Welcome to the first section of our How To Start a Blog Guide. If you're interested in blogging, you're in the right place. We've created this course to help people build and maintain their blogs. This lesson is all about what blogging is, what kind of people have blogs, and what motivates people to blog.
Whether you're ready to start your blog right now or you just want to learn a bit more about blogging to see if it's right for you, this is a great place to start.
Technically speaking, a blog is a website or web page that is regularly updated. It’s typically run by an individual or a small group and written in an informal or conversational style.
A blog is a place to express yourself by sharing your knowledge, thoughts, passions, and viewpoints. You can make it anything you want it to be.
Your blog can be an online journal where you just write stories about your life. Or you can make your blog specific to a single topic. There are blogs about sports, fashion, makeup, travel, parenting, pets, technology, politics… the list goes on and on.
With passion, time, and effort, you can become a successful blogger!
Blogging is easy. Anyone can do it if they put in the time and effort. But not everyone does.
In internet culture, it is widely accepted that only 1% of people on the net are producing content. That leaves the other 99% who are just consuming that content! I’m sure you’ve heard that blogging is becoming increasingly popular, but there’s still plenty of room for growth.
So who are those 1% of internet users creating all the content? Some of them are bloggers and they are the kind of people that are brave enough to write about their lives or their passions and share it with the world. They are people just like you and me!
Blogging is a universal hobby. From geniuses to the average joe, anybody can do it and be successful. It’s just takes some passion, a little time and effort, and the right guide to get you started.
Some blogs are gigantic; they’re basically magazines on the internet. Other blogs are smaller and more personal. Some blogs are just people writing about their lives. Others are focused on one subject in particular.
There’s a lot of information out there about everything that goes into blogging. But the problem is it’s scattered all over the internet. Good information is hard to find and none of it is complete. Julian and I have neatly organized the basics of getting started and the advanced tools to making your blog a success in this course. Follow along and get the right information in the most convenient order. You’ll be a blogging pro in no time!
I don’t want to sound too over-the-top but blogging has truly changed my life. I started my first blog in college. Classes, extracurriculars, and attempting to have a social life kept me too busy to pay attention to what I was eating (mostly fast food and microwavable meals). It’s hard to cook for one. Blogging offered me a way to document my meals and encourage myself to find delicious, healthy, quick recipes for one. At first, it was just a way to force myself to stay disciplined, but it soon opened up a whole new world to me.
Before I knew it, my blog was growing and I had built a large network of people of all walks of life. I was learning and growing along with my readers and having more fun than I thought possible. Helping others with their own blogs has become my new passion because I know how rewarding it can be.
I’ve been blogging for over 11 years now and I have discovered there are 8 main reasons to start and maintain a blog: to improve yourself, to connect with others, to earn money, to make a difference, to promote yourself or your business, to develop your professional self, to live forever, and, above all, because it’s easy, cheap, and fun!
To build and maintain a blog, you have to research topics, write interesting posts, and connect with your readers. If you do those 3 things consistently, you can't help but improve yourself in many ways.
When you are blogging, you are always learning. First, you have to learn how to set up a blog and the mechanics of building and maintaining it (we can help with that!).
When you’re writing the content for your blog, you’ll be learning more and more about your niche. Even if you’re already an expert, you’ll still be learning because you have to post consistently to maintain a successful blog and the content has to be different from what’s already out there. You have to find what’s new and exciting about your niche or what’s interesting and obscure.
Don’t be discouraged if you feel like you don’t know a lot about a single subject. Blog about your process of learning something new, like I did!
You’ll find that teaching is the best way to learn. Even if you think you understand something really well, you’ll find gaps in your knowledge when you try to teach it to someone else. And by connecting with your readers, you’ll find that they have a lot of knowledge to share too!
Building a blog is easy. Simply follow along with the first couple modules of this course. What’s difficult is maintaining the blog. We can help you with almost everything, from setting up your blog, to customizing it, to promoting it, to monetizing it, to creating a schedule, to learning how to build quality content. But you have to create that content.
A successful blog is interesting, informative, interactive, fun, and consistent! If you leave a lot of time between posts, your readers will be discouraged and stop following you. Blogging presents a challenge in creating quality content as well as connecting with other people (often from all walks of life). It also forces you to be disciplined.
Keeping a schedule builds trust with your readers and keeps them engaged. And because you’ll be blogging about something you love, you have an incentive to be punctual. Getting into the habit of posting regularly and connecting with your readers through comments will help give you structure in the rest of your life too.
Maintaining a blog requires a lot of writing and, as my mom always told me, practice makes better! The more you write, the easier it will become. Looking back, my first blog entries were choppy and boring. But as I wrote post after post, I became more comfortable in my writing. I developed a voice that was conversational and appealed to my readers. My confidence in my content grew as I made mistakes and learned from them.
With every blog post, you have to decide what to write about by considering what you want to write about and what your audience wants to read. You have to research your topic and organize the content in such a way that it’s novel and interesting. You’ll have to sort through all the information that’s out there (there’s a lot, this is the internet) and find what’s novel among all the obvious.
By doing all of these things, you’ll not only create high-quality blog posts, you’ll also be exercising and strengthening your thinking muscles. Your memory will improve as well as your critical thinking skills and your creativity.
The more research you do, the better you will get at deciphering the good sources from the bad; the important information from the unnecessary; the engaging details from the boring. You will be able to evaluate arguments, identifying their strengths and weaknesses (whether you agree with them or not). You’ll learn to challenge the norms and push to create ideas and be resourceful.
With each blog post, you will form your own argument, narrative, or explanation. As you do this over and over, your ability to communicate and support your perspective will improve. You will become more articulate in your writing and that will transfer to your speech as well. Discussions with other people in person and in print will become easier.
With your increased knowledge and your improved communication skills, your confidence will grow. The more research you do and the more you learn, you’ll find yourself being more flexible and open to new ideas. You’ll be more confident sharing your knowledge and opinions and more open to changing your mind if presented with new information. You’ll be a more well-rounded person.
As your audience grows, each new reader, each new like, each new share will validate your ability to contribute quality content to the world. But not every comment will be positive. Everyone gets criticized at least a little bit (this is the internet after all…). Opening yourself up to learning and sharing your knowledge will give you the confidence to take that criticism, learn from it, and move on, or just ignore it.
Maintaining a blog improves your ability to think critically about everything in your life and builds your confidence in your knowledge and abilities. These things are great in the blogging world, but they are even better in the real world.
You’ll be better able to think about and evaluate everything in your life: your relationships, your health, your work, your values…everything. Having these critical thinking skills and the confidence to use them in your life will lead you to make better decisions.
And if you’re having a problem, write about it! A problem shared is a problem halved. I’ve always loved that idiom. Just getting something off your chest can make a world of difference. And your audience is there to offer a listening ear. You may even find that they can offer help and support.
If you use your blog to inspire, help and connect with your readers. Making a difference in someone else’s life is a reward in and of itself. You may even find they inspire you too. The entire process of blogging has been so rewarding for me. The positive feedback I get is a great pick-me-up if I’m ever feeling low. That’s why I want to help you build your blog too. I want you to get that same joy and fulfillment.
Blogging is a great way to connect with other people whether they are people who share your interests, clients/customers, or closer friends and family.
Blogging is not just writing a series of articles. Successful bloggers don’t just offer quality content, they connect and engage with their readers. You will attract an audience with the content of your blog and keep them by connecting with them.
Through your blog, you can build your network and make friends with people from all walks of life. Those connections will not only help you grow as a person, they can also help you grow as a professional. And on top of that, people talk! If they like your blog, they’ll tell their friends.
Blogging is a great way to make money if you put the time and effort into it. You can turn your blog into your career and have the flexibility of working wherever and whenever you want! The 3 general ways people make money through blogging are by advertising, selling their own products, and promoting other people’s products.
Blogging doesn’t have to be about earning money. It’s fun and rewarding in a lot of other ways. But if you can enjoy your writing AND make money, then it's icing on the cake!
Larger blogs make millions of dollars each year and some smaller blogs make tens of thousands. If you create value with your content and grow an audience, you could make a career out of blogging.
I’m lucky enough to make a living through my blog. Having the freedom of being my own boss is indescribable. I make my own hours so I can make time for my family and my hobbies. I can work almost anywhere so I can travel whenever I want. And the best part is: I’m making money doing something I love.
Making money directly from your blog is not the only value you’ll be getting. As you build and maintain your blog, you’ll acquire other valuable skills as well like website design, search engine optimization, social media promotion, etc.
Your blog is your voice, only amplified. Use it to inform, educate, and inspire other people in order to make the world a better place.
You have a voice and you can use your blog to make that voice heard. You can use your blog as a platform to promote good causes. Educate your readers about good causes and encourage them to get involved. Lead by example. For instance, I like to volunteer at my local animal shelter. While my blog doesn’t focus on animals, I like to mention the good work shelters do every so often. It makes me feel really good to be able to inspire others to volunteer as well.
You can also donate some of your own earnings to charity. Choose a charity of the month and donate a percentage of your blog’s earnings. The charity will benefit from the donation and the publicity, and your blog will benefit because your readers will see you care.
Whatever your blog is about, you can inspire others in some way. Encourage them to learn, try something new, start their own blogs. You can even share the virtues of your faith and help encourage people to better themselves and help those in need.
You may even find that you can influence public policy. Your blog can be a megaphone pointed at the world. Use it to shout out loud and expose what is wrong. Provide people with information, evidence, and sources. Rally people to your cause and encourage them to contact their representatives. If you can educate and inspire enough people, the authorities will take notice and you can influence them to fix what’s wrong.
Some people prefer to write about topics only and separate themselves from their blogs. Others use their blogs to introduce themselves to the world. Writing about yourself or your business gives you the power to influence people's perception of you.
Your blog is also a great way to promote yourself, your art, your hobbies, or your business. According to internet culture, only 1% of the people on the internet are producing content. That leaves the other 99% who are only consuming the information that’s out there. Don’t be just another reader.
Create your own blog. Stand out. Be in that 1%.
Share your passion with the world, whether it’s art, a hobby, a business, or your lifestyle. Teach others about what you know and learn with them.
If you have a business in the physical world (offline), a blog is a great way to gain new clients or customers. A study by the Kelsey Group found that 97% of consumers use online media to shop locally. People like to look up business online before becoming patrons. Build a blog to connect with those customers and show why your business is special.
Your blog is a representation of yourself. It shows the world your strengths, knowledge, and personality. People will take notice and their professional view of you will be improved.
Build credibility through your blog. Demonstrate your knowledge and your discipline through your content. Once you build an audience, people will see you as an expert in your subject. In your writing, show that you are knowledgeable, but also show that you are open. Examine and present counter arguments. Speak from the heart and personalize your writing. Share your hardships and successes.
Use your blog to enhance your resume. Your blog will make you stand out from the pack and help convince your potential employer that you have critical thinking skills and are hardworking and intelligent. And sometimes employers seek out bloggers and offer them jobs!
By building your audience, people will take notice of you. It’s true that people make seek you out with job offers, but what’s more likely is that people seek you out for other opportunities. If you have a large audience, it means that people care what you have to say. You are providing valuable content. And others will want you to share in different ways.
Bloggers are often approached about speaking engagements. You could be the keynote speaker at a conference and inspire an auditorium full of people. Bloggers also often take freelance writing gigs, getting paid by the word. You could also be asked to be a consultant. So if you know a lot, show it through your blog!
The written word is powerful. Your writing will last forever if you publish it. Turn your blog into your legacy. Connect with and inspire people long after you're gone.
The most amazing thing about the written word is that it is everlasting. Your writing will live on long after you leave this world. It is believed that the entirety of Plato’s work has survived for 2,400 years. People are still reading it.
You can build a legacy that will long outlive you but you have to share your work with the world to accomplish this.
Use your blog to document your life. Tell your stories like you would in a diary. You are the only person that can get your life’s story right. If anyone else does, they may tell a biased version or an incorrect one. If you want your story to be true and complete, you have to be the one that writes it.
The simplest reason that you should start your blog today is that it’s easy, it’s cheap, and it’s fun!
Follow along with this course and you’ll have no problem building and customizing your blog. We’ll help you with everything from your bigger goals to the nitty gritty details.
Pick a topic that you have a passion for and you will fall in love with blogging. Never before has it been so easy to connect with so many people and share your knowledge and passion with them.
And it’s super cheap. Create your very own blog with a custom domain name and the flexibility to make it look however you want, make money off of it, and own it completely. A quality blog can be made for just $4 per month.
In all honesty, there’s no reason not to blog. Do it for just yourself, do it for your friends and family, or promote your blog to the world. Whatever you do with your blog, you’ll have fun writing about something you love and learning as you go.
The very first step to blogging is choose what to blog about. Click below and we'll help you decide.