4 January 2023

How to start a blog


Blogs account for a third of all the web pages on the internet, and right now, you could be using your own little slice of online real estate to build your brand, reach new audiences, share your expertise with the world, and even make some extra money on the side.

This article will discuss what blogs are, talk about the skills needed to maintain one, cover some popular blogging courses that beginners and experts alike take, and go over the process of how you can start a blog today.

What are blogs and why are they important?

A blog, or weblog as it used to be called, is a web page that’s updated regularly with new content. A blog usually follows a general theme, and each post will focus on a more specific subtopic within the broader category.

Blogging is an important form of modern communication. Right now, 4.9 billion people around the world are connected to the internet, and almost 80 percent of them read blogs regularly.

Businesses, agencies, individuals, and organisations use blogs to achieve a variety of goals. Many businesses use blogs to build brand loyalty, increase search engine visibility, attract more traffic to their websites, and convert visitors into paying customers. Companies that maintain blogs generate 67 percent more leads than businesses that don’t.

Plenty of individual bloggers use their platforms to communicate their expertise, tell stories, connect with like-minded audiences, and share their unique perspectives. There are also several ways that individuals can monetise a blog, including through online advertising, paid memberships or paid content, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and more.

For example, let’s say you have experience working as a professional chef. You could use your blog to share recipes, tips, and general cooking knowledge with the world for free. At the same time, you could make some money by offering paid recipes, getting sponsored by a popular cooking brand, or even hosting cooking webinars.

Top skills needed to maintain a blog

One of the most important skills required to blog is written communication, such as grammar, spelling, storytelling, and creating engaging and well-written content that will pique your audience’s interest and keep them coming back for more.

On a related note, networking is another important skill because a large part of blogging is building a community of people with similar interests. And that doesn’t just mean growing your audience: it also means connecting with other bloggers and organisations in your niche that can help you strengthen your brand and expand your reach.

Let’s look at one way networking can be important for a blogger. When ranking pages on a search engine results page, Google considers backlinks. A backlink is an incoming link from another website to yours, so the more backlinks you have, the better your page will rank. Networking with people in your niche can increase backlinks, which will make it easier for people to find you.

But blogging isn’t just about communication and networking. It’s also a good idea to have some basic search engine optimization skills. SEO is critical because it’s what will make your blog visible to people who are looking for what you have to offer. Some of the most vital SEO skills include:

  • Keyword research and incorporation
  • Familiarity with Google tools like Analytics
  • Link-building
  • Local SEO
  • On-page optimization, such as title tags and meta descriptions
  • Knowledge of HTML
  • Social SEO and basic social media skills

If you’re not familiar with SEO best practices, there are several online tools you can use to build a strategy.

Finally, knowing how to use content management systems like WordPress is also a plus because you can host and customise your blog using their tools.

Examples of popular blog types

Your blog can be about absolutely anything, but a successful one will be about something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Choosing a topic that you love and love to talk about will help you engage your audience and build trust with them.

Writing about something you enjoy will also make it easier to come up with great topics for posts. Blogging requires dedication and commitment, and you’ll be more likely to stay motivated if you’re blogging about something you love.

There are millions of blogs on the internet, and some of the most popular are dedicated to:

  • Travel
  • Fitness, health, or lifestyle
  • Fashion and beauty
  • Food and beverages
  • Crafting
  • Movies, television, books, or music
  • Families and parenting
  • Hobbies and sports
  • Photography and art
  • Politics, news, or religion
  • Finances

A step-by-step guide to getting started

1. Come up with a great idea

There are blogs out there that cover just about every topic, so think of something that you can offer a unique perspective on. For example, there are thousands of travel blogs already, but maybe you’re an expert on travelling on a budget or finding hidden gems that most tourists never see.

Imagine you’re having coffee with a friend and they ask about something you’re passionate about. What would that subject be, what would you say, and what makes your viewpoint special? When you answer those questions, you’ll have a great theme for your blog.

2. Determine your audience

It’s important to know who your audience is so you can tailor your content to their needs and pain points.

For example, if you’re writing a parenting blog, chances are your audience will be adults with children. They might be looking for advice, ideas about specific issues, do-it-yourself instructions for various projects or crafts, or product reviews. The topics you cover and the language you use will be different for this audience versus, say, with a blog dedicated to kids, teens, or adults who don’t have children.

Knowing your target audience is also important for growing your blog. You can network with other bloggers in your niche, advertise to the right demographic, and find potential new readers through the channels they frequent.

3. Choose a goal

People write blogs for many reasons, and you need to find the raison d’être for yours so that you can make a plan to accomplish your goal. Some common objectives for blogs include to:

  • Build a personal brand
  • Expand your audience
  • Share your experience and expertise
  • Establish yourself as an authority on a subject
  • Increase website traffic
  • Make money
  • Cultivate your social media presence
  • Share news or opinions

Although many of the same best practices will apply regardless of your aim, some of the specifics may change based on your goal. For instance, if you want to increase web traffic, then SEO might play a larger role in every post, and you’ll probably post more often. Similarly, if you want to generate income, then you’ll have to take some extra steps to monetise your blog.

4. Build your blog

The fastest and easiest way to get up and running with a blog is to use an established platform that specialises in blog hosting, such as:

  • WordPress
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • GoDaddy
  • Tumblr
  • Bluehost
  • LinkedIn
  • Medium
  • HostGator
  • Weebly
  • Blogger
  • DreamHost

5. Brainstorm ideas for posts

One of the most important tenets of blogging is that you have to do it regularly. Ideally, you should probably be blogging between one and four times a week, and possibly more depending on your goals. That’s a lot of content you’ll need to create, and it will be easier to produce if you’ve got a large pool of ideas to pull from.

You might consider creating an editorial calendar that will keep you organised and on track. And don’t forget to use a variety of post types, including lists, stories, guest posts, infographics, how-to articles, and more.

6. Start posting and promoting

Once you’ve written and published your first post, it’s time to promote your fledgling blog. You can do this by sharing the post on your social media networks, advertising online, finding like-minded communities, and engaging with influencers and others in your niche.

Courses that hone blogging skills

Blogging is an art and a science. There are many best practices you should know if you want to create a successful blog that accomplishes your objective. Fortunately, there are plenty of online courses that will teach you the basics of blogging as well as more advanced skills. Here are some examples of the blogging courses that can help you master the art of blogging:

  • Building and maintaining a successful blog
  • Using WordPress to its full potential
  • Creating and distributing content aimed at your ideal audience
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO best practices
  • Data and analytics

Just to recap

To get started on your own blog, come up with a great idea—something you love—and think about what you can say that’s unique. Then, figure out who your audience is and what your goal is. After that, you can start building your blog. Remember to come up with solid ideas for posts and schedule posts regularly to keep your readers engaged.

Learn the skills you need to run a successful blog by studying with Digital Academy.

Articles you may also like

What is Digital Display?

What is Digital Display?

You've probably seen digital display advertising before, even if you didn't realise what it was. Display advertising appears on third-party websites and uses graphics, video, image, or text to market products or services.Display ads are designed to stand out to users...