Best Practices for Starting a Blog In 2018
From having a journal-esque purpose, blogs have exponentially grown to become pillar supports to most industries and a prominent headliner of online culture. As of 2018, there are already 426 million blog accounts in Tumblr alone around the world according to Statista. Just imagine how much more there is in all other parts of the web.
But never fret, starting a blog isn’t a one time trend. There is always something worthwhile to be shared, and there are always people open to what you can offer. With the right steps in place, you’ll be able to establish a blog beneficial to both you and your audience. And despite all the discouraging and tedious aspects of starting a blog, you simply need some key practices to start off on the right track.
1. Drive With Your Passion
The very first thing you can ask yourself when starting your blog is “What can’t I stop talking about?” What are the things that you’re attached to or have a commitment to that you think other people can also benefit from? In short, what’s your passion?
Write about something you care about. And drive your blog with something that’ll keep you from losing interest after a few posts. It’s what will help you find your audience and keep you going in the long run. However, you also have to choose what you’re going to write about carefully. Instead of being a repetition of a hundred or so blogs, take your passion and offer a unique perspective on it. Be original and unique and enjoy yourself.
2. Give Back To Your Audience
As a reader, we always ask ourselves “What’s in it for us?” It goes the same way with your audience. And this is one of the most important things for you to consider in creating your content. For example, if you’re trying to grow your brand online, you have to think about what you can give your target customers that’ll keep them coming back. It goes the same with personal blogs. Your audience must have valuable takeaways from reading your blog posts. This is what keeps their interest, what makes them come back, and what makes them stay for the long run.
3. Tell Your Story
There are millions and perhaps billions of blogs out there. And you will always find blogs similar to yours. But, what makes your blog different is none other than yourself. Your story not only gives your blog personality but, it also makes it feel real and authentic. But, in order to keep your story interesting, you should also be a good storyteller. Leave out the tiresome details and simply keep what’s truly interesting for your readers.
4. Practice Honesty
Don’t live a certain way simply for the sake of the blog. It takes little effort to see through fabricated stories. If you want people to read your blog, give them something real. Walk your talk and truly embody what you’re writing about. This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to be sharing every single detail of your life to prove your point. Simply be honest and transparent if the need arises. And let your audience read something real and something they can relate to.
5. Have A Vision
Before you can even delve into creating your content, starting your blog entails a lot of preparation. One of these preparatory steps is having a vision. Know and understand what you want for your blog. Take your time and pour over the small details of the look and feel of your blog. Make sure that it’ll go well with your content and personality. This way, you won’t have to waste your time and effort in changing it every now and then. And you’ll be able to focus more on your content and other more important aspects of your blog.
It also helps for you to have short term and long term visions. This would serve as your guide as to the direction you’re taking your blog to. And it’ll also help you map out the smaller details like creating new content, scheduling your posts, or perhaps even investing in ads.
6. Know Your Talk
One way people would trust you and your blog is the credibility of the information you’re putting out there. And to achieve that means delving into tons and tons of research. Before you can create great quality content, you have to ensure you know and understand what you’re going to talk about. Some bloggers actually become trusted personalities in their chosen niches over their experience and knowledge. You have to remember that part of giving value to your reader’s lives is giving them information that is guaranteed trusted and true.
7. Keep An Eye On The Bright Side
There will always be people out there who will try and discourage you. Negative criticism is always going to be present no matter how well established you are. But, the best thing to do especially when you’re starting out your blog is to ignore them. Remember why you started your blog in the first place and don’t let them spit all over that purpose. However, there’s no need to mix negative criticism and constructive criticism into one ugly pile. There are also some people out there seeking to help out others. And it won’t hurt to take some of their advice.
8. Practice Simplicity
Simplicity can be practiced in any blog regardless of style, aesthetic, or genre. Just take what you need. Avoid overloading your blog with advertisements and remove anything you don’t need like unnecessary buttons or widgets. And carry this through even in your content. Avoid cluttering your reader’s minds and eyes. Give them only what’s important and cross out the superfluous details. Sometimes, when there’s too much going on, the noise overshadows the value that you can give your readers. And it can only lead them to lose interest in your blog.
Through your blog, you are already connecting to an audience. But, you can further widen your web of connections through social media. There, you can interact more personally with your audience and you can also connect with other bloggers. Aside from interacting, you can also garner more audience to your blog from promoting it on social media. However, when you’re still starting your blog, you have to remain focused on it. Grow your blog and the social media following will grow after it.
10. Balance Your Time
You have to put a lot of effort, energy, and time on starting a blog much less maintaining it. That’s why it’s important to balance your time and to set priorities. You also have to live your life. List down the things you may want to put first like your health, personal growth, relationships, or family and find a way to work your blog into it, not the other way around. Find a healthy balance between blogging and your personal life then put your all into them. — Liezel Stephanie Lawagan, SLU
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