How & Why Start a Personal Blog?
The internet is full of ideas and there’s plenty of space for them. Everyone loves to share something about what’s happening in their personal or professional lives, or in their minds. Furthermore, there are always people interested in them as 77% of internet users read blog posts.
Besides reaching a large audience, there are numerous benefits to starting your own personal blog. You can build a solid relationship with your audience that’s based on mutual trust. They’ll have a sample of your thought process, your personal values and everything you hold most important. It’s a way to engage with them on a more personal level. It’s also great way to build your personal brand and have clients reach out to you in the process. In short, a personal blog allows you to spread the word about everything you have to show the world.
But before we move on to the steps of doing so, it’s first important to talk about what a personal blog is.
What is a Personal Blog?
A personal blog is a space where you can write just about anything, without having any particular goals or having to track your audience. A lot of people do it just for fun or to interact with people. Your blog doesn’t necessarily have to do anything with your business, although it can impact it.
Basically, a personal blog is a hobbyist website for people with similar or the same interests and hobbies. They will come to read about your opinions and ideas and to share theirs with you. It’s a good chance to meet people who are on the same page as you.
However, as I said, it can have a profound impact on your business as well. For starters, it can definitely influence your professional exposure. Having a place where people can come to read your personal interests and thoughts is an excellent way to build your personal brand. However, a lot of people don’t do it because they think they don’t have time for it.
But the reality is, if you can devote about 30 minutes to writing each day or even at least one occasion per week, it will pay off. Naturally, the exact amount of time you have to invest into working on it will depend on what you want to achieve with it.
Before we get down to the numerous benefits of running a personal blog, we’ll first explain how you can make it happen. Launching your blog is easier than you might think. It will only require an hour or two of your focused attention and no programming skills whatsoever.
Creating Your WordPress Personal Blog
About 30% of all websites on the web run on WordPress, because it’s so simple to use that anyone can launch a website with it. Both beginners and professionals love this content management system, because it makes running a website very efficient.
However, before you could start your website with it, you’ll need a catchy domain name and hosting space for it. This leads us to the first two steps of the process.
1. Buying a Domain Name
First of all, grab a sheet of paper and brainstorm your domain name. It has to be something catchy, and something that clearly communicates what your blog is about or who’s it for. You should take at least a few days to brainstorm your domain name and do a throughout analysis to which one would work best and which is the most marketable. It’s important that you go with something that just rolls from your tongue.
Once you’ve come up with a proper domain name, check if it’s available. You can do that on a multitude of websites, such as, GoDaddy or NameCheap. You can also skip this step and do it after you’ve come up with a suitable domain name. You’ll be able to check the domain’s availability and even buy it at the hosting company you choose. To make it even better, you can get it for free through most hosting providers.
2. Get a Hosting Plan
Once you have a domain name where people can reach your site, you’ll have to have your own little slice of the internet. Once you have a proper hosting plan, you’ll be able to install WordPress with a single click and start designing your site. But before that happens, you’ll have to make a choice among the numerous available hosting providers. To make things easier for you, we’ve selected three hosting providers that we found most suitable for bloggers, both in terms of effectiveness and budget.
If you’re doing everything by yourself, you should also make sure that your hosting provider’s customer support team is behind you. You want to have a team of experts helping you tackle any technical difficulties you might face along the way and believe me, you’ll need it.
- SiteGround: is easily one of the most popular and the most inexpensive hosting solution for WordPress. It is perfectly reliable and gets sites to load within 600 milliseconds. So, you’ll not only have a solid foundation for your blog, but also a killer user experience. Their plan costs $3.95, and you’ll easily be able to handle 10,000 visits every month.
- BlueHost: is also incredibly popular, mainly because their plans are cheap and they just renewed their server architecture. You can get a hosting plan for only $2.95 per month. It will give you a solid service that will let your blog run faster than the industry average. Moreover, their control panel is extremely easy to use.
- HostGator: is one of the few hosting providers that offer inexpensive cloud hosting for their clients. Cloud Hosting is more reliable and a lot faster than anything else out there. This is true mainly because it’s relaying on a whole network of servers and computers, not a select number of servers like all the others. This is why it’s great that HostGator is offering one package for $4.95 per month.
You can make your choice based on your budget or the experience you wish to have. You should do your own research about these companies too, but we can assure you that they will be perfect for running a personal blog.
Each of them offers user-friendly features that will allow you to set up your website with just a few clicks.
3. Install WordPress
Now, once you have bought your hosting plan and have access to cPanel, you just have to browse it to find the WordPress icon. It only takes a single click to install it and launch your website from there. You’ll be greeted by a welcome screen that’s the same for every WordPress user, and from there on out, it’s up to you how you design it.
4. Design Your Site
There are tens of thousands of themes available for WordPress, so you just have to choose the one that suits your personality and brand the best. There are a lot of themes that you can use for free, but we wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have any coding skills. Professionally made, pre-coded themes are the best for new users. Although they cost about $60, you’ll have a lot less work with them. They usually have an intuitive interface that lets you change the texts, images and tweak numerous design elements to your liking.
However, if you want to go all out and design your website from scratch, using simple drag and drop tools, then there’s a powerful solution for that too. Just download and use Divi, a theme builder for WordPress. It will allow you to create the perfect design for your blog.
Whatever you have in mind, make sure that it perfectly represents who you are and your message. The more accurately your design can reflect what your blog stands for, the more likely it is that it will appeal to the right audience.
Furthermore, you’ll have to set up your site’s pages in a way that users can navigate in a comprehensive way. It’s important that they can reach all the information and posts they’re looking for with three clicks at max. Moreover, be sure to add a search bar that makes finding posts as easy as possible.
If you don’t want to meddle too much with your site’s design, even with drag and drop tools, you can hire a professional developer. You can go a lot further with a website designed by someone more experienced, but it will also cost you a whole lot more capital.
5. Grow Your Blog
Once you have enough blog posts to show off, it’s time to let the world know about them. You’ll have to enter the art of marketing your blog, which requires quite some time. Depending on your specific goals, or lack thereof, you’ll have to invest all of or none of your energy into marketing. Posting on social media, guest blogging and other tactics are a great way to grow your audience. You should do some research in marketing your blog in order to help it gain traction and get it into a position that benefits your business.
It’s also essential that you research some of the most important marketing tactics for bloggers. These are SEO, PPC and Social Media marketing. You don’t have to be a master at either of these, but you’ll have to have some basic practical knowledge that you can implement.
For example, when it comes to SEO, you should work on your site’s internal linking and to build backlinks through guest blogging. These are both easy and require doing the same thing you will be doing all along. Organizing information and writing quality posts out of it; hence, interlinking.
Interlinking allows your users to navigate through your website quickly and easily. It doesn’t directly affect your site’s SEO, but the quality user experience you get from it does. Inserting links to other relevant posts on your blog will keep users on your site for longer and more importantly, give more value to them.
Guest blogging on the other hand is one of your greatest tools for growing your blog. It’s the perfect way to get targeted traffic to your blog. You can reach readers who have the same passion as yours. That’s exactly what you want to do, right? So, targeting blogs that work in the same niche and attract the same audience as yours is of key importance.
PPC is the fastest way you can get a targeted audience for your blog, but you should only use it if you have something to sell or have any kind of business plan in place. Once you stop paying for PPC, that huge amount of traffic will dissipate. It’s a short term solution to gain more money.
Finally, social media marketing is an amazing way to do all that I’ve mentioned above. Whether you’re paying for ads or choose to do it organically, you can target new readers and build a community around your blog.
Whichever among these you choose or all of them make sure you research the hell out of each tactic and be practical about it. Even if you use one simple growth tactic, you can exponentially increase your chances of success.
The Benefits of Running a Personal Blog
Blogging has numerous personal and professional benefits. All of these give people a reason to pursue blogging as one of their passions. Here are a few great reasons why blogging would serve you on many levels.
Give Expression to Your Passion
There are plenty of blogs out there that only exist to give space to someone’s passion and ideas. It can be anything from cooking, to business, politics, personal finance, martial arts, marketing or blogging itself, you name it. If you have something you like and you would like to share it with others, blogging might just be the perfect way to do so.
You can take what you love to a whole other level by doing additional research and formulating your own ideas. If it proves to be valuable to your readers, it will also benefit your reputation and will have monetary benefits as well.
Have an Impact
You might gear your passions towards supporting a specific cause or ensuring that others learn from your experiences. Whether the cause you want to support is environmental, social, political or a way of getting support, blogging is a great way to do it.
It’s the perfect way to say something nobody else but you can say. You can reach the whole world on a whole new level. Communicating your truths and leading other people to it is one of the most satisfying things you can do throughout a career.
Share Your Knowledge
If you know something special or have access to information that not many have, you can share it. If you want to share your expertise or find other experts with similar goals to yours, blogging is perfect. Furthermore, knowledge is valuable, so you can easily monetize your blog and make money off it. It’s also the perfect way to show off your qualifications and market your services online.
Nobody can do exactly what you do, and you shouldn’t be afraid to share your process. If people could just copy it and do it themselves, than your industry wouldn’t need professionals like you in the first place. Sharing your knowledge and how you process certain tasks will only increase the amount of trust people invest in you. You sharing most of what you know will let people see a slice of your work.
Work on Your Writing Skills
The best way to work on your writing skills is, you guessed it, by writing. Having a blog that’s goal is quality communication will work on your writing skills unlike anything else. This is great because your readers will give you plenty of feedback that you can use to make improvements with each new piece you start writing.
You’ll be surprised how writing can organize your thoughts and the way you see the world. Moreover, it will also change the way you communicate with the people in your life. Being able to accurately articulate your thoughts and ideas is what it’s all about. Once you can do that, your words have much greater power which will affect all areas of your life and business.
Learn How to Create a Passive Income Stream
A lot of people start a blog as a way to make money online. They usually start out with one blog that gives them ideas to new niches that could make them more money. Running a blog in a way that makes money will help you understand more about how eCommerce works. It can be an investment that flowers in future prospects.
Knowing how to use attention to gain money is what online business is all about. There are numerous ways you can monetize your writing and what you love. Whether you choose to do it through advertisements, selling affiliate products or online courses, it’s up to you. The most important thing is to sell something that’s directly linked to whatever you write about. Everyone wants to know the expert’s recommendations.
Expand Your Professional Network
Running a blog is a community-based endeavor and one of the primary reasons people engage in it. Whatever your goal is with blogging, building relationships and gaining exposure will definitely help it. Growing your networks has numerous side benefits like access to seminars, workshops, product unveilings and other beneficial sources. Furthermore, it’s important to have an attraction reputation within your professional network.
Establish Your Authority in the Industry
Blog is the perfect platform to showcase your expertise and knowledge. Writing blog posts that are relevant, accurate and timely will get other people’s attention. Other experts in your industry will see you as an authority and reach out to you. They might open opportunities that you couldn’t reach otherwise.
It really helps in letting your new clients, partners or peers know who you are ahead of time. They’ll have a slice of how you think and what your style is.
Build Your Portfolio
A blog is a great place to showcase your writing skills and everything you know. People will come to see it before they hire you for a gig. So it can be a great way to show you off as an asset to reaching their goals.
You can also use your blog to show off said portfolio. That way, your audience will know about what projects you took part in and what kind of experience you have. This can be invaluable in starting a fresh relationship with someone in your industry or your niche.
Market Your Business
Sharing useful information with your potential customers is a great way to market your business. Coupled with a few lead generating or marketing tactics, it can get you more leads, subscribers and more revenue at the end of the day. You can’t do this with a static corporate website, but you can by creating a blog. Helping people for free, giving them useful information will not only boost your authority, but it will also be good PR for your business.
Your blog is the perfect place to talk about your entire range of services and anything you do that can benefit people in your industry, so don’t be shy to use it.
With the internet becoming increasingly integrated into our lives, running a blog or creating a website is something that becomes a better and better prospect every day. You don’t have to have any coding knowledge, you just have to have passion for what you’re doing and writing especially. If you have even a little time to invest into it, blogging can improve you and your business at the same time.
So what are you waiting for? Creating a blog is easy. Get down to it and share your message with the world today!