HOW TO START A BLOG? A quick guide to all your queries!

Before I begin, let me warn you – I’m still new to the blogging circuit and have a lot to learn. This post has been on my mind for quite some time now and just felt the need to give back something to the blogging community for all the love they've shown me.

Right then, with the statutory warning out of our way, let’s start blogging!

Have you ever felt strongly about something but never had a chance to share your thoughts? If the answer to the above question is yes, blogging might just be the platform to give your thoughts a voice! Once you’ve decided to start blogging, you’ll need to answer a few key questions – How do I start a blog? What all do I need to start my blog? Is it worth the trouble?

First and foremost, you need not be a pro at web development to start your own blog. However, you do require a lot of patience and the eagerness to learn. If you put in the hard work, you are bound to reap its rewards in the form of revenue. But, for that to happen, you must remember, generating revenue from websites is not an easy task and you must be totally dedicated in developing a quality website before you can even consider thinking about reaping the rewards.

Q. The beginner’s question – How do I start Blogging?

ANSWER: Research.

Once you've decided what your blog is going to be about, head over to Google and research extensively. For example, reading this article would be considered as a part of your research. I wouldn’t be surprised if you spend 2-3 weeks researching before taking the leap. To say the least, go crazy finding material that would help you to understand blogging better.

Q. I've done my research. How do I set up my blog?

ANSWER: Choose a blogging platform.

If you've done your research thoroughly, the internet will suggest that you opt between the two most common blogging platforms – WordPress or Blogger. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. WordPress offers some gorgeous themes and supports popular frameworks like Genesis and Thesis which aid in easy website development along with a wide variety of plug-ins for almost everything you can possibly think of, whereas Blogger is capable of doing the same things but you might have to play around with the code to get things working for you, something that might not be everybody’s cup of tea.

On the other hand, Blogger (a Google product) offers easy integration into Google’s ecosystem. Blogger’s dashboard provides easy association of your Google+ profile with your blog. It also provides a dedicated tab to view your earnings from Google’s AdSense program (remember the rewards we were talking about earlier?). Another example of being a part of this ecosystem is the ease with which you can set up Google Analytics (a tool that provides stats for your website) as compared to WordPress; though this is only true for a couple of pre-loaded Blogger themes.

Q. I've decided what platform I want to choose. What’s next?

ANSWER: Content development.

The internet is always looking for content that is unique and has never been shared before. Though that might seem to be a difficult task, once you start writing, you’ll be surprised to know how much the internet doesn't know. So, after setting up your blogging account, start writing what you want to share. For any blog, content is the key. You might have a design that is not very pleasing but if your content is great, people won’t mind 
compromising on the design.
Sometimes, you may find yourself blocked for ideas; something that is called a writer’s block, in broader sense. I wouldn't want you to be scared of this as I believe it is only a passing phase in a writer’s career and just around the corner; there is always something worthwhile to write about.

If you do find yourself to be stuck, you can always refer to the internet for ideas. But please make sure you don’t copy others content blindly. Plagiarism is not acceptable to the internet world and it will not help you get anywhere.

Q. I've written my content but how do I spread the word?

ANSWER: Opt for the best socializing platform.

Once you’re done writing an article, you’d obviously want the world to read it. Do yourself a favor – create a Google+ profile if you haven’t already. From the little experience that I have had on Google’s socializing platform, I've loved every bit of it. Unlike Facebook, my posts are shared with all the people I want to share them with and my home page does not have any feed from sponsored posts (a Facebook feature that I've come to LOATHE).

Whilst you’re at it, it may be advisable to join a few blogging communities where you can share your articles and reach a wider audience. However there is one community in particular that you must join IMMEDIATELY – Zero Links Blogging Discussion. As the name suggests, It is the best spam free community that you can find. People are genuinely helpful and have patience to explain and provide solutions to the best of their capabilities.

Zero Links Blogging DiscussiononGoogle+

As a heads up, you can also start following these people. Trust me, they know their stuff. So should you run into any issues, you can try to set up a personal interaction sessions with them.

Head over to their 'About' Tab and find the 'Contributor to' section. Check out their websites which is almost a research in itself!

P.S. – I consider myself to be new on Google+ and I’m always discovering new people who are worthy of making it to this list. These are just a few names that I remember off hand and are in no particular order.

Note to Readers – People mentioned in this list are not obligated to help you out. They might not be able to reply immediately or even reply at all. Be courteous and polite.

There will be days when you feel on top of the world and there will be days when you would just want to give it all up and call it a day. Don’t give up! If you have the passion and are willing to dedicate some time from your schedule, you’ll always cherish writing for your blog.
All images/logos are the properties of their respective owners. Images have been used only for illustrative purposes and I do not claim ownership of the content of the images.

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