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A few years ago, if you told people you were blogging, you would often be met with a blank look. Or one that clearly asked, “So, when are you going to get a real job?”
However, things have changed since then. Blogging has become a lucrative occupation. As a matter of fact, some people earn as much as $30,000 a month this way. With figures like this, it’s easy to understand why many people are looking for more information on how to create a blog.
Image Credit: Mike Licht on Flickr
What Is Blogging?
In case you have no idea what we’re discussing here, let’s start by giving a definition. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) defines a blog simply as an online personal diary. A blog contains the writer’s opinions and thoughts on various elements of life. The name “blog” is a shortening of the words “web log.”
The Difference Between a Website and Blog
Is there a difference between a blog and a website? Indeed there is. They’re different chiefly in that a blog gets updated more frequently than a website.
Websites tend to be mostly formal in their approach. They are usually used by businesses that want to maintain a formal relationship with their customers. Blogs, on the other hand, are more casual. Since bloggers mostly want to interact with their audiences, they usually take a conversational approach that invites engagement.
Another difference lies in the content. Websites mostly communicate about services and goods. A website generally aims at inviting the customer to purchase something or support a given cause.
On the other hand, blogs seek to encourage interaction. The purpose might be for the reader to take a certain action or think in a particular manner after reading the content. However, blogs do not explicitly make this clear in the way that websites do.
For example, a company that focuses on Internet safety might have a website where they feature products that protect equipment and data from hackers and criminals. Meanwhile, they might also have a blog as a part of their website that highlights ways in which their customers and visitors can stay safe online, as this one does.
Why Blogging Has Become Popular
People generally perceive formal communication as boring. When they must consume it, they often do so grudgingly. However, the informal nature of a blog makes consuming content on them more enjoyable.
The ability to comment and become part of the action is another reason why readers are attracted to blogs. The nature of blogs is that they bring the human element into the content. This can make readers feel connected to them.
What’s more, blogging has become a method of making money. However, no one can pretend that just starting a blog would start the money flowing into your bank account. Like everything else in life, you have to put in the work and have a strategy before you can expect any returns.
What Platforms to Use
So maybe now that we’ve had this little chat, you might be looking for ways to start a blog yourself.
Today, it’s easier than ever to create one. To begin with, there are a number of different platforms you can choose from. What’s more, they all have themes you can start with.
You can be creating content in hardly any time at all. Further, you don’t need to have technical expertise. With the right platform, this will have already been done for you.
Some of the most popular sites include:
How to Set up a Blog
Once you find the platform that best suits you, you will need some basic knowledge of how to set up a blog. This can vary a bit from site to site. However, you will basically need to do the following:
Choose a Name
The name should tell your readers what your blog is about. Remember to make it specific.
Create an account on the site you have chosen. Alternatively, you could create a completely new site that will become your own place for blogging.
Select a Design
Choose the template you prefer, or design your blog yourself. Most of the platforms make this easy for you, as they offer convenient drag-and-drop plugins. These make designing easy.
Create content and publish. Remember that the content needs to be useful as well as entertaining. Plus, you need to target it toward a particular audience.
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Before you even start to think about technical stuff like Google AdWords, you will need to ensure that your blog is properly marketed. That’s because, for blogs, readers are currency. The more readers you have, the more businesses will want to advertise their goods with you.
Once you have the readers, you can make money in a variety of ways, including sponsored posts, links to other sites, giveaways and competitions, as well as plenty of other ways. You’ll be limited only by your imagination.