Why your blog is a big deal (and how you can start one)
One of the easiest ways for you to make a difference in this world is through your own written word – particularly through blogging. Even though we’re in an age of short attention spans and reality T.V., writing is still just as important today as it was centuries ago, and you have the gift to impact someone else’s life through the way you see the world.
When starting your own blog, the information available around the Internet can be extremely daunting and overwhelming. I certainly found this to be the case whenever I tried something new (like email lists, calls to action, and SEO content writing). Sometimes, all we need is something simple, containing only the important bits. Here is my attempt, hopefully it will be helpful to you.
Write about anything you want
No matter what you choose to write about, I can guarantee you someone else is doing it too. Someone else is an expert at it. And someone else is making money off it.
But that someone else is not you.
You are just as important as that other person. You have your own perception on your topic – your own experiences to add to the equation. Nobody else has experienced it the way you have. Writing your story gives a point of view no-one else has seen before.
“You are you, that is truer than true” – Dr. Seuss
When you experience an event, or use a product, or pretty much experience anything at all, you perceive it differently to anyone else on this planet.
Yes, there may be similarities, but you have your own story to tell. And your story might be the missing piece your future reader needs.
Take this site as an example. Everyone and their uncle is talking about self-motivation and taking action, yet here we are. You are reading my version of the story (hopefully it’s helping you!).
So how do I start a blog
A simple search on Google will bring up a gazillion articles on the intricacies of blogs – ranging from the technicalities of hosting, to the philosophical views on the importance of blogging. Let’s keep it simple and answer 2 simple questions;
- What will I name my blog?
- Where will I post my content?
1. What will I name my blog?
The name of your blog is pretty important if you want to attract major visitors quickly. However, that is not the purpose of this article (and you are definitely reading the wrong blog if you want traffic to your site).
Once you have your name, you need to make the choice between a free blogging service or paying for your own custom domain name. This is totally up to you, and going free is a great way to begin (it’s what I did when I started out).
If you’re serious about what you want, then buying a domain name is the way to go. You will need a domain registrar – 1and1 is the company I use.
2. Where will I post my content?
Knowing where you will be posting your content – otherwise known as hosting – is kinda critical if you want to blog. There are many free services available for you to start out on.
Medium is my personal recommendation if you simply want a place to post without the worry about any other customisation other than a picture and text (very beautifully done, I might add).
For some site customisation, such as themes and widgets, the two largest free blogging services are Blogger and WordPress. There isn’t much between the two, other than a handful of features and the website address.
As before, if you’re serious about your blogging, you will need to pay some money for a full hosting service. The benefit of this is you have full control of your content and customisation.
GreenGeeks have been awesome since I joined up with them last year. Their prices aren’t the cheapest, but their services are excellent – and they are completely powered by green energy (good for the planet and all that).
Where to next? Start writing!
I’ve provided a few pointers on where you can publish your content, now the time has come for you to show us! Start writing today, and publish it before you are ready. One of the best content writing tips I gained was the following; if your content is 80% perfect, publish it! It’s better to have your message out for people to read (possibly with an error or two), rather than have it languishing in your mind.
It can very daunting publishing your first post (trust me, I know, here’s mine), and I would love to see what you come up with. Post your website and article in the comments below.