The word ‘blog’ is a term that’s a condensed version of ‘web log’, and these days they’re incredibly popular as a means for people to express themselves and share their interests, expertise, or perspective on what’s new in life or what’s happening in the world. You can start by understanding this – setting up a blog isn’t difficult at all, and if you’ve got quality content (writing) and some snappy images to go along with them then it’s equally easy to have people visit your blog regularly. Here’s a few tips and guidelines so that you can get off on the right foot and avoid making the kinds of mistakes that are common for newbie bloggers.
Any spot that’s located on the World Wide Web will need its own domain and web hosting, so the first thing you’ll need to do for a blog is to register your domain and get yourself an affordable web hosting package. Once you’ve done that, you need to familiarize yourself with a piece of content management software. WordPress is one of the most popular for the fact that it’s really simple to use and most folks can get the hang of it in a day or two. Download it and start installing the plugins and themes you’ll be using.
Now to your content – What do you have to say, and why is it worthwhile sharing it with readers on the web? Maybe you’d like to promote a hobby of yours that you think would be super enjoyable for others to get into to. Maybe you’re a huge sports fan and you want to share your perspective on the big league and its players. Maybe you’ve got an idea that you think can become profitable if you build up the right readership and then attract advertisers.
The possibilities are endless.
Find a Niche
It’s highly unlikely you’re the first one that’s thought of publishing what it is you’ve got in mind. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful with it. Find your niche within that subject matter and you’ll be able to distinguish yourself, and doing so is definitely important.
So, some tips in this regard:
1. Establish your ‘voice’, and make your content stand out
Find a few blogs that are on the same subject, and have a look at the way the blogger writes and organizes the information and layout. Do you like it? Good, take notes of their approach and then think of ways you can incorporate that style into your blog. But once you start writing, try to bend it here and there and add different touches. And you’ll need to write often if you want to have a quality blog that keeps readers coming back, so you’ll have plenty of practice at this.
2. Take a different approach
This is simple enough to understand, so let’s use and example. Let’s say you want to blog on standup paddle boarding. They’ll likely be more than a few blogs on SUP out there that talk about techniques, gear etc etc. You should talk about those aspects too, but how about attaching a GoPro to the front of your paddle board and add a new segment each week about what it’s like to paddle board at “Echo Lake”, for example. It’ll engage readers more, and it’ll give you a reason to go paddle boarding somewhere new each week.
This is just an example, but surely you get the idea.
Back to the Infrastructure
Now that we’ve got you on the right path for writing your blog, we need to get back to the set-up of it. As mentioned, you’ll need a domain and web hosting. Think web hosting is expensive? Think again, it’s absolutely NOT expensive at all and you should be able to find personal web hosting in Canada for less than $30 for a whole year, and many providers offer free blog website domain registration as part of their package. Make sure you go with one that’s very reliable, has a guarantee on uptime at least 99+% of the time and – as mentioned – has fair prices. 4GoodHosting is one of Canada’s best web hosting providers, and you’ll be able to check off all these boxes with them.
Choose a domain that’s easy to remember, not too long, and is a good indicator of what your blog is all about. You can then register it for free with 4GoodHosting and enjoy the affordability and convenience of their personal Canadian web hosting service that’s currently just $2.95 a month! Talk about affordable, and from there you can focus on the enjoyable part of it all – writing your blog and publishing new content regularly!
Have fun with it, and we look forward to seeing what you’ve got to share with the world