You’ve seen me write, you’ve seen others write and blog. You feel the nudge to begin and have been hesitant. You’ve even told your friends about it and now what’s left is your action.
You should know a lot of us were hesitant at first. For those same reasons you have.
But we started anyway.
Fun fact: there are 152 million blogs in existence.
I feel like a big sister right now because I really want to tell you what it takes, what it’s like, because I wanna see you progress. And I’ll be happy when one day you tell me or I hear that my post led you to pursue a dream, a plan.
So, you read my blogging story, if not, check it here. Before I attended that Ajira Digital program, I had no idea what a website was or how it’s created, basically the background and back office thingies. I used to Google stuff yeah, but it never quite hit me how these information got there. It’s a case of if you don’t know you don’t know.
At Ajira, I made a few friends with whom I shared my love for writing and they engaged me on starting a blog. I had no idea how that works. I was advised to start with WordPress.
It took me a while to start it because I was deliberating on whether I really wanted my feelings laundry out there. What I used to scribble on my diary was mostly that – my feelings.
It took me close to three months to finally say ‘what’s the worst that could happen’. See, am a very closed person, am terrified at being vulnerable, at showing my feelings, that’s why I would write them down in my diary and keep it moving without anyone knowing.
Then July 2017, I googled WordPress and how to start. I am no tech chic but I hacked because it doesn’t require much. It’s just like downloading an app on your phone and following the prompts to start using it.
Then you select the theme of your choice; there are many free themes.
You should know, WordPress has several plans. There’s a free plan then there are three other plans which are paid for. So, for starters as you familiarise yourself with website management, a free plan sounds sound.
The other three plans which have more benefits over the free plan are;
- Personal plan which is $5 per month, billed yearly
- Premium plan is $8 per month, billed yearly
- Business plan is $25 per month, billed yearly.
The link to open your new WordPress site; https://wordpress.com/start/user?ref=create-blog-lp
Apart from WordPress , there are many website builders among them Wix. With Wix, even without website knowledge, you create your website from scratch. Within the monthly charges is a customised domain name and web hosting. Their plans range from $11 per month to $35 per month.
The link to open your new Wix site; https://users.wix.com/signin?overrideLocale=en&loginDialogContext=signup
Many options on building websites exist but my best pick and to my current knowledge; start with a free WordPress plan then as you go on, carry out a research based on your experience on what is suitable for you.
Because you learn what works for you when you start using the site. I know I did and am still learning.
FYI, feel free to outsource or ask for help when starting your site. Advice or insight from one who knows better goes a long way.
So now you have a site running. That is part of the steps to making the impact through your words. Prolific writers always say that content is king. Now that you have a site up, it is upon you to decide on your content and discipline.
Here are a few starter guides;
Create a schedule
Learn when you write best
This will help you set aside time for content creation. Some people are night owls, others are early birds and others wing it during the day. Thing is, quiet alone time will allow your thoughts to flow freely and better without interruptions.
Write way before the day to post
You want your readers to rely on you. To know and trust that you will post every say, after a week. Therefore, prepare material on time in order to give yourself space for editing and looking at it with a different eye/a reader’s eye.
I am assuming that your reason for writing is to get better at it and make a name for yourself through your words. Being consistent is key as it will even have you improve your skills. Practice makes almost perfect. And to be exceptionally good at something, you have to practice for 10,000 hours.
When having a dry spell, write a list
Writing and posting feels amazing, except when you don’t have something to post. It happens, it’s normal, don’t beat yourself about it. Instead, choose to educate through creating a list or a ‘how to’ post. I mean, we need life hacks and you always know something someone else doesn’t know and they would probably understand it best through your words.
When starting, don’t feel the pressure to write on a specific topic all through, unless of course you have the content. See the start of your blog as a time to experiment your writing horizons. Biko tells writers that the three main purposes of writing are to Edify, Entertain and Educate.
Don’t worry about the topic because you will find your niche once you start writing. So if you haven’t figured that out yet, write about anything, write wide, feel free, it’s your site, your creation after all. Don’t feel bound by your readers when you start as they will actually be very few.
Here’s a post on a few dos and don’ts; link
If you are wondering how to monetise your site, I’ll tell you that later, when I have done so to mine.
Featured image source; unsplash