Getting Started with Your Blog
The First Few Steps are Always the Hardest
Do you want to build a successful and meaningful blog that matters?
I’m Hammo, creator of Start a Blog, and a Dad of two beautiful daughters. Here’s a photo of us looking ‘super cool’ moments before we head into a 4D Movie called ‘Rio’. It was fun although next time I’ll stick to 3D movies because the extra 1D wasn’t worth it (and no I’m not talking about 1 Direction). I’m a full-time blogger and this is a blog about blogging.
If you are new to blogging and want to save time searching for the complete bag of tricks you’ll need to become a successful blogger then this site is for you! It contains the information you need to get up to speed quickly and start your very own blog adventure!
Oh, and sometimes I refer to myself as the DIYBlogGuy, but don’t worry it’s still me. It’s the trait of a Gemini, I have the power to be more than one person. Usually, it’s Mr Business and Mr FunGuy, but both are secretly just nice guys. Look me up on twitter @diyblogguy and say hello.
What is a Blog: The Definition (formal)
1. a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
1. add new material to or regularly update a blog.
What is a Blog: The Definition (informal)
A blog is an online place you can use to express yourself in whichever way you choose. It can be anything from a personal diary, a site displaying goods for sale or simply a landing page for your community event. It’s your space to show off your creativity and have your voice heard of course, you could do this via social media, but that space is busy and sometimes it’s hard to communicate your message effectively. Think of a blog as simply a destination for your audience.
What Blogging is Not!
Let’s dispel some myths and set realistic expectations about your blogging journey.
1. Blogging is not a get quick rich business idea
Although you can convert your traffic into passive income after you are established, don’t start a blog because you need to make money in the next 30 days. A blog is like a fine wine and takes time to mature. Sure it could make you enough money to sustain a lifestyle, but short of getting mass media coverage it’ll take 6+ months to get traction, however once it starts growing you’ll experience the snowball effect and it could grow quite quickly. The truth is most bloggers never stick at it long enough to realise a blog’s true monetary value.
2. No Blogger is an overnight success
All the ‘Overnight Success’ bloggers were early adopters and typically just blogged because they had something to say. Monetizing a blog ten years ago was unheard of, although those that stuck at it, have now found ways to earn a living from the things they are most passionate about. But it’s not too late to get started and be your own ‘overnight success’, it just takes more time than people realise.
3. Blogging is not the same as writing a book
Sure blogging usually involves writing words on a page, but even if you don’t think you can’t write, most certainly you have the ability to talk. Transcription services are readily available for less than $1/min, so if you can talk, then you can blog. Although if talking comes easier to you than might be better served looking into podcasting or vblog (video blogs) which can be leveraged in a similar way.
Remember you aren’t writing a book, and most bloggers just use their natural voice to communicate via a blog, some even turn years of blog posts into books. Seth Godin is one such example of a writer directly converting blogging into books.
Your Passion Matters
When choosing a topic for your blog, be guided by your passions. It’ll be way easier to write about something you are passionate about than something you ‘think’ will make money. If you want to get free organic traffic from search engines then you’ll need to be creating posts around 2000-4000 words long. If you don’t think you could be writing regular long posts about this topic then maybe choose something different. Generally someone who is passionate about a topic is never short of a word when discussing it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people can’t remember what they are passionate about because day-to-day life gets in the way. If you are one of these people then start working back through your life until you hit on something that you loved to do however, don’t be surprised if this discovery takes you back to your childhood.
Another, less confronting way is to ask a few of your closest friends, as they can usually identify the things you are passionate about even though you don’t consider these to be a passion.
There is no such thing as a new idea – Mark Twain
The world has become a place of iterations, one idea being made better by the next and so on… Your idea is not unique although previously you may have thought this as no one in your inner circle had heard of it before.
Welcome to the Internet Age where sharing is the new norm and competition is fierce, so how can you stand out in this crowded market?
Well, there is still one unique thing out there and it’s YOU!
Your personal brand is something that no one can copy, steal or iterate and more importantly it’s portable from one idea to the next. Have you ever started a business, built an audience, sold it or decided it wasn’t right for you and then got started on another project?
Building a web presence isn’t easy, but what if you could just take your mailing list from one idea to the next big thing, wouldn’t it be much easier? Well creating a personal brand will enable you to do this, and the people that follow you may just buy into that next idea as well, or may introduce you to someone that is. Your blog is your personal brand and if you can find a domain name that is simply your name, then you should grab it before someone else does, and get started on your personal brand, then you can start building that audience TODAY!
No one will be interested in what I have to say – Inside Your Head
You are an Expert to Someone
If you find yourself thinking ‘no one will be interested in what I have to say’ then you are selling yourself short. Everyone is an expert to at least someone and most likely a group of people, that know less than you. You can leverage this by teaching or guiding them down their chosen paths and helping them along the way, so they avoid making similar mistakes as you. Let’s face it, we all could have done with a mentor at some stage of our life, other than our parents telling us what to do.
That said, it’s easier to talk about something you are passionate about or when you have at least a solid understanding of the topic. The obvious topic is you, because no one knows you better, and people are likely to resonate with your story. Remember earlier I mentioned there were no new ideas, well our experiences are very similar too, in that we all walk similar paths, some just have troubles at different intersections. By starting a blog you may just help someone over their hump, when they call out for help and search the internet for answers. Yes, people will find you!
It’s time to stop consuming and start creating. I could talk all day about blogging, but I want you to take action and to just get started as I know it’s those first few steps that are always the hardest. However, once you get some forward momentum you might be hard to stop.
You can find some great information on the main page of the site, but I know you want to be a blogger so you really only have one decision to make, do you want to create a free blog, or get serious and host your own domain and blog site. Hosting your own site isn’t as hard as you think and I created some how-to guides on just this process.
My recommendation for low-cost shared hosting is Bluehost as I’ve used them since the start and have never been disappointed. Their interface is clean, simple to use and they offer a lot of flexibility if you dream of starting additional blogs or other types of websites to create your own online empire. Bluehost is really the most flexible option for anyone getting started online.
However, if you are looking for something even cheaper, then I have also used and recommend iPage who provide a similar experience and customer service as Bluehost but at a cheaper rate, especially if you buy a few years of hosting at the discounted referral rate if you use this link.
** Both shared hosting companies offer a no questions money back guarantee, if you later decide the online world isn’t for you, then you only pay for the time you have used.
I Appreciate You!
I just wanted finish by saying “Thanks” for taking the time to visit my blog, and hopefully I have been able to answer a few questions you might be stuck on. Please take the time to have a look around and let me know if you can’t find something that might help others in this space or subscribe to my newsletter to keep informed.
Thanks so much for your support and if you’ve made it this far I’d love to say hi to you on my Facebook Page. I want to spread the word about blogging too as many people as I can, so they will realise it’s easy, and besides everyone has something worthwhile to share in this world, don’t you think?
P.S. If you have found this page helpful, please share with your friends and follow me on Facebook. Thanks!