This is a free guide to blogging that will hopefully help you decide which type of blog is right for you. You really don't need any technical knowledge to get started but you have to be open to learning new things. You can get the swing of modifying a template or formatting a link through trial and error. Here are a few tips for the beginning blogger.
Pick a platform and stick to it. At first you might not want to pay money for hosting and a domain name right? The internet adage always seems to be "You shouldn't have to pay money to make money". This is generally true if you are looking for a job lead. However, think of blogging as your own business. You may need to make an initial investment but it should be pretty small. Depending on the hosting company you go with you can set up a monthly plan that will just cost a few dollars.
The reason that you want to stay with the same platform is because of your domain name or your subdomain name. You will pay for and own a domain name. Then you'll need to pay for hosting for that domain name. Sure, there are free services that offer this, but they have lots of rules and regulations. A subdomain name just won't look as professional and you won't have complete control over it. You'll be spending hours or even days every week on this blog. You should concentrate on building up value in your own site instead of someone else's.
Research your domain name before you buy. A common mistake that beginning bloggers make is by going with their name or a cute saying. Sure, this makes your url easy for you to remember, but how is everyone else going to find you? Plus, if they do happen to search for your given name in a search engine, how will they know what your blog is about? Your domain name should include your main keywords or keyword phrase, but that doesn't mean that it has to be boring. You might have to look through dozens or hundreds of domain names before you find the right one for you. It can be tricky to find the perfect name that will actually be available, so make a list of several possibilities instead of getting your heart set on just one.
Define your purpose. First off you need to decide why you are blogging. If you are blogging for personal reasons then you will set up your site completely differently then if you are blogging to make money. Personal blogs can feature cute templates and sporadic posts. You can even vary your topics to whatever pops into your head. If you go with this kind of blog you need to make sure that you are ok with a smaller site. If you post about a variety of topics then you probably won't get a lot of search engine traffic but you'll be able to let your creativity flow.
If you are starting a blog to make money it's a whole different ball game. You need to focus in on a niche topic that you can produce a lot of content on. This niche should be high paying either through keywords or affiliate sales. You'll also need to be aware of your competition and the overall saturation of the market. Choose a professional looking template that is also simple so the focus is on your writing instead of on a cartoon graphic.
In order to make money blogging you'll need to formulate link building strategies. This probably doesn't sound fun and you may even find it tedious. This is one of the most vital aspects of driving traffic to your blog. You can get links from forum signatures or article marketing. Building links will help you rank higher in the search engines which will get your more traffic. This is essential if you are serious about blogging for a living.
Learn to use a WYSIWYG editor. This is also known as "What You See is What You Get". This is the easiest way to blog without technical knowledge. The first step it to be able to look at the different tabs in your post window. One of them is html and the other one is the WYSIWYG editor. This editor features simple icons. In order to make a link in a blog post just highlight the word that you want to make a link on with your mouse. Then find a chain link right above where you are writing. Input the url or web address of the page you want to link to in the popup window. This editor will also help you insert pictures or embed video simply. You might want to go back and forth between the html and the WYSIWYG tabs. Try something in the "easy" tab and then look at the code so you can recreate it again on your own.
When you first start blogging you may be too focused on the template or overall look of your site. Sure, this is your chance to make a good first impression. If you are trying to design it yourself, keep it simple. A template that is heavy with graphics might take longer to load. Plus, it won't appeal to lots of different people the way a more generic template would. Instead, focus on producing a lot of quality content.
So you've set up a blog and nothing is happening. You may be wondering where all your money is. The first thing you need to do is to install a basic counter so you can track your traffic. This lets you know which of your posts are getting visitors and which ones aren't. At first you'll have to actively market your blog by commenting on other people's blogs and participating in blog carnivals. As you build links you'll see the visitors start trickling in.
Reading a guide to blogging is only the beginning. You need to make a plan and put it into action. Becoming a successful blogger requires hard work and patience but it can really pay off in the end.