If you have a little more time on your hands than normal, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, then you may have been thinking about a way that you could start a new hobby or try something new, all from home. You may even be wanting to make some extra money, all of which can be done by starting a blog.
One of the misconceptions about getting started with a blog, and blogging in general, is that you need to be a super great writer in order to be successful. Although you do need to be able to write something coherently in a way that makes sense, you don’t need to be an Oxford-educated expert in grammar. A lot of people read blogs in order to get someone’s personal view on things, and as such most bloggers write in a style that is quite informal and more of a conversation style. As well as that, you don’t need to be an expert on a particular topic. A parenting blogger, for example, will just share the things that they have experienced and what they have done. It isn’t about telling you what to do. You don’t need to be a professional chef to start a food blog, you just need to have a passion for food, cooking or baking, and creating delicious recipes.
So with all of that in mind, if blogging sounds like something that you’d like to get into, then here are some tips to help get you started.
Although you can have a blog about anything that you want, and as many things, as you want, it is usually best to have a specific idea in mind, and a niche that you want to write about. It could be reviews and books, or something like gardening, travel, food, or business; literally anything that you have a passion for and can write interesting content about. You are going to be in with much more of a chance to earn money if you have a niche blog. The reason being is that brands that are also in your niche, will know that the readers of your blog will also have an interest in this. So rather than having a general audience, they know your readers are interested in gardening or space, or whatever the blog is about.
The good news is that there are so many choices of places that you can choose to blog with, such as Blogger or WordPress. You can build a blog quite easily, even if you don’t have previous experience of designing something online. You could get your own URL too, which can make a big difference to how easily you are found online. If you want to take blogging seriously, then it is a good idea to go self-hosted, as that means that you have much more control. It could also be worth looking into getting an office and business address set up separately, so that your home address and personal details don’t have to be used. But think about what you want to do with your blog (just write, set up a shop and so on), and then you can go from there.
One thing that is important to remember with blogging, especially if you are looking to grow the blog, rather than just have it as a hobby, is that content is king. Google, and other search engines, love to have new content. This is what is going to be one of the things that will help you to get found by search engines, which is how you will increase your readership and following. You shouldn’t just churn out any old content, though. Think about the point that you are trying to make, and then the value that it will add to someone. Of course, this will be different if you’re just looking at making a hobby blog. But if you want to be found online, then think carefully about the content that you put out there, and plan it thoroughly.
Having a blog that looks good, as well as having great content is one thing; you need to also promote your blog (if you want to, of course)! Social media is a great place to share content, with Twitter being one of the best places. Facebook is great for people to share the content too. Replying to comments, commenting on other blogs, and generally getting involved with others in your niche are also good things to be doing.