visual platform, so if you are a YouTuber or create vlogs, then Facebook will help you in keeping your followers informed and updated. Since you can only update videos on YouTube, Facebook will help you integrate other formats such as text and photographs when you communicate with your followers.
Since Instagram has created quite a buzz over the past few years, many bloggers have moved to this social media app. From fashion influencers to poets, food bloggers and fitness experts, everyone has the audience they need on Instagram. Since Instagram focuses on visuals and yet gives you the freedom to write lengthy captions (unlike Twitter), it is the ideal choice. If you are looking to start a blog on Instagram, here are a few steps to get you started.
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WordPress is a great blogging platform for writers, designer, and even brands, anyone who wants something similar to a website and has a lot of content to share, should pick this platform. Making a blog on WordPress is free, at least for the initial step. However, if you wish to customise your blog further and unlock other features that it offers, you can always buy it from the blogging platform. Here are steps to follow to start a blog on WordPress.
You can definitely start a blog for free on platforms like Blogger and WordPress. But free blogs have subdomains and might not gather you traffic like owning your own domain will. So you can start with a free blog but invest in it in the long run if you want to earn money off the same.
The name of your blog should stand for everything the blog does. For example, if your blog is meant for movie buffs, calling it Cinema Prescription makes it simpler for people to understand what your blog stands for. So even if they come across it at random, they will be curious to check it out.
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You can pick either, depends on how much time you can give the blog. If you are someone with a hectic schedule and can’t give 3-4 hours a day to your blog, then partnering with someone will help split the load. You can take turns with your partner and prioritise accordingly. Also, it means you’ll have double the amount of fun creating content and sharing ideas.
The first step is to decide what you want from your blog, will it be visually driven or text driven, or will it have videos. Because each platform provides a different solution according to your needs. If you want a blog that is image and text driven, then Instagram is your best bet. If your blog is primarily video driven, then you should post on YouTube and advertise on Facebook. And if you want a mix of it all, then WordPress is your solution for the same.
Time to start blogging, ladies!
Images - Shutterstock
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This story was updated in January 2019.