Starting a blog can be a great idea for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you wish to promote your business, discuss your hobbies and interests, retell your life experiences, or just get your thoughts out there. Blogging is also a great way to connect with a wider community of bloggers and build useful relationships. There’s also the potential to make money by blogging!
Here's a guide that will teach you how to start your blog and grow through its initial phases, along with some suggestions for ways you can potentially earn money from your blog.
Refining your blog's purpose
First, you want to consider the purpose of your blog. What sort of content do you want to produce? Will it be a place to document your personal day-to-day experiences—a sort of diary? Will it be a place to discuss your passion for photography? Will it be a place to review restaurants? There are a wide variety of things that you could write about, and you may want to consider refining your blog’s purpose before deciding on a name. Here are some ideas for blog content:
In addition to content, consider your audience. Some people start blogs primarily for themselves—they just want a place to write their thoughts down. However, many others would like to reach a wide audience with their content. If you fall into the latter, you should consider your target audience and be sure that the content you produce is engaging to at least some portion of the population. We’ll talk about promoting your blog later, but at this point you should be thinking about what should be the purpose of your blog.
Choosing a blog name
You should choose a blog name that is both (a) unique and (b) represents the content of your blog. Here are some guidelines for naming your blog:
Choosing a Domain
It is very difficult to publish content online by yourself without using a content management platform. Member.buzz is one such platform that allows you to create a space to publish content for free and to design a great looking website. Member.buzz offers free subdomains, but you can also purchase a custom domain using GoDaddy. You can learn more about registering custom domains here (link to article on domains). Member.buzz also offers additional features such as an events module that can be valuable for some blogs.
Here is a brief guide to starting out with Member.buzz.
To get started, create a site by going to “Create Space” at the top right corner of the page, as shown below. When you register, you will be prompted to choose a free subdomain, but you can add a custom domain to your site later.
Member.buzz offers a powerful design platform containing a wide arrangement of tools to make your site look amazing. First, begin by going to “Design” after navigating to your site’s Dashboard, as shown below. By default, new sites also have a button linking to the Dashboard on their homepage.
You can use the Dashboard to modify your homepage and create additional pages for your site.
To create pages, go to the Design section of the Dashboard and then select “Pages”.
You can then populate your page with text, images, videos, and other content. The Designer uses “slices” to arrange the layout of the page. You can insert and modify slices manually to customize your page, or you can select from a variety of layout templates for quick page design. The designer also uses standard word processor functionality to customize the text of the page, allowing for easy text design. Once you have created pages, they are saved to that section of the Dashboard. To learn more about how to design Member.buzz pages, check out the Member.buzz support documentation.
Menus appear at the top of your Member.buzz homepage and can link to other parts of your Member.buzz site (or to external sites). To create a menu, select “Menus” in the Design section of the Dashboard. You can then select which type of menu you want.
There are three menu type options:
If you are creating an internal menu, you will then enter which path your link will make–this will be what appears on the destination URL after your homepage's domain. If you are creating an external menu, you can then simply enter the address of your menu's destination.
The caption will be what appears at the top of your homepage.
When you create a page, you can then use the extension on the domain after your space name and insert it under "path", linking the menu to the page. You can also link to pages not on the Member.buzz domain by selecting an external menu.
In addition to menus, there are other ways to insert links throughout your site. For example, buttons provide another clean way of providing links to other parts of your Member.buzz site or to external sites. You can insert a button using the icon in the "Insert" tab in the designer. You can add a link to the button by clicking he icon, also located within the "Insert" tab.
Your homepage is the first page that visitors will see when navigating to your site and as such it’s particularly important to have a well-designed homepage. By default, your Member.buzz homepage will already haven some content, as shown below, but you can delete or change any of this using the designer. You can design your homepage by going to “Homepage” in the “Design” section of your Dashboard.
Many people would like to have their content seen by a large audience. Furthermore, if you’re looking to make money off of your blog, it’s critical to have a solid promotion strategy. Here are some tips for promoting your blog:
Keep in mind that it can take a while for your blog to develop a large following. Promoting your blog also takes a lot of work, so if you’re serious about having a large following, be prepared to work hard for a long time.
If you can attract a decent following, it’s possible to make a considerable amount of money blogging. Some methods of earning money are more applicable to some blogs than others, but there should be at least a few that would work well for your blog. Here are some ways you can make money from your blog: