|"Whatever your reason is for wanting to start a blog, |
be sure that you know it full well."
Photo Credits: www.tumblr.com/tagged/solo-travel
Why do want to blog? If you have a determined answer to this question, considering the rest of things on this list will be a breeze. It is very important that you know why you want to start a blog or your blog will just be a parked domain uploaded on the web. Don’t be just a parked domain-owner. Be a dedicated blogger. Maybe you want to earn money through blogging or you want to put up a blog that can help other people. Whatever your reason is, be sure that you know it full well. And then the rest of the bullets will guide you.
Is there something that you are genuinely interested in that you want to write about? I tell you the truth, once you started blogging about that interest, you will get more of it. I suggest that you really be serious in picking out an interest that you’ll be writing about. Remember the verse in the bible “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)? It’s the same with blogging. You can only successfully blog about something that your heart is naturally full of that you want to express it and share it to the world.
Let’s get this straight. Do you really have time to blog? Do you sincerely commit to it? Of course you can always start a blog and then just get back to it when you’re able to find time again, right? But if you do that, how different your blog will be from parked domains? I believe that a blog is a mirror of an author’s life. We live every day. I believe our blogs should live every day too. It can’t be just a parked domain that we’ll get back to when we’re free. You must have a commitment to your blog. How much time can you allot for it in a week? How many posts do you commit to write in a week? The minimum acceptable post per week (as per my last check) is 3. If your answer is below this number, I highly suggest that you rethink about your plans. Maybe you should start with your own Facebook account first or maybe create a Facebook Page for now. You will need both of it nonetheless when you are really ready to start blogging. It won’t be wasted, believe me.
One thing that I’ve learned about blogging when I was still a beginner is that I must be able to think about my readers more than I think about myself. A blog is not just an Instagram account full of selfies. Even a personal blog cannot always be just about you. What do I mean about this? Your readers must find value in your blog. Using a single word, you must be able to describe what you want your readers to get out from your blog. Is it advice, inspiration, knowledge, suggestion or tip? When you write, don’t just think about yourself. Think about your readers. Believe me, if you consider this, people will, well, visit your blog. And bloggers become satisfied when they know that people find value in what they write.
5. Online Community
The online world can be a difficult place to explore alone. You need allies. Good thing there are so many blogging communities out there that can help you in your journey. These people started out like you so don’t be afraid to ask questions when you find one. Join online communities for bloggers or maybe even found your own. Click here to see my blog post about 5 Keys to Founding Your Own Online Community.
This bullet surprised me myself. Aren’t blogs supposed to bring income and not expenses? When I look back to the day that I started as a blogger, I realized that blogging incurs expenses too. Not only that you need to invest talent and time to it, you need to invest your treasures too. For example, if you are really serious about being a travel blogger, please don’t think that someone else will sponsor all your travels just because you call yourself a travel blogger. Please don’t get me wrong. I believe that this is possible but you need to show credibility and results first before you can demand something like this. As a beginner, you will have to shoulder the expenses that you will incur for your blogging. There are ways to lessen the expenses though, like you may join other travel bloggers. So you see? Belonging to an online community is very important. Before blogging, please consider the expenses. If you don’t plan to shell out that much for this new activity of yours, I suggest that you pick a niche that you can write naturally about even without attending events, eating out or travelling.
7. Creative Tank
Blogging requires a certain degree of creativity. You must at least have a little interest in lay-outing, photo-editing and of course, writing. If you feel that you need to work on these things first, well, I say that blogging itself can help you start becoming interested in these things. Don’t be scared in getting your feet wet at this point. You may now open a blog and learn everything that you need to learn from there.
8. Readiness to Learn
Some people talk about blogging as if it was very easy. I say, yes, it can be easy only if you are ready to learn. But it can be excruciatingly difficult for a beginner who is not open to learning. For example, you may not fully like blogging if you are not open to learning a little about coding or HTML. I tell you, even this little thing is very important. You cannot always rely on someone to do this for you even if you have a lot of riches to hire someone for this task. I suggest that you embrace this hobby wholeheartedly. There is no getting away from small things that entail blogging such as HTML, lay-outing and photo-editing.
Mark Delgado is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.