start a blog
 Ah, welcome new blogger!
So you wanted to start a blog but then you’re not sure how to do that … well, let’s see if I can help you with that 🙂
I’ve started blogging using WordPress.com and then I transferred everything to WordPress.org. I have to say, it wasn’t easy. It was a steep learning curve for me. But one good thing did come out of it, I finally figured out how to use WordPress.org and the knowledge has helped me through the years both on personal and professional levels.
Hopefully, the information below will be useful. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I’d be more than happy to help if I can.

Blogging 101…

1. What’s in a name??

The name of your blog tells you who you are, relates to you, is everything about you and is you … keep it simple. Best bet, use your name. If your name is long … your name and initial of your last name would do.

I’m not trying to encourage you to set up a boring blog’s name. Your name isn’t boring. It’s your name. You’re using it … and it’s easy to remember …

I supposed the takeaway that I got from naming my blog Morganjt.com is not hard to remember. It’s my name so it’s not that boring.

Simplicity sometimes is the best way to go.

2. To host or not to host

If you are just starting, the free ones will serve the purpose. I was using WordPress.com then transferred to WordPress.org at a later time. The first experience was a bit daunting. I am not that technie – but I did figure it out. It wasn’t that hard and you can even get a guided instructions if you want. You don’t really need a self-hosted blog to begin with but the least you should have is a domain.

Start with the free ones such as WordPress.com, Tumblr, Blogspot, anything to get you started. Once your blog started gaining traction, you started writing more regularly, people started noticing your blog more, then, by all means, get and upgrade or a self-hosted site.

3. What to post??

I don’t know if other people have the same problems that I did when I first started … what am I going to write on my blog? I was having a hard time picking topics to write. What to write? What to post? How often? Do I need a plan? How long should the post be? All that jazz.

I would say Jeff Goins has a great resource to help you with this. I’m taking part in his Intentional Blogging course and I’m learning so much from following the exercises and interacting with the people on the Facebook group. Ideas are everywhere, but first you have to find your focus.

What is the one topic that you cannot stop talking about and are knowledgeable in?

4. How often should I write?

As often as you are comfortable with. You can set up a loose schedule that you will post 2-3 times a week. You can share pictures of the scenery in the town you’re living in and write a little bit about that. Or you can write about what you do for a living, your work, what you’ve encountered today and what you learned from that experience.

Be yourself, write like you speak (unless you swear a lot then maybe, just maybe, you want to tone that down a little) and write what you feel. People loves honestly. They want to relate with you on the personal level. “Oh ya, that happened to me too.”  “I know how that felt.” is the level you want to connect with your readers. And it is simply done by being honest about what you share.

5. Social Media

If you have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, by all means, link your blog to the accounts so you can get your story out there. It’s a great thing to share yourself with the world. If you are using WordPress.com or WordPress.org, there’s an option to share your blog post with all your social media channels automatically. If you are using other services, most of them would have options to link your social media accounts to your blog but if not, you can always rely on IFTTT.

IFTTT is a website where you can ‘create sharing recipes’ yourself. It’s very easy. Once you created an account, you can browse other people’s recipes and see if they will work for you and you can just use them. You will have to sign in and activate your social media accounts but it’s very straightforward and the website will walk you through the steps in no time.

6. What if I run out of idea?

If your inspiration is lacking, there are so many tools you can use to find your inspiration to write again.

Personally, I use Pinterest. Just search for the things I like … fountain pens, pets, animals, books, inspirational quotes, anything. Or sometimes I use Twitter to see what people are talking about, news, updates and such … after a while of rummaging through the net, something usually pop up in my head and I’d be writing a mile a minute before I know it.

Other resources such as The Daily Prompt is also useful. Or you can use blog topic generator from Hubspot, Potent, or Impactbnd and there are many more tools where you can use to help jump start your inspiration again.

I don’t really use these to pick a topic. I use these tools to help me come up with other topic ideas and they have helped me out more than once. Give them a try, let me know how it works out for you. 🙂

7. Start writing!

That’s pretty much it. Now you are pretty much ready to start your blog and share your life with your friends and everyone!

Blogging is actually pretty simple. What makes it more interesting or complicated is your objective of blogging. Of course, if you want to create a business blog, that’s a whole other ball game. You will need a content strategy before you start. You will need to have a self-hosted blog domain and site. You will have to learn how to set themes, appearances, plugins for your blog. You need to promote every blog post on all your social media channels as well and so many more things in which you can learn along the way.

Once you start your blog, you will start getting hands-on experience on blogging, the artistic side, the business side, the strategy side then you will be able to work and build from there. It’s a learning process and it’s never-ending in a way because technology and the world changes all the time. That’s probably why I like blogging. When I go back to read what I wrote a year ago … wow … did I really say that??!?!?!?!! Tickles me a bit but I can actually see how I grow from then to now. From not knowing what to say, to writing this post.

Hope you find the information useful and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I always answer 🙂

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