Blogging: How to start? Don’t worry. I have you covered. If you are starting a Blog in India, I have one of my books to help you too. But if you are just curious about blogging, I will tell you all about it.
Blogging on WordPress or somewhere else?
Nowadays people are microblogging on Instagram, Facebook and everywhere else. My favorite is WordPress .I still use my personal wordpress.com blog to share ideas and posts.
If it comes to open source software for blogging, nothing comes close to WordPress.
When it comes to functionality, WordPress wins. When I bought, my domain and hosting I chose WordPress as my Content Management system. It has a wonderful creative community, endless free plugins, the options with this is limitless. With all social media microblog, you don’t really own your content and anyone can use it.
Blogging on Google?
One of the first blogs I opened was on Blogspot. Even though I love everything Google, I found no attraction for Blogspot and abandoned it soon. But I rather like Google’s Blog Compass app for Indian Bloggers.
Professional blogger: Is that even a Career?
This one is a tricky one. Like any other careers, blogging has grey, white and black areas. Whether you try the fifty shades of grey in Blogging or stick to vanilla, will depend on you. The important thing to remember is, an authority Blog gets its authority from what you know and share. If that’s authentic and helpful, making a career out of blogging is not impossible.
But when it comes to trends today let me tell you a secret.
Just like Orkut went away, Facebook lost its shine and now Google plus retired, one-day, Blogging as you know it may wear different feathers. What’s interesting is writing, and words, have been around for years and they are not going anywhere. Your blog package will bring multiple opportunities and what you do with them, will decide whether you can have a career around your blog.
Any professional knowledge, training, skill, can be used as an authority content for your Blog. Google focusses on useful content and you my friend, have information to share. Just remember to give disclaimers and disclosures properly.
Free Blog or a Paid Blog?
A free WordPress Blog or your own domain and hosting?I like having my own domain and hosting, but I will try to give you a balanced overview.
Free Blog Pros
- Free Blog forever
- Start within 5 minutes
- Customize it.
- You can use as many themes and change set up when you like.
- You have nothing to lose.
Free Blog Cons
- No domain customization possible.
- Monetization is not allowed in a white hat world.
- Use of plugins is not possible
- It doesn’t look professional
- Until it’s your own hosting you don’t own your content and a glitch could destroy it forever.
Paid Hosting and Domain Pros
It’s your own digital home. Decorate it, one post at a time. Go slow, DIY or get it branded by professional web designers, it’s your call. But remember, good web designers, doesn’t come cheap. There are lots of shady moonlighting, who will cause more harm than good. If in doubt, check blogs like Blogaid.net and amylynnandrews.com for detailed tech stuff which will help you learn.
Domain and hosting separate or not?
This is tricky. I have read both sides of the debate. I feel, having two eggs, in two different baskets, makes sense. While renewing hosting for multiple years gets more and more expensive, the free domain you got with the hosting will have a lot more Domain Authority power. The domain name gets authority and rank with each passing year. If you want to change hosting and want the domain name, it will be expensive.
But if you buy a domain from a separate vendor, this problem of changing hosting will have less effect.
What goes into your blog?
What will you do for your Blog health? Blog health? What am I talking about? That’s what you are thinking right? Don’t worry I am not going crazy and Blog health is a real thing.
Just like you need to take care of what goes inside your body and what comes out for a healthy you, so does the blog.
- The hosting: I am thankful to Hostgator. I have used it for the last four years, it gets expensive to renew with each passing year. But the support helped me learn a lot about the backend of my blog. They also did a completely headache free migration to https. But even then, I strongly insist that you do your own research, before choosing a hosting plan. What works for me, may or may not work for you.
- The plugins
- The themes
- Your content
- Guest posts
- Affiliate links
- Sponsorsed Products
Get the Ultimate list of Blogging resources I use.
Do you understand what I am talking about?
What you put inside your blog shows. Your blog is what you write and use in your blog. Themes and plugins are great for sprucing up the blog. But everything needs research. I hear stories of blogs crashing or worse of being hacked when unsafe themes or plugins are used.
Two things you must do, before downloading and using any theme or blog.
- Check the source of theme or plugin.
- Check reviews and ratings. Please read the reviews.
- See if an active forum or support desk available. Most don’t have free versions. But an active forum is good too.
All plugins and themes have backlinks to owners, so when you do use them the source is important. Also, they are potential entry points for hackers if not updated and checked regularly.
Never let anyone enter into your blog until you know that person well. Take a backup regularly. At least once a month. You may need more frequent backups depending on frequency.
Learn about Blog backend stuff, from reliable sources.
Don’t allow random guest posts. Even sponsored posts need to be checked, for plagiarism and content quality. It’s your Brand name on the line here.
The Next part involves what goes out?
Why do you Blog is important here, if it’s a personal Blog full of your thoughts and insights and musings then skip this part? But if it’s also a resource for like-minded people and aimed to help someone somewhere I have news for you.
Make a game plan or an editorial calendar, a blueprint a list whatever works for you.
If needed, write it down on a chart paper and stick it to the wall in front of wherever you write.
If you already have a Blog, this is what you can do next :
Update list of categories you write about. Then see which are the blog posts, which brought in maximum traffic over the last six months. Download as a csv and dig deep. If you see a pattern Write on a topic similar and do in-depth research case study, interviews, product comparison to make that topic your thing. But all this works only if you enjoy writing.
Next, optimize your old content. Make thin content updated and complete Edit, put in relevant images do an SEO audit of your Blog and images and check for alt tags and Descriptions. Google images are also great for getting some traffic onto your blog.
More details in the next part of this Blog series on Blogging in India: The big reveal!
A few quick videos to help you on your blogging journey.
HOW TO WRITE FOR BRANDS WITHOUT SELLING YOUR SOUL