I’m not a writer but somehow here you are
I started blogging around 2007. At first, my blog was a mess, I was blogging about anything that was crossing my mind: anime, tv shows, tech news, personal stuff… After a few months I started focusing on photography and my travels. That was the beginning of a great friendship.
Can you believe that blogging got me free trips to Portugal, Copenhagen and Andorra? Tourist offices invest in bloggers, it’s great way of getting publicity. To be honest I’ve never blogged with that goal in mind, it just happened.
For me, as an amateur photographer was (and still is) a way of sharing my photos. I don’t want my pictures to be hosted by Facebook or Twitter, I want to own them. I want to have a place where they’ll stay even if all this social network bullcrap falls down.
It’s great for family and real-life friends too. They can follow along and see the pictures whenever they come out instead of bugging you constantly: when are you going to show us the pictures from your trip to Japan?
You don’t have to do fancy stuff to blog
Yes traveling is quite fancy, even if you’re a backpacker. Do you have a hobby? What interests you? I’m sure you can find something other people might want to read.
I don’t have the time
Nobody said you have to be blogging everyday. Start with 1 day a week, use your six days to come up with an idea, a few words… By the seventh day you must publish.
Choose the same day of the week for publishing, that way your readers will learn to expect new posts that day.
Start small, attach a picture and be yourself.
Content is King
Trust me when I tell you, good content find it’s way. Low quality content has a hard time attracting readers and creating engagement. In the other hand, if you write less but very good content you’ll definitely succeed.
What about Social Networks?
Yes, you could write posts directly on Facebook or Google+ but then you wouldn’t own your content. If they ever close all your content will have no home, you might be able to export it, but you’ll lose the links, comments or even images.
For that I would recommend to use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ just to share the content, linking back to your site. The site that you can control.
How can I get a blog?
You don’t need technical knowledge to start a blog. From the easier to the more advanced setup, it’s up to you. Here are some resources to get you started.
Probably the easiest way. Sign up for an account and you’ll get a domain such as: example.wordpress.com
The admin panel is very user friendly, writing a post is as simple as using Word or any other text processor. The basic account is free in exchange for some ads in your site. If you don’t want any advertisement, you can upgrade your account.
For a small fee you can also add your own domain so it would look like www.ricardtorres.com If you’re serious about it, do it. It gives you much more reputation, plus it will be easier to remember.
Self Hosted WordPress.org
If you want to really own your content, in your own server or shared hosting this is for you. Installing WordPress on a hosting is easy, most of the hosting providers might have installed.
This option however is for advanced power users as you need some technical knowledge.
The admin area is pretty much the same as in WordPress.com but you’ll have more freedom to install custom themes and plugins. More customization but at higher cost since you have to pay for the web space.
Github Pages and Jekyll
This is for hackers. Github users can make use of Github Pages to host their site. It uses Jekyll and it’s great.
The only downside is the lack of HTTPS for custom domains (they say it’s coming soon).
You will get HTTPS however using the default subdomain: example.github.io
2018 Edit: GitHub pages now support HTTPS for custom domains for free.
Write, write and write. Internet is about opinion and the more diverse it is, the better. Share your knowledge with other, give back what they have given you infinite times when searching for something.
Are you planning on starting a blog?