Blogging initially started in the early days of the Internet as what was then known as Web Logging. This was really an online version of a daily diary, or at least that was what it was most commonly used as at the time.
However, it was not long before web logging became abbreviated to blogging. In much the same way as it’s traditional form, blogging these days has not changed significantly in scope and purpose.
The core of a blog still consists of routine entries, published usually in a timely fashion.
The style and impetus of blogging however, may have changed over the years. While in the very early days, it was usually ‘diary-like’, blogs these days have taken on a lifestyle of their own, depending on their owners passions and creativity.
A couple of years ago, relatively short snappy but daily articles were the norm, this lately has given way to longer, more detailed blog posts, which are still published consistently but less frequently than daily.
What Can You Blog About?
The great appeal of writing a blog, is mainly that there is no topic or subject that is out of bounds, or limited in anyway. Whether based on your passion or imagination (there are blogs written by dogs), all blogs surprisingly find their own followings and communities.
There are as many mum blogs as there are food blogs, crafters and techies have all found outlets for their knowledge and passions.
Blog your Passion
A good place to start with Blogging is to work on something that you absolutely love. It does make it easier to return to it day by day.
That’s not to say that you may not get bored of it, or decide that you’d like to do something else eventually, it’s mainly that when you share something that you love, the passion is palpable.
People, everyone, is attracted to a deep inner passion that is shared, wholly and honestly. You can never go wrong with sharing what is truly ‘you’.
Examples of these are numerous and just to list a few for inspiration
oh joy! – a blog with a big heart, doing what she loves, sharing sneak peeks in to her family and a focus on design, creativity and everything that looks good by Joy Deangdeelert Cho.
Color Me Katie – written by Katie Sokoler, visiting this site never fails to leave a smile on my face. Although the blog has not been updated in a while, Katie can also be found on Twitter and on Facebook.
Not Without Salt – I first stumbled upon notwithoutsalt in the early years of 2007. Weaving personal stories and journeys through the lens of her passion, all things food Ashley Rodriguez shares her passions and stories.
The Power of Words
A picture (usually, but not always) says a thousand words…
As we all know, pictures convey something magical that words alone do not. Many blogs are successful with the support of amazing visuals and photography.
However, there are just as many exceedingly successful blogs that rely solely on words, crafted by gifted wordsmiths. So fret not, if you feel that photos, pictures and visuals are not your core strength.
Leo Babauta of zen habits has chosen purposefully to rely on his gift of words to convey his passions and inspirations – choosing to live a simpler life. His often thought-provoking posts are so much better without the clutter of pictures
Another exceedingly gifted word-smith that relies solely on chosen words is Seth Godin’s amazingly thought-provoking blog.
Although Seth is most well known for his best-selling books Linchpin, Purple Cow and Tribes, his blog often offers insights that makes readers question themselves and the world around them, in hopes of us all building a better place.
And would you believe that just as popular are blogs on Financial Investments, Building businesses, Law and Accounting.
Do I have to keep to one subject?
While there are no hard and fast rules on what you should or should not write about, the general consensus is that, most people like knowing what to expect, so keeping to a broad trend or topic helps your blog readers.
How do I get people to read what I write?
When you first start blogging, don’t be too discouraged that there’s only your mum and your best friend reading your blog.
If your purpose for writing your blog is firstly to satisfy the desire to share what you are passionate about and not worry or get too caught up about visitor statistics, it makes it easier and a much better to write with passion and conviction.
That said, it’s always nice when you start noticing comments left by other people who have visited your blog.
Reaching out – reading and commenting
One of the quickest ways to build up an audience and a dedicated following is simply to be a consistent reader and commenter to blogs in a similar niche to yours. When you start doing that, what is happening in reality is that you are reaching out and building friendships and connections.
At this point, it is actually very very important to leave valuable comments and feedback. In doing so, you are usually provided with the opportunity to leave your website address. This allows other people to ‘follow back’ and visit your blog from the comment that you have left.
Reaching out – social media
Another, perhaps more technical way to reach out, is to use social media, Twitter and Facebook are the top two most popular platforms to connect with others. We explain how to reach out to an audience further in the post here.
How can I make money from blogging?
Blogs on their own do not actually make much money, at least not until your website starts receiving a significant amount of traffic (website visitors), usually in the numbers of thousands per day.
Most bloggers make (a passive income) money from advertising (link to advertising) and affiliate marketing (link).
From initially, selling advertising space, many then move on to building a more purposeful income by building and creating informational or educational products (link), thereby creating a lifestyle-driven, lucrative income.
What type of person is it best suited to?
The amazing thing about blogging is that it appeals and is generally suited to all personality types. This is mainly because, you can be as extrovert or as introvert as your choose to be.
Many more out-going personalities find their way from blog writing to the public speaking sphere, where they are able to reach out a connect more directly with their audience.
The more introverted continue to enjoy writing blog posts and some may perhaps foray in to video-blogging or pod-casting.
There is no right or wrong way to how your blog, website and eventually your own personal brand develops.
As much or as little as you wish, share as much or as little as you wish.
A word on consistency
The only true rule, or so it seems, to writing a popular blog and building a readership and following is to be consistent, in as many aspects as is possible. Consistency is key in the number of blog posts you write a week or a month, consistently visit your favourite blogs, comment and share other blog posts that inspire you.
This does not mean that everything you do, or decide to do has to be set in stone. It may be that when you start it is on a more rigorous schedule that you may eventually slow down on pace, there is nothing wrong with that, just that when you start slowing down, be consistent about it too.
How do I start? Where do I get help?
If this post has piqued your interest in starting your own blog, HURRAY!
There are a couple of places where you can start blogging immediately, for free.
WordPress is a very well-known easy to use and navigate blogging platform, free blogs can be set up on www.wordpress.com
There are numerous other places in which you can set up free blogs, www.tumblr.com
The difference is in setting up a free blog versus one that is built for you is that you do not have control over selling advertising space or directly earning an income from your blog or website if it is on a free platform.
A personal note:
We generally use WordPress for all of our projects and find it extremely powerful.
However for the less technologically minded there are easier to use alternatives.
We hope you enjoyed this introduction to blogging and found it helpful. Do sign up to our email list so that we can continue to share details on how to generate a lifestyle-based income.
In the new year, we will be running a course on how to build your first blog/website, if you are interested in learning more, sign up here.
In the mean time, here are some excellent books on blogging
- How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog by Bob Lotich
- Blog Inc by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
- How to Start a Blog that People Will Read by Mike Omar
- ProBloger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
- How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) by Ruth Soukup
- My Blog Traffic Sucks! 8 Simple Steps to Get 100,000 Blog Visitors without Working 8 Days a Week by Steve Scott
- Blogging for Creatives: How designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success by Robin Houghton