These days, everyone fancies themselves a writer. But starting your own blog isn’t just for ego purposes, it can be a great tool to position yourself as an expert in your field. With the barrier of entry to publishing gone, anyone can share their ideas online immediately, create products and services to sell via the Internet, or even use a blog as a marketing tool for a business.
While it’s simple to start, it isn’t easy to create a blog that quickly garners an audience. Like anything new, it takes time. According to NCU’s own social media manager, Heather Schlichting, you just have to keep writing.
“When you don’t think anyone is following your blog and you want to give up, one day someone will surprise you and tell you that they enjoy what you write,” she said. “For that reason, just keep at it!”
If you’re ready to start your own blog, Schlichting offers up her Top Ten Tips to Create a Successful Blog:
- Determine the theme of your blog, your topic(s), and your desired audience. What do you want to share? Choose your voice and write about something that you enjoy – so it’s not a chore.
- Choose a blogging platform. Free blogging platforms include Weebly and Wordpress. These are simple platforms to use and offer a large variety of templates. They offer plug-ins that give you some great design options to populate your blog.
- Upload initial content for the About Page (include your photo), Contact Page, Home Page, etc.
- Have a logo designed, or find free images on Google Images/Flicker for your header on the home page and other static areas of your blog site. Places like Fiver can be a great resource for finding talent to design things at a reasonable price.
- Create a content calendar that outlines different blog topics for two – three months ahead. Jot down ideas that you can flush out as time progresses.
- Write compelling content and post often (2-3 per week), even if your posts are short. Add images to each of your posts.
- Pay attention to current events and trends. Something in the news may spark a blog topic that would be timely and also appeal to your readers.
- Sign up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social media sites where you like to post messages, with a link to your blog, can help drive traffic.
- Follow other bloggers to create a community of sharing content.
- Sign up for a Google Analytics account to track your stats.