Blogging is a branch of freelance writing that has been a significant part of the Internet landscape for years. A blog doesn’t have to be any one thing; it can be a collection of a freelancer’s artwork/photography, creative writing, informational articles…the list goes on. If you’re a freelancer who’s interested in starting your own blog, know that it can actually be a fun process – you just need to have a plan in place.
Directions, Domains, and Designs
First of all, think about what you want to achieve with this blog. Is it something that you want as more of a portfolio, a “home base” of sorts for your freelancing career? Or, is your goal to monetize it through means such as advertisements and sponsored blog posts? Whatever direction you choose, the basic startup process is fairly straightforward:
- Choose a .com (your name is preferable, though it can also be the name of your freelancing business).
- Register the domain on a blogging platform. The one that I use, and have found to be the most comprehensive, is WordPress. https://wordpress.com/
- The plan you select is incredibly important, because it’s literally the foundation of everything you want your blog to become. Make sure you choose a plan that you can not only accommodate in your budget, but also that will correspond to how much you want to customize the design, as well as the amount of media (photos, etc.) that you want to include.
- Always opt for domain privacy as part of the domain registration. If you don’t, the chances of you getting spammed can increase exponentially. It’s a good idea to have a specific email address just for blog administration purposes. You can see your blog’s registration details via websites like DomainTools.
- As for designing your blog, start simply with a template if that aspect seems daunting. Then, as you add content, tweak things here and there by changing colors, fonts, and even adding widgets or plugins as your plan permits. One WordPress plugin that I recommend is Yoast SEO (there’s a free version in addition to a premium version). I particularly like the Snippet Preview, a feature where the little blurb that shows up under the title of any blog post or page title indexed in search engines can be edited.
Content Ideas and Regularity
It’s possible that since you’re just starting out, you already have a bunch of ideas for posts, etc., and that’s great! However, the longer you maintain your blog, the harder it can be to think up new ideas. Consider subscribing to other newsletters/blogs in your niche – sometimes, certain phrases might be sources of inspiration.
Something many new freelance bloggers do is put a lot of content up all at once in the hopes of expediting the whole “getting established with the search engines” thing – not the best route to take. Search engines place more importance on the age of a blog (this can be anywhere from a few months to a year or so), as well as how regularly posts are added. Even 1 post a week, as long as it’s regularly posted, thoughtfully written, and 400+ words, can be effective, with 3 posts per week a maximum – unless, of course, it’s in the pop culture niche, reviewing news stories or movies.
Putting It All Together
It’s up to you how much time you’d like to dedicate to your blog, though the most successful bloggers got where they are today by spending many hours per week blogging before they started outsourcing content, if they did at all. Understand that things don’t happen all at once in the blogging world – it takes time to attract an engaged audience and rank in search engines. However, if you’re patient, like what you’re writing about, and enjoy learning as you go, then your blog can’t help but be a reflection of that positive energy!
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