How to Start a Blog

How to Start a BlogStarting a blog is relatively easy – and in comparison – starting a successful blog is relatively hard.

The thing that makes starting a blog frustrating for most people is that it is important to plot your course BEFORE you begin.

Starting a blog is easy.   You can start a free blog in less than five minutes.  Simply click on a link, choose a user name and password and you’re ready to begin blogging.

Now, comes the hard part.  The answer to the qustion of “WHY do you want to start a blog?” rears it’s ugly head.

In general there are three types of bloggers.

  • Do you want to start a blog because you want to promote your business?  (A blog is a GREAT tool for promoting your business!)
  • Do you want to begin blogging for dollars?
  • Do you want to blog to create community – a blog with lots of comments and communication?

Your answer to the question of what kind of blog you want to start will determine how to start your blog.

As in most things in life – while starting a free WordPress.com blog is the fastest and easiest way to start a blog – it’s not always the best option in the long run.

A few months ago, I was contacted by a woman who had launched a free blog on WordPress.com.   She was a tireless practitioner of the principles of the 8 Week Power Blog Launch course….and she was stunned at how “quickly” her blog gained readership.

In a matter of just a few months – her blog was a raging success.  She had great tightly targeted content – she had dozens of comments and hundreds of loyal readers. Around this time, she got laid off from her job.  She decided to expand upon her success and launch her own business.

She contacted me to help her migrate her free blog onto a self hosted  fully managed hosting WordPress blog.  She wanted to preserve everything from her free blog and just  “transplant” it on her own web hosting account.

Unfortunately, there was no way to accomplish this.  See, she had built a strong presence under the domain name username.wordpress.com.   She had made comments on other blogs – leaving that URL as her “bread crumb trail” back to her blog.  She had incoming links from other bloggers coming to that URL.  (URL stands for Universal Resource Locator.)

To use a real world word picture, she had worked hard laying blocks to build a building which sat on ground she didn’t own.

She desperately wanted to convert that brick and mortar structure into a mobile home – she wanted to put wheels under the blog she had created and “transport” it to a self hosted blog – so her blog could continue to thrive and grow under a domain name she owned for the new business she had launched.

What she ended up doing was launching a NEW blog on her own webhosting account and then putting up a post on the free blog informing readers where they could go to get recent content.

Confucius  said, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

This woman learned the hard way how important it is to start with the end in mind.

It’s tempting to use one of the many “free” services – businesses do it all the time.  They use their Myspace page as their company web page – they use Facebook as their company web presence – they use free blogs at WordPress.com and blogger.com to promote their business.

It’s free – it’s easy – but in the long run – you’re building a house upon ground you don’t own and most importantly do not control.

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Kathy

Kathy Hendershot-Hurd is a digital dinosaur who's been playing on the web since 1994 - and working here since she founded Virtual Impax where she shares many resources you can use to create a successful blog.

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