Blogging 101 from someone who knows
Many historians, tech gurus and other experts have equated the internet to the printing press – the arrival of both these inventions gave people access to information and gave them the power to express themselves. Blogs are still one of the main mediums where people express themselves, and those that like to read, get useful, funny, insightful and interesting information, despite the growing popularity of social media sites over the last few years. So, today the subject is Blogging 101 and it’s presented by those who know.
What exactly is a blog? A blog is basically a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, interesting things they found on the internet and other information. According to 2013 statistics there are over 152 million blogs on the internet and a blog is created every half a second. There are blogs on almost any topic you can think of. Bloggers like to express their opinions about products, services, politics, entertainment, music, women’s issue, mens issues, sport, news items, photography – basically anything you can think of.
How do you start a blog? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need your own internet domain to start your personal blog. The two most popular free blogging services for beginners are WordPress.com and Blogger. Both these services are very easy to use and you can set up a blog before you can say “World Wide Web”. If you gain a lot of readers on your free blog you can think of moving it to it’s own domain. The majority of blogging services and platforms allow you to export and import your blog posts.
Can you make a living from blogging? Yes, but when you’re starting a blog don’t rely on blogging as the main source of your income right away. Consider blogging as a part time venture that could develop into a full time job. Start posting articles about things that you like, topics you are interested in and fields that you are expert in on daily or weekly basis. Get into a writing routine and stick to it. Spreading the word by sharing your posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will help your blog to grow. If you’re good at expressing your opinion about something or if you’re good at promoting events and services via your blog, people will start noticing.
Once this happens, you will start to get e-mails from Media and Public Relations agencies who will be offering your content or information about products, events or services that they are promoting. If you have a blog with thousands of readers you can set a rate for a promoted post and charge people to promote their products and services. You can also charge companies to advertise on your site. At first the amounts may be small, but they will grow bigger and bigger as your blog grows and you develop your own writing style.
If you have a passion for reading and writing and the digital space, starting a blog is one of the most liberating things you can do. We recently spoke to Henno Kruger (who runs one of South Africa’s top blogs and has written numerous articles for the Junk Mail Blog and Job Mail Blog). He offered some useful advice on how to become a blogger. Check out our video interview (which forms part of our #YouWantMyJob series) below.
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You can follow Henno on Twitter via @hennokruger.
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