Back by popular demand! Our guest blog writer is once again Franco Sammarco. Franco is a professional Blog writer and has agreed to write another great article for The Last Hurdle™, so without further ado, we are proud to present:
How to Start a Blog
by Franco Sammarco
How to start a blog must surely be one of the most commonly-asked questions among people seeking to establish a web presence. It was certainly foremost in my mind when I decided to start a blog.
For a business, a blog is potentially a powerful tool with many different uses. However, to start a blog can seem like a rather intimidating task, especially if you are coming into the process for the first time.
Luckily, the internet at large is a rich source of inspiration on how to start a blog. However, it also contains so many different ideas on this subject, almost all of them valid in some way. It is a good idea, therefore, to think about several factors before you begin planning how to start a blog.
How to Start a Blog – What is a Blog?
The first matter to consider is one that is so simple that it is often overlooked – what is a blog? The term ‘blog’ has by now been part of the internet lexicon for so long that it seems to be assumed more often than not to be self-explanatory. However, this is not always the case, especially for newcomers looking to start a blog.
The term ‘blog’ is simply a convenient contraction of ‘web log’. In more conventional terms, a blog is essentially an online journal.
It is a repository of articles, most often known as ‘entries’, pertaining to whatever interests and/or opinions the creator of the blog feels strongly enough about to devote time and effort to writing.
Understanding this basic principle is of key importance when looking at how to start a blog – it is nothing to be afraid of.
How to Start a Blog – What Do I Blog?
Having defined what a blog is, the second factor to think about when you start a blog is deciding what form your blog is going to take, and what function it will serve for you and your business.
In my opinion, this is simultaneously the most exciting and intimidating aspect of how to start a blog and for the same reason – how you start a blog is entirely up to you. That is, there are no ‘right’ answers to these questions, except the ones that you make for yourself.
A blog can be an enormously effective communication tool for your business for everything from marketing products and services to acting as point of contact for customer feedback. A blog is often a good way of ‘humanising’ a business, which can help in establishing brand loyalty.
How you define your blog in terms of tone and content depends upon a number of factors. What is the nature of your business? What kind of audience do you want to attract? What objectives do you want your blog to help your business to achieve?
All of these things are entirely up to you when looking at how to start a blog. However, the best thing about blogging is the sheer flexibility it offers. You can continually edit and refine the style and tone of your blog until you find the combination that works for you.
How to Start a Blog – Content, the Solid Core
No matter what reason or idea you have for starting a blog, engaging content is the key to attracting an audience and holding their attention.
I use my F.A.S.T method, detailed in my previous blog post, to generate content. One thing that you should always ensure is that you write engaging content. I find that one of the best rules of thumb for this is how you feel when writing.
If an article is feeling like a chore to put down, it is highly likely that the reader will find it equally hard going to get through, and will leave your page. Conversely, if you’re feeling very engaged in the writing process and/or enjoy what you are doing, this will almost certainly come across in your work and lead to equally engaged and enthusiastic readers.
It is also a good idea not to work in isolation. One of the best ways to get new ideas for content when thinking of how to start a blog is to follow and read other established blogs, especially those focused on the same kind of subjects, materials and issues that you want to include when looking at how to start a blog.
How to Start a Blog – Persistence, Keeping Things Moving
After you have studied how to start a blog and put so much effort into actually doing it, don’t let it die! Once you’ve gotten it up and running, try to ensure that you have new material to post at least once or twice a week.
You can’t afford to rest on your laurels when you start a blog. An active blog will garner readers and followers, but there’s a lot of choice out there, and followers may quickly lose interest if a blog goes without updates for too long.
However, it’s best to follow a pattern of steady updates, as if your blog is a conventional magazine or journal. This will give your audience the opportunity to add reading your blog to their routine, and heighten anticipation for your next missive. Erratic posting routines, especially just when you start a blog, can be as off-putting for readers as total inactivity, and could lead to a ‘failure to launch’.
Finally, get to writing and start a blog! As important as forward planning is, it is also best not to over-think everything before starting. As I said, the best thing about blogging is the ability it gives you in editing and refining your style and content over time.
So there you have my brief guide on how to start a blog. Just about any business can benefit from blogging, so why not try it out? And do let us know how useful you found this How to Start a Blog article!