If you have ever considered having your own blog, you are in the right place. This article will guide you towards getting started with your blogging career.
Blogging is a lucrative career that can be done full-time or part-time and it has many benefits and opportunities, aside from the freedom and the privilege to work from any location of your choice at your own convenient time, it’s highly profitable when it’s done right.
WHY START A BLOG?
Before starting your blog, you need to have a clear understanding of why you want to have a blog.
Your reason for starting a blog shouldn’t be just to make money, if your reason for starting a blog is mainly to make money, chances are you might not make enough money blogging.
Your major reason for starting a blog should be to add value to your readers by creating content that will educate or entertain your readers, then you are on a journey of having a successful and profitable blogging career.
The major requirement for successful blogging is to have a passion for writing, once you are willing to put out interesting content that your readers will love to engage with, you are guaranteed to become a high earning celebrity blogger.
There are many reasons why you might consider having a blog and the most common reasons include
1. It gives you a voice: A blog gives you the opportunity to express yourself while you share your passion. Your idea does not need to be kept to yourself or shared with a few friends, you can publish it on your blog and have it seen by thousands of people around the world, your readers will appreciate you for doing that.
Information is king, it determines one’s success yet genuine information is hard to get so if you choose to share what you know in terms of educating your audience then you are saving lives and helping people get better.
Your blog could be an informative or an entertaining blog it could also be a combination of both simply by groping your content into different categories. Grouping your blog post will make it easy for your reader to find information on your blog simply by navigating to the section on your blog that interest your readers.
2. As a blogger, you are an authority: When you publish interactive content on your blog your readers will value you and see you as an authority, a blogger is a celebrity. A celebrity is anyone that influences others with valuable content and that’s exactly what blogging is all about. People cherish and value anyone that gives informative, entertaining, or educative content.
You could have your picture and name written within the widget section of your blog which could be by the right or left side of your blog so your readers get to identify the brain behind the content they are reading. Whenever they meet with you in public places, you need no introduction because they already know who you are.
Being an authority gives joy and fulfillment knowing that you are valued by the people. Starting your blog in Nigeria gives fulfillment especially when you get things done right and that is what you will learn in this content.
3. Get great offers and free gifts: Bloggers get lots of free gifts and special offers because we all love to associate with authority and most especially because they need you to write something nice about them and publish on your blog. When you do that, you are giving them publicity and exposure which they will love to complicate you with their products or services.
Imagine you walk into a restaurant where most of the people are readers of your blog, and they get great value by reading your blog post. You are likely not to pay for the items you buy.
Another scenario is that a store owner who sells clothing could approach you to give him or her publicity on your blog in exchange for some of her products. This is a win-win situation for both parties, she gets publicity on your blog while you get items you didn’t pay for. This is called leverage, you use what you have to get what you need. That’s exactly how businesses are done before the introduction of money. Business is being conducted through leverage and it still exists today especially for celebrities like a blogger.
CHOOSE WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT
Now that you have a clear understanding of why you should start a blog and its advantages it’s important you chose a blogging niche. Your nitch is your area of focus, are you blogging about entertainment, fashion, sport, politics, or it’s an educative blog?
You don’t need to choose a niche because bloggers within that niche are successful. They are successful because they love that niche you also need to pick a niche you feel comfortable with. A niche you will be glad to write about every day even when you are not making a substantial income from your blog.
You could choose a niche based on your hobby, your business, or personal interest. The most important thing is that your niche should be selected based on your passion.
Someone who makes or sells cloth could have a fashion blog that talks about dress sense and other fashion related topics. Someone who provides professional service like building construction could have a blog to educate his readers about quality building materials that makes a home solid and also makes the home look great. That’s choosing a blogging niche based on your business.
A sports freak can create a blog to take about sport, while an entertainment enthusiastic can create a blog about entertainment, and a politics lover can create a blog about politics. That’s blogging about personal interests.
If you love to write poems, then you can create a blog to publish your craft and get it read by a large number of audiences around the world. This is a great example of blogging based on your hobby.
What is your passion? That’s exactly what your blog should focus on, that’s where you will thrive as a blogger.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BLOG AND A WEBSITE
A blog and a website seem similar yet they are different and most importantly they are used for different purposes, your goal of getting online will determine if you need a blog or a website. They are both used for business promotion and are both effective in their unique ways.
What is a blog?
A blog is a content management system that enables you to add content regularly, this means that you can have multiple contents uploaded individually on your blog page. You can have topics like ‘how to start a blog’ ‘how to make money blogging’ ‘how to drive traffic to your blog’ and many more topics on the same blog page.
When an online user visits your blog, they can easily click on the topic that interests them and read about that topic alone, once they are done, they can click on another topic to read the content.
You can also group your content into different categories. There is a section within the backend of the blogging platform that is called category. This enables you to group your content into different pages. For instance, you have a passion for sport and politics and you want to blog about those two topics.
It’s not ideal to add content about those two topics on the same blog page since they are different niche, then you need to create a category for sport and another category for politics. This means that you now have two blog pages on just one blog. All your sports content will be grouped under the sports category and your entire politics content will be grouped under politics.
Your sports readers can easily go straight to the sports category to find articles about sports only and the same for politics. You can have a lot of categories on your blog once you have content for those categories or maybe you have someone who can help you write content for those categories.
What is a website?
A website is a collection of web pages about a particular business, its mainly used to showcase and promote a business. The entire content of a website is focused on that principal subject. For instance, you have an insurance company, your entire website will be focused on information about your company, your products and services, mode of operation, contact details, and other information you want online users to know about your company.
Your website content can get grouped into pages like the home page, which is the first page of every website. It’s an introduction page that displays the most important information about your company. The about us page should display your company history, aim, objectives, and other information about your company. The contact page should display your contact details, email, and phone numbers.
Websites do not use categories, it uses pages to group its contact making it easier for online users to navigate to the exact page they need information about. A website does not add content regularly, it’s usually the same content, and the information can remain on the websites for many years without any update once the information remains relevant to the business.
A website can also have a blog as part of its content. A lot of websites now have a blog and the reason is that the blog gives them the opportunity to add content regularly which makes a website more interactive and engaging. Your website visitors can navigate to your blog to read your updates.
The blog on a website helps the business to continuously add information that educates its readers about their product, service, or the entire company.
CREATING YOUR BLOG
You need a combination of 3 elements to have a functional blog.
1. Your domain: The domain is the name of your blog, it’s usually www.yourblogname.com this alone does not mean you have a blog. Instead, it serves as the address of your blog just like your home address. Your domain name helps people locate you on the internet.
It’s always advisable you register your domain by yourself. The reason is to help you have full control of an important element of your blog. And if you hire someone to register your domain on your behalf, insist that he/she must use your email during the registration process. This helps you have full ownership of your domain.
There are many service provider on the internet that sells domain names, simply go to google and type domain name registration. You could also search for providers in your area.
2. Hosting: The next element needed for your blog is your hosting, it’s a space on the internet where your entire blog content will be stored. Just like the home address example that I mentioned earlier. The domain is like your house address while the hosting is like the building itself.
Your house address helps people to locate you while your building is where you have your properties and also where you live. That’s exactly how the domain and hosting works.
Hosting is being sold in Megabite and Gigabytes depending on the size you want for your blog. To have an active blog, it’s important you purchase the domain and hosting and integrate them together. The integration is usually being done by the service provider. All you need do is to choose a domain name for your blog, select a hosting plan, and make payment to the service provider.
Most of the providers usually have a live chat button on their website that enables you to communicate with them while making the purchase so they can guide you if you have any challenge completing the purchase procedure.
The most used platform is WordPress.org because of its flexibility. WordPress is a blogging platform and its also used for website designs & development like business websites, e-commerce, classified ad, and so on.
WordPress has lots of free and premium templates plus thousands of plugins, this makes WordPress the world’s #1 blog and website builder.
Blog templates or themes are pre-made blogs that are already designed, you just pick your preferred template, customize it and you have your blog ready. There are free themes and premium themes, free themes have minimum features and minimum plugins installed so if you need an additional plugin, you can install by yourself.
While premium themes are more attractive and have lots of plugins already installed. It’s usually easy to customize a WordPress blog template. With a few clicks away, you are good to go. About 90% of the WordPress blog on the internet uses templates.
Blog plugins are functionalities that are not readily available on your template. Most of the functions on WordPress blog and websites are being installed through plugins and there are hundreds of thousands of WordPress plugins available for free on the internet. There are plugins for almost any functionality you could think of.
When creating your blog, you have 2 options. You could create it yourself using WordPress or Hire a developer to create your blog.
If you are interested in learning something fun and interesting, then learning how to create your blog will be a good option because most of the things you will learn will be relevant and needed when you start adding content to your blog.
This article is mainly the first aid in getting started with your blogging career. I believe you now understand how the entire blogging system works, the available blogging platforms, and the most flexible one. Before getting started, you must understand that consistency is important in every endeavor especially blogging. That’s one sure way to get great results with your blog. I wish you all the best.