Have you ever thought of starting your own blog? A place where you can share with the world a bit about yourself, your life, your inspiration or your skills? Well, now is your chance to act!
This month Open Colleges’ Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing student and writer Arlene Selman shares the steps you need to take to create your very own blog.
A blog allows you to regularly tell a story about yourself, your business and your passions instantly. You can use social media platforms to do this in short bursts, but a blog goes further, it provides your audience with detailed, in-depth and up-to-date information. A blog is easy to set-up and you can do it for free.
Before you start, consider the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the blog?
- Are there any blogs that you like?
- What will you blog about?
Answering these questions will help you define your blog’s story.
To set up a blog:
Choose a blogging platform, domain name and hosting option.
Domain name: Make sure this is clear to understand. If you are using a blogging platform, the domain name will include the name of the blogging platform, unless you purchase a domain name, for example yellowtaxicab.wordpress.com (no purchased domain name) vs yellowtaxicab.com.au (purchased domain name).
Hosting: The blogging platforms mentioned above will host your blog for free, otherwise you will need to purchase website hosting, iPage is one of the most affordable options.
Once you have set-up your blog. You can add plugins to improve your readers’ experience and to help you manage the blog.
Add plugins for:
– Social media: Readers should be able to share (blog/individual posts), like and comment.
– Anti-spam and comment moderation.
– Automatic content: Video players, photos and advertisements.
Modify your blog to get your desired look and feel.
Use the rule of three, use no more than three fonts and no more than three different colours. To choose the best colours, see ColorSchemeGenerator.com.
Design your blog using a simple theme.
– Choose one that is easy to navigate and scan quickly.
– Use bold headings and bullet points.
– Keep your sidebars uncluttered.
– For your readers to find archived posts include: categories, links to previous and next posts (e.g. bottom of
– Plenty of white space.
Write compelling content that adds value to readers.
Before you write, do a quick outline to organise your thoughts. You may want to consider blogging software like Scrivener to plan your blog posts.
Start with a great headline and eye-catching image that entices the reader.
Share something useful, express your opinion in your own unique voice. Get to the point of your blog. Place images to draw the eye down the page.
Finish by asking or inspiring the reader to take action.
Re-read, edit and check for spelling and grammar – try Grammarly. If possible wait 24 hours before you post or ask someone to proofread.
Setting up a blog is easy, you can do it for free and you can also earn an income. Blogging frees you to publish and tell your story instantly. Writing regularly will make you a better writer. So what are you waiting for – get blogging! I can’t wait to hear your story.
Why not explore your interest further with a writing course from Open Colleges? Enrol today, start tomorrow and get the skills you need to take your writing to the next level.