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Do you ever dream of writing your own blog?

Maybe you want to share your experiences with other people, or maybe you enjoy writing short stories. Whatever your interests are, anybody can create a blog and potentially be successful in the process. One of the biggest struggles for bloggers is creating a structure that will help to maintain the blog in the long term. Something that often happens for new bloggers is that they can lose their motivation and passion to write when they don’t see immediate success. Good news is, immediate success is not necessary to be a successful blogger in the long run! After having a blog myself and working with friends who lead successful blogs, I’ve come up with 4 helpful steps on how to start a successful blog.

Step 1: Choosing a Good Platform

There are many different platforms to create your blog on, and each of these platforms cater towards different needs. Depending on your budget, you can have your own domain, which basically is your own website, or you can use a subdomain, which is attached to another website. One option is to use blogging platform such as Wix or Blogger, which provide free services, but are run on subdomain (e.g. yourname.wix.com). If you are on a strict budget, this platform is definitely the way to go, especially if you plan on casually blogging. Another option would be purchasing a domain. Owning a domain will cost money for hosting and domain registration, but if you want to have a website such as yourname.com you will need to pay for it. Usually it will only cost about $30.00 per year. If you choose to go this route, I suggest using WordPress, which according to WPBeginner, “is the world’s most popular blogging software.” WordPress is extremely secure and has a lot of options for customization. In the long run, I encourage purchasing a domain and hosting to use WordPress, but ultimately, you need to make the decision which platform works best for you. If you need more help deciding which platform is best for you, I suggest reading this article.

Step 2: Create Via Template

         The next step in the process of having a successful blog is to choose a good template. As soon as you register with whatever platform you find best for you, there will be an option to choose a template. On WordPress, you can find it on your dashboard under the appearance tab, followed by themes (Templates and Themes are the synonymous). In general, there are many different options of templates you can find on whatever platform you are using. Some options are free and other cost money. Try to find a template that fits your personality. First, look for templates that are free, then if can’t find any that suit you, search for a paid one. Even if it costs a few bucks, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Step 3: Customize Your site

         At this point, the template should have created an entire website for you, which saves you a lot of time and work. Now it’s time to populate it with content. You should create an area that has an “About Me” section which will give your readers a glimpse of who you are, your interests, and other fun facts. In addition, you should also put contact information, so people can contact you with questions or comments. By this point you should have a fully live site.

Step 4: Create a Schedule for Yourself

         Now this step is designed to help you maintain your site and push you to add content on your blog. You need to create a schedule telling you how often you will post online. Whether this schedule has you posting every week, twice a month, or once a month, you need to follow this schedule. I encourage you to even ask a buddy to help you to stay accountable to this. Being consistent on posting is extremely important, even if you aren’t getting thousands of people to view your blog.

Step 5: Make Each Post With a Target Audience In Mind

Design each post with a target audience in mind. According to Arielle Dublin, writer for Girl’s College Blog, she says that knowing your target audience “creates a connection with the audience that leads to growth for the website.” This will help you grow your blog tremendously.

Ultimately, having a blog that you enjoy writing and shares your knowledge is a successful blog. Although it’s nice to have a lot of people view your blog, you won’t be able to get there unless you pass this incubation period. So go – take these 5 basic steps, and create your blog, and enjoy it, because at the end of the day, that is what matters.