The beginner’s guide to blogging

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From gardening and baking to politics and climate change, the internet is saturated with blogs. So, why not jump aboard the blogging bandwagon and share what you’ve got to say? And if you’re wondering if anyone will care, the answer is absolutely. The internet opens up access to an impossibly huge network of readers, with the International Telecommunication Union estimating that around 3.2 billion people (or almost half of the world’s population) are online. Chances are, you’ll soon garner a following!

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5 reasons to get your blog on

Blogging can be a fantastic opportunity to share and create, so why not join the online community? If you need a little inspiration, here’s some reasons to take the plunge.

  • Over the past decade, blogging has become one of the post popular forms of communication. Whether you’re writing for your close friends and family or the internet in general, blogs are a great way to let your voice be heard.
  • Everyone loves a good hobby, and blogging definitely falls into this category.
  • If you’re looking for a new way to express yourself or share information, blogging is a great platform.
  • You’ll get to practice your writing, and will also become better at expressing yourself.
  • Last but definitely not least, with the right approach you can even make money off your blog. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s definitely possible.

The technical stuff

Step 1: Choose your platform

First things first, you’ll need to choose your blogging platform. Purpose built for creating beautiful websites and blogs, WordPress is definitely one of our favourites. In just a few easy steps, you can build a customised site, with access to hundreds of free designs, templates and themes. Plus, you’ll get free hosting and support which means if you run into any issues WordPress has your back. It can take a little getting used to, but once you learn to navigate your way around the site using WordPress is a dream. If you’re struggling, why not ask for help from a tech savvy family member?

Step 2: Lock in your domain

Next up is purchasing your domain name. This is the ‘www’ address that people will type into their browsers to open your website. Now, here’s where your personal preference comes in. If you use WordPress you’ll enjoy the option of a free domain, though it will look something like yourblog.wordpress.com. If you’d rather keep it clean with a simple .com or .co.nz you can pay for private hosting. OpenHost and WebDrive are both great contenders and power a host of NZ based sites.

Step 3: Designing your blog

Now comes the fun part. Once you’re all set up you can start designing your site from the ground up. WordPress offers a huge range of templates backed by easy ‘drag and drop’ navigation. Play around with your design, and pick something that suits the theme of your blog. If you’re looking for free photos to use, Pixabay.com and Pexels.com are great resources.

Creating content

cooking-ingredient-cuisine-kitchenThe great thing about blogs is that there are no boundaries. Your blog can literally be about whatever you like, which means you have 100% creative freedom. Blog about your daily life, focus on one of your hobbies, voice your opinions, document your travels… The choice is yours!

  • A virtual diary

Even if you don’t want to connect with a global audience, blogs can still be a great way to connect with family and friends. For example, say you’re heading off on a post-retirement caravanning trip around New Zealand. Why not set up a travel blog, and keep your loved ones updated on your adventures? Every few days, spend an hour or so at a café uploading blogs and photos that keep them in the loop. They’ll love the chance to see what you’re up to, and it’s a fun way to document your trip. Almost like a virtual diary.

  • Showcasing your hobbies

If you’re simply keen to take up a new hobby, blogging can be hugely rewarding. Say you love gardening, and your friends are always coming to you for green thumb tips. Why not set up your own gardening blog and publish weekly posts? Include photos, stories and personal tips that give your blog a unique personality. You’ll start with a local following, but pretty soon you could start to receive traffic from all over the world. Who knows, you could even start to make money off your blog if it becomes popular enough!

 

Chances are, you already know your way around the internet. So, why not take things one step further and become an active member of the online community? We’d love to hear your blogging stories and tips, so get in touch and let us know about your experiences as a blogger! If you need some further inspiration, check out the GrownUps columnists.