I have seen a lot of people talking about wanting to start a blog but having no idea where to start. I have been blogging on various platforms since 2002 so I thought I would give a few tips on how to start and where to find things to write about. Even though I have been blogging for so long, I am, by no means, an expert. There is no One True Method to blogging. Please take these tips and change them around to fit your particular style.
Where To Host Your Blog
A lot of people start blogging on either Wordpress.com or Blogger. Both of these are great places to start blogging for free. However, if you are looking to make money with your blog, you will, at minimum, need to register a custom domain name. Many pay-to-blog sites will not accept blogs with wordpress.com or blogspot.com subdomain names.
If you are willing to spend a little more money, you can purchase hosting services for your blog. For many years, the previous version of this blog - The Geek Within - was hosted on GoDaddy servers and used Wordpress as the blog software. When I decided to change my blog into a fully formed website, I moved over to Squarespace. They use their own blog software, which has taken some time to get used to, but I am able to do so much more with my site now.
These are just a few of the most popular options out there. If you are not satisfied with these, there are some other options. Do a Google search for "blog software" and see if any of those tickle your fancy.
What To Call Your Blog
In my opinion, this is always the most difficult part of the process. When I was using Blogger or LiveJournal or Vox (which no longer exists), the URL was always my name (cassandramorgan) but the title would change depending on how I felt that day. Sometimes it was a song lyric, sometimes it was just my name again...there was no consistency. When I registered the domain for The Geek Within, I had decided that I was mostly going to talk about "geeky" things like Japanese dramas or video games or nerdy television shows. However, after seven years of the name, I felt like it was too constricting for me. I wanted to write about other things that wouldn't necessarily fall into the "geek" realm. That is why I made the big domain change this year.
So. You want to make sure your blog title is descriptive of what you do. (Yes, I know Cassandra Morgan is not particularly descriptive. I intentionally made that decision.) BUT. You don't want to make it too limiting either. If you call your blog "Fox TV Shows," what will happen in a few years when you want to write about shows on other channels? Perhaps a better title would be "24/7 TV" or "The Television Guru." Be creative!
How To Find Topics
If you have found a title that you love and a subject that you are dying to discuss, topics should come fairly easily. Write about the things you know! When you get stuck (and there will always be a day or two when your writing muse has decided to take a nap), you can turn to sites like 30 Days of Lists or Pinterest for ideas. Google is your friend. Do a little bit of searching and I'm sure a topic in your particular niche will pop up. Don't be afraid to write a "fluff" article once in awhile. No one is expecting you to write prize-winning blog posts every day of the year. That said, try your best to stick with your genre. If you are writing a celebrity gossip blog, you might lose readers if you start writing about the hottest cars of the year.
Blogging really needs to be something that comes from the heart. You shouldn't blog because you want to make tons of money or get free products or anything like that. I have found that if you write like you are talking to your friends, people are not only more likely to return to your site, they will also recommend it to their friends.
Are there other things you want to know about the world of blogging? Leave me a comment and I will try my best to answer all your questions.