Without a doubt, blogging is a good way to promote your business and credential yourself. However, blogging is also a way for someone to explore their own personal creativity.
Blogging for personal reasons often has a different motivation to blogging for business reasons and the way you go about it can differ slightly.
Without a doubt, I recommend WordPress.com as a platform. Just be sure to check out the Terms of Service – if you breach them, you will lose your site. Signing up is relatively easy. Choosing a look you like might be a little more tricky, but I highly suggest “just get going” – don’t spend too long over choosing a look, you can go back and change it once you find your voice and style.
Have A Plan
When setting out on your blogging journey, it’s a good idea to set yourself a writing plan. It doesn’t have to be anything too complex but I’ve found it helpful to have a set day of the week that I will write my blog post and to have a list of topics that I’ll write about.
The topics might be something you’re passionate about, they might be topical because they’re in the news that particular week, or they might be questions that have been raised in the course of “real life” or from other blog posts you’ve written.
If you’re stuck for topics, think about the questions that are getting asked around your topic and answer those. It’s always helpful to remember that people generally use the Internet to find answers to questions.
Also! Ask your readers for comments and their thoughts – I get some good material from just asking what my readers think.
As I mentioned above, having a set day of the week to post is a good idea. Firstly, your readers learn the day(s) that you post and may come looking for new content and secondly, it will help get into the habit of blogging.
However, I sometimes find that I’m really enthused about a topic and can write three or four or more blog posts at a time. I use this as a windfall, write the articles then and there as a series and use the blogging tools available to schedule my posts for my “regular” posting days. You can use this strategy to get ahead a bit or keep to your regular days and provide bonus content to your readers.
Depending on the feel of your blog, you’re probably going to want some images to jazz things up a bit and make your writing a little more visually appealing.
It’s important, even if you’re only writing for personal reasons, that you use images you are allowed to use. Taking an image you find in a Google search is probably not recommended. Sometime ago, I wrote about licensing and using images on your blog and websites and this is still applicable today.
Should I Secure My Identity
When you setup a blog on a free site, you’ll be given a blog address that you can use and you won’t need to have a domain name.
However, it really is highly recommended that you do secure your name as a domain name if you can. This is future proofing more than anything and you’ll need to assess the risk of leaving a domain name available against any potential success you might experience. In my opinion, for the cost of around $20 AUD a year (at the time of writing), it’s worth doing.
Whilst I recommend the free blogging sites as a great way to dip your toe into personal blogging, once you start to generate a bit of success and a regular readership, you should absolutely consider moving to your own site on your own hosting.
It will be possible to migrate your readership to your new site and, in most cases, your content.
What do you think? What challenges have you had in starting a personal blog or, for that matter, a business blog? What tips do you have for others? Leave them in the comments below!