Blogging can be great fun and used on any kind of subject. It can be free and I can guarantee whatever your thing is, you can probably write a blog about it (and even make some money from it in the process).
How to start a blog - first we have to ask - What is a blog?
A Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.
Add new material to or regularly update a blog.
A blog is a good way to express yourself and reach out to an audience just looking for information that you may have to offer! With the power of social media we have today, it's possible to reach anybody, anywhere, any time (provided they have internet access of course). All you have to do when starting a blog is follow some easy guidelines and you can soon be up and running with your very own blog in no time!
Blogging is really just the action of spending time, writing on a given subject for a website, and right now all you really need to know 'how to start a blog' is just that - starting.
Blogs are often managed by software called platforms. There are a lot of different blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress. All these provide the necessary website and functionality your blog will need (such as comments and post dates etc). I prefer WordPress as it allows so much customization and flexibility and often for free.
What are the costs I can expect to pay out when I learn how to start a blog?
If you choose to self host (aka pick your own host) then you can expect to pay around £15 a year (for the hosting) and about £5 a year for a .co.uk domain name. Of course you can put money into your blog if you wish, but other than a domain name and a hosting account, it wont cost you a penny! For free hosting, I recommend WordPress.com, but the domain name will be something along the lines of "yourname.wordpress.com" - you can add your own domain name to WordPress.com, but I think the best option is the self hosted wordpress option. This is where you pick your own web host and set it up them. It's really simple and a quick google will walk you through the steps, if you somehow get lost.
I often find its best to register your domain with your hosting provider then it keeps everything in one place. Also, domains are cheap anywhere you shop now and for the sake of saving a couple of pound, it just saves any future hassle with more complex issues regarding domain names and hosting.
Phew, so much to do and I have not even written a single word yet!
Yes, that's correct. With any website that you want to be successful you have to make sure the basics are all done first. We are still some way from the actual writing and posting. Now, we have to pick a style (and possibly a theme if you have chosen WordPress). WordPress hosts many free themes and in terms of functions and aesthetics they are not the best (but will get the job done in getting you started with your blog).
You need to make sure you set the right tone for your blog and that is done in the form of the website. The colour, the layout the fonts used, the images used. It's all relevant to the final package that is you and your blog.
Generally speaking, you wont need to understand html or css to get going, but like anything once you get confident with how to blog, then you can start expanding and growing your site overall. If you think you will get to this point, then I certainly recommend learning html and css. Dont be daunted though, there is lots of helpful websites and web design forums where you can ask for help. The one thing above everything that will keep your visitors coming back is an easy to use website that has fresh, engaging content that offers your readers value.
Erm..you mentioned earning a few quid from it?
Some of the best bloggers in the world make better living than us 'average joes'. I'm not saying you could ever earn a proper living through blogging, but the more people you have who follow your blog, the more you can earn through advertisers such as Google Adsense and Buysellads. You can offer reviews on products and earn affiliate commissions but before you worry about any of this, you should have a good standard website and blog in place and be posting regular content that provides value to your users.
What would be your top tip for any new person starting a blog? As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do get in touch.