It has happened several times that people come up to me and ask, so how do we start our blog? Is it easy? Well, it is easy. And if an empty head like me can do it, so can you! So here are three simple steps that will get your blog going:
Step #1: Know what you are going to write about
This is an important step most people miss when they are starting up their blogs. The result? Lack of interest in the blog after a few posts, the typical i-don’t-know-what-to-write syndrome etc etc. It is better you know beforehand why you want to start a blog. And if the reason is because you are fresh out of one of those presentations that talk about making money from your blog, wake up! You can only make money if what you write is read. And for that, you need to keep writing regularly. So sit down, think what you are going to write about on your blog before moving to step #2.
Step #2: Get yourself a blog
OK. Now that you know what you are going to write, lets get you a place to write it down. There are several free blog hosts on the internet (a blog host is a site that will host your blog, taking away your worries of hosting etc). The most famous blog hosts worldwide are Blogger.com & WordPress.com. Most portals like Yahoo, Indiatimes, Rediff, MSN etc also provide blog hosting abilities. Then there are social networking sites like myspace.com, and some prominent Indian social networking sites like BigAdda.com & Instablogs.com who will also let you create your own blog.
Most of these sites have easy to use, step by step guides that will help you to create your blog. For absolute beginners, my advise would be to go to Blogger.com or WordPress.com. These have really easy to use interfaces and loads of help & support so you wouldn’t get lost easily.
Step #3: Write your first post
Cool. Now you have your own blog! Put up your first post now. And remember, keep writing. That is what having your blog is all about.
This concludes the beginner’s guide to start a blog. Yes, it really is this easy. Let me know if you need further help.
Update<16-Jan-09> : Some readers have posted the question: How to make your blog famous and ensure it gets a lot of hits? Well, here are a few quick tips that can help you with this:
1. Spread word about your blog. Let your friends know you are writing online and ask them to read and comment. Use your yahoo/gtalk IM/facebook/orkut status to let people know when you have put up a new post.
2. Use twitter to publish updates when you update your blog. Also connect to as many people as you can, gain followers and then let them know when you update your blog.
3. Social networking sites (facebook/orkut etc) have plugins that allow you to publish your blog’s RSS feed on your profile.
4. If you need really serious readership on your blog (esp if you want to make money out of it), look at proper marketing options. These include online marketing like google adwords etc, doing Search Engine Optimization(SEO) for you blog and maybe even some offline marketing.
5. Attend blogger meets. Join blogger groups like IBNMS, the Delhi Bloggers etc and attend their meetups. Actively participating in such activities spreads word about your blog.
6. Join local blog aggregators. A good Indian blog aggregators are IndiBlogger. In case you write in hindi or another regional language, you may want to join in some regional blog aggregator. A list of Hindi blog aggregators is available here
I hope these will help you to spread word about your blog. Always remember the bottomline, good content is a must! Without good content, retaining readers may prove to be a tough task.