5 Questions when Starting to Blog
Join me on my EPIC Blogging journey
In this post, I want to discuss the What’s, Why’s, Whom, Where’s and How’s of Blogging. I want to help fellow Bloggers by passing on what I have learnt so far on my quest!
#1 – What is a Blog?
Everyone must know what a Blog is? Otherwise, why would you be reading this?
Blogs have been around since the beginning of time. Okay, maybe not that long but a very, very long time almost as long as the internet as we know it has been around. We are talking the 1980s here! Back then it was otherwise known as Usenet. Which was a collection of Newgroups known as discussion forums. I used to use a client called Tin to access these forums discussing things such as music and films.
This is what Usenet looked like. Pretty impressive don’t you think?
Usenet is still around as discussed here for those that are prepared to be blown away by the fantastic interface!
Usenet was a place for people to voice their opinions.
Which is what a Blog is. A Blog is your platform to share your opinions and viewpoints. There are millions are blogs, with thousands of new blogs being created every day. Some people treat blogs as online diaries, others to promote their products and business services.
What is my blog? I pondered this for several minutes. My blog is my voice and ideas. I would love to get a decent amount of followers and be able to monetise as well.
#2 – Why Blog?
My wife asked me this very same question. I stammered a reply which was a bit flakey but she had me thinking.
Why do I want to blog? I have been blogging in some form off and on for years, nothing serious just thoughts and ideas.
I have been using the free platforms such as Tumblr and WordPress free edition but nothing of value. After some considerable thought, I made a decision. I want to try to improve as a writer. I would love to be able to write a book. It would be fantastic if I could make a living from writing, earn a secondary revenue, that is my aim. That is why I want to blog.
Why do you want to blog? Do you want to sell your services or products? Do you want to use it as an online diary? What’s your reason?
#3 – Who will read my Blog?
What is the point in blogging if nobody reads your posts?
The general advice is to define your audience and find your niche. I have struggled with this. I have already written a book called “All the Gear and Some Idea” which I self-published on Amazon which I used as a test product.
The process was useful I aimed this book for people who don’t normally use computers. People like my Dad, who is a complete novice with a computer. It wasn’t a best-seller unfortunately but a useful process all the same. How can I target people who don’t use computers? Maybe I should go and visit some care homes and Bingo Halls?
What is my niche? I also struggle with this as well. What am I good at? What am I passionate about or enjoy writing about that people might be interested in? As an IT Manager, I could specialise in Computers but I would be bored senseless just writing about Computers. I love music and travelling as well. I wish I could pick a niche maybe this would make things easier?
There are some fantastic Blog sites out there. Blogs about Fashion, Make-Up, Technology, Blogging, Making Money, Keep-Fit, Writing, Music, Self-Help and Lifestyle amongst other things. I enjoy writing about a variety of subjects and maybe as my blogging quest evolves I will find a niche. But at the moment, I am refusing to be restricted to just one niche.
I am not alone with this decision as discussed in these excellent blogs.
I will continue trying to get more readers, by sharing my post on social media and perfecting my SEO scores. Guest Blogging and trying and learning to create interesting content.
#4 – Where will my Blog reside?
If like me, you started your blog on WordPress. It’s just a matter of time before you have to make some decisions.
- Stay with the free WordPress.com site?
- Move to a hosted site?
- Upgrade your WordPress account to Business?
The decision is ultimately yours. There is nothing to say that you HAVE to move to hosted or upgrade your account? But, if you don’t you won’t have access to the many features such as Plugins and multiple themes.
#5 – How will I Blog?
There are plenty of Blogs that use free platforms such as WordPress (Free Version), Blogger and Tumblr. These might suit your needs but you need to remember that they CAN delete and remove your Blog anytime they want and the content does not belong to you.
Which leads to the next question.
How much do you want to spend?
WordPress Business Account
WordPress.com provides a number of options.
It’s only the Business Plan that has the option for installing plugins @ £240.00 per year(UK). I would be interested to know what they charge elsewhere?
This option is potentially the easiest choice, but there are limitations and cheaper alternatives.
Hosted (Self and 3rd Party)
What is a hosted site? There are 2 types of hosted sites. Self-hosted and 3rd Party Hosted.
A hosted site is where your website resides. Its where all the pictures, videos and words are stored. Important things to consider are the following – Costs, Storage Space, Support and Availability.
If you are IT savvy you could set up a Linux server and set up your own web server, but the things to consider are the following.
- Is your internet up to speed? Your download speed has to match your upload speed. Your internet feed has to be very good which can be expensive.
- Can you guarantee 24/7 backed up protection?
- Technical know how.
- Hardware. You will need a server that can support your site.
- Anti-Virus and Spam Protection
3rd Party Hosted
The main advantage of using a 3rd Party is that they have the facilities and functionality to provide 24/7 provision and support. There is a hell of a lot of competition in this market and plenty of offers available.
I chose a web-hosting company called 123-Reg whom I had used previously and found them reliable and cost-effective. They have a special offer, which for the first-year cost £1.00 per month for the first year and then £6.99 per month. So for the year, it will cost around £80.00 including tax which for me is a no-brainer.
There is also the option for Free 3rd Party Hosting the issue with this is that you would need to advertise the hosting and have limited resource.
I have written a guide that can be found here on how to transfer your blog here