Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways to share content online. It’s not only a great way for a business to extend their brand to existing and prospective clients, but blogging can also be a fantastic way to build and elevate a personal brand online. This can be highly beneficial for students, job-seekers, executives, and sole proprietors who are interested in standing out amongst a competitive and saturated digital landscape.
I’ve had many conversations with people from all walks of life who have said that they’d love to start a blog and they see the value in having one, but that they don’t know where to start, or how to start, or if they’ll have the time to maintain one once they do. So help those hesitant bloggers-to-be, I thought I would share 3 easy steps to help you take the leap into the blogosphere.
STEP 1: PICK A PLATFORM
In order to start a blog, you’ll need to host your content somewhere. If you’re not looking to monetize your blog or to create a business website, and are primarily interested in blogging because you love to write or because you’re looking for a space to extend your personal brand online, then I suggest starting with a free, easy-to-use platform such as Blogger or WordPress. There are pros and cons to both (and a little browsing around via Google will help to narrow it down for you depending on how tech-savvy and motivated you are to make your blog a success).
For my tech-challenged friends who want to just get their stories/information out there, I suggest Blogger as it is really easy to use, has some great templates to get you started, and is owned by Google so it comes with some backend benefits in regards to SEO (search engine optimization), etc. Blogger also makes it easy to find and set up your own website address. Start a blog on Blogger now.
STEP 2: CREATE CONTENT
To succeed at blogging, you should create and share content that is consistent, engaging, and authentic, in order to educate, entertain, or intrigue your readers. You want to be the go-to person who helps and/or entertains your readers while staying true to your personal brand.
Blogging is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition, create new opportunities for yourself, and to control what other people think of you (because if you don’t take the reins on this one, other people will do it for you – that’s branding!).
I know it can be a bit daunting, but the best way to get started is to just click on “New Post”, and start writing! And if you don’t like to write but see the value in having a blog, I’m here to help!
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go. – E.L. Doctorow
STEP 3: SHARE IT
Content is King as the saying goes, but there’s no point in creating content if no one is reading it (unless of course you’re just doing it for the love of writing, in which case, keep doing what you’re doing!). Once you’ve written and published a post, share it! Tweet it, post it on your Facebook page, pin it on Pinterest, email it to your friends. And if it’s content they enjoy, hopefully your readers will want to share it too. Not sure where to begin? I can help with this one too.
Once you’ve set the framework for your blog, you can play around with the look and feel and really brand it to your liking. The pre-set templates in the free blogging platforms that I had suggested will make it easy for you to choose colours, images and fonts that fit with your unique brand, and you can use easy-to-use sites like PicMonkey to create customized header images and graphics for your site to really make it look sharp.
Start with the basics, and build on it as you go. Good luck, and blog on, friends.