I occasionally talk to college classes full of hopeful future journalists and writers. They are often asked how they should make a living by writing. My advice for them is usually the same: Starting a blog .
Blogging is no longer so popular these days as "YouTuber" (aka vlogger) or Instagram "Influencer" or even a podcaster in a full-blown blog – a term that goes back to the late 1990s when " Weblogs "- but true writing happens.
If you're unsure about the term, a blog is (sometimes) a regular blog. A constantly updated website with posts that normally appear in reverse chronological order. The latest entry is the first you see, sometimes blogs are embedded in larger sites, in other cases the blog is the entire site, and the content can range from diary-style personal essays to full coverage and beyond written by a person or group in which individuals take turns making entries.
Blo is not what has become of social media. Twitter is referred to as a microblogging service because the posts there are short. The status updates from Facebook are similar, although you can write longer parts there. While you can and should have images on your blog, no one would call Instagram a blogging service, even if you create smart hashtags with every post galore.
Blogs are intended primarily for authors who want to publish information immediately and receive instant feedback. If you are, but have no idea where to start, consider the following and the services you may want to use to get Bloggin.
Starting a blog can be daunting. Here is a short list of things to consider (thanks to Ryan Robinson's article and infographic on RyRob.com, which you should read).
2) What will you call him? Catchy titles for your blog can make you stand out.
3) Do you have a domain name? The pros have a domain (you know, like PCMag.com), but that costs a few dollars a year and is not necessarily required if you're a blogger.
4) Create pages. You'll need more than just blog posts on your blog – like permanent biographies, contact pages, and more, depending on what you do.
5) Consider your schedule. The success of a blog depends on many things such as writing skills, interesting topics and much more – but regular updates are the real key. If you can not stick to a schedule, do not worry about it. Remember: Creating an average blog post takes about 3.5 hours!
6) How will you build an audience? We can not help much here – there are plenty of articles and advice on how to do that. And if you want to achieve the ultimate goal – financial independence through blogging, also known as making money by writing – you should consider all options. (For your information: your chances of doing so are about as low as writing a novel and getting Stephen King's success right away, but you have to start somewhere.)
There are other things to keep in mind. Are you going to blog with a group? In this case, you need tools that allow multiple users. Do you have an audio component like a podcast? You need a host that allows you to upload and index audio data with podcast syndication lists (if podcasting is the issue, use a podcasting-specific host such as SoundCloud, Buzzsprout, or Transistor).
As you can see, many decisions are influenced by the service you choose as a blog publishing tool, also known as your Content Management System (CMS). Sometimes the CMS comes with the complete creation of a website, sometimes not. That's what we'll tackle next.
Create a Website, Add a Blog
There are many website builders that make creating a complete website a breeze. You go online to the service, set up an account and create pages directly in your browser. Almost all of them offer some sort of blogging option. For most, the blog is a minor aspect in creating an overall website.
Our two editors selection site creators are currently Wix and Duda . Our analyst says that Duda's blogging feature is "usable" at best, but he is full of praise for Wix's extensive blogging (see above). You can plan posts, apply tags, offer RSS feeds, view comments from Facebook or Disqus, and post completely in a dedicated blog posting interface. (Do not do that.) Always post your blog posts first in a word processor.The loss of a long blog post in a web-based form is crazy.Please install at least the Typio Form Recovery Chrome extension to save just about anything You've written a crash.)
Wix's blog feature lets you add photos and videos, and format everything to your liking. There are many ready-made templates so you do not have to design anything. You can test it for free.
The rest of the site builders we reviewed also offer blogs. There are also many web hosting services like Bluehost and GoDaddy that contain webbuilder tools and integrated bloggers. If you already have a website with one of them, adding a blog is an easy option. Most use WordPress ; more on this below.
Using a Blog-Specific Platform
Although the blogosphere is not what it used to be, there are still websites and services targeted at those who want to create a blog and not much else are more for tech-savvy types, who can sometimes take care of HTML and script issues, depending on the service.
Let's talk about it again WordPress.com . We include it in our compilation of website creators because it does just that. It is more than a blog tool. Do not confuse it with the free open source CMS software from WordPress.org which can be installed on almost all servers of web hosting services, including you. WordPress is known for supporting plug-ins that extend functionality beyond the basics and add everything from e-commerce to photo galleries.
WordPress is preinstalled on many web hosts. These hosts sometimes throw out extras like backups. However, it is unlikely that you will find it easier than at WordPress's own commercial hosting company: WordPress.com. At the same time, WordPress.com is much more limited in extras. It is complicated . For a complete breakdown, see Getting Started with WordPress.
An estimated 35 percent of the Internet is powered by WordPress software. Therefore, it is an excellent ability to learn as a budding professional blogger. In addition, is one of the only tools you can use to transfer your blog to a new service in the future.
There are other blog-specific platforms. Google's own bloggers are free and all sites have names .blogspot.com domains, unless you buy a domain. You can use Google tools to add advertising and (hopefully) make money. TypePad offers a 14-day free trial before you start paying $ 8.95 per month. However, this includes an associated domain name and unlimited storage space. There is even Postach.io which allows you to create a blog from a notebook full of Evernote content.
Ghost describes himself as a "professional publishing platform" and has his start on Kickstarter. It has plans to power individual bloggers (starting at $ 348 a year) and whole teams if Ghost is to host the site. You can get the Ghost software and install it on your own web host servers. This is the CMS you might want for a minimalist group blog that may be available everywhere, especially if you think WordPress is too busy and complicated, and do not need the extras that WordPress can offer, such as e-commerce.
There are also some such very high quality CMS like Joomla and Drupal that offer blogging features and more. Always remember that working with these tools means more work, but if you are a control freak who likes everything "just like that," you're probably the way to go.
] If you have developer chops, there are other tools you can install to create lightweight, distraction-free, writing-oriented blogs such as Anchor, Bolt, Pen.io, and Svbtle.
Some people subscribe to the process of "Lazy Blogging" – Write your thoughts in Google Docs or any cloud-based word processor you prefer, then share the document with your friends. Anyway, your opinion is all that you probably want, and it's less public than making a note on Facebook. Of course, this could also work in an e-mail.
If you want to have a blog-like journal that is just for you – A true online diary – but you want that It is stored completely online so you can access it anywhere. Take a look at Penzu . It is free of charge unless you want multiple journals or additional security beyond password access. The Pro version costs $ 19.99 per year.
Using a third-party publisher
When you use a third-party publishing service, you limit yourself to being a small fish in a larger bowl. The advantage is that you become part of a site that already has a solid audience – people who may ask for your letter if you market it properly. The biggest plus is that you can focus on writing for the most part and do not have to worry about maintaining the website.
The figurehead for this is Medium . If you are a reader, has more content that you could ever consume, especially if you are interested in social justice. But you'll quickly get upset if you charge $ 5 a month to read everything, even if you can open an incognito-mode window to get there. As a writer, medium is the best option for easy writing. The minimalist user interface generates easy-to-read, beautiful posts. Which makes sense, since Twitter and blogger co-founder Evan Williams medium essentially as anti-Twitter have established. You do not even need a password to open a media account.
Every online search on "blogging with media" shows so many posts that you know why this is a bad idea (you do not have a complete idea) control, advertising is difficult limited functions) as they recommend the website (simplicity, analysis, integrated audience, affiliate program for making money). Some (like us) only use Medium to reprint their own work and direct traffic to their main site.
Then there is Tumblr . The service has gone through a lot of turmoil in recent years: It was bought by Yahoo for $ 1.1 billion and then taken over by Verizon, who banned pornography and killed his traffic . But Tumblr is still there and incredibly easy to use, though videos, animated GIFs, and photos are the main focus. You can use built-in themes or customize them as your abilities allow. If someone follows your Tumblr, your posts will appear in their feeds, similar to Facebook or Twitter. Best of all, it's completely free.