blogBlogging is a great way to get noticed, share your skills and show your expertise, but where do you start? In this series we will be exploring everything from choosing the right platform, writing your first post to growing your audience.

Before we get into the technical side of blogging, if you are looking to start a blog you need to think about what you want to write about and as who.

There are many different niches that blogs cover including personal diaries, food blogs, tech blogs, fashion blogs, etc. Most blogs start out as a hobby but can ultimately develop into an income stream, book deal or a business.

When looking to start a blog, you need to find an subject you have lots to write about and enjoy. A blog that is written with passion is one that will be read and shared.

Once you have a topic, you can start to think about a name for your blog. If you want to use you blog to showcase your work or skills then it would be a good idea to use your name but if you are blogging for a hobby you could try and use a catchy name people will remember.

Now we get to the technical stuff, where you will blog.

For a start I would give one of the many free platforms a go to see if you like blogging. There are 3 main free blogging platform providers.

WordPress.com

This is the free version of the WordPress.org blogging platform which I use. You choose a blog name when you sign up. There are no fees for hosting and you don’t need to buy a url but the url you are given includes wordpress.com rather than a custom one. There are many different themes you can use for free but you are not allowed to advertise whilst using the free version.

Blogger

Blogger is Google’s platform for blogging. It is again free and comes with a url including blogger.com. There are some free themes but not as many as wordpress.com. Your Blogger blog is connect to your gmail account and is a great way to try out blogging if you are not sure if its for you and very easy to use.

Tumblr

Another great free blogging platform. As with the two platforms above, your url includes tumblr.com and there are some great themes to use for free. Tumblr tends to be for the image orientated bloggers but is easy to set up.

The free blogging platforms are a great way to get into blogging and get used to the tech side but there is one drawback, you don’t actually own your blog and if any of the site owners think you are breaking their rules, they will pull your site and you lose your content.

Next time we’ll have a look at self hosting a blog and how to post your first post.