You Know How to Write Great Content: Should You Start Your Own Blog?

Yes. Well the answer is a bit more complicated, but in the majority of situations a writer has the tools needed to start a blog. As a freelance writer who was continually reading guest blogging guidelines and talking with editors about offering a submission, I couldn’t help but think: I could do this. The most important aspect of a website is quality content (hence why we all have jobs), and no one can write quality content better than a trained writer. There are many different reasons that a writer could benefit from owning his/her own blog or website:

  • It’s fun. A blog is a place where a writer can write what he/she wants to write. This can be therapeutic and a great way to let off some steam.
  • Employers love it. If you’re even applying for a writing job, send a link to your blog with your application. Potential employers will then be able to see samples of your writing in a much more interested way.
  • It makes you more valuable. A blog will show a potential employer that you likely understand SEO and website management. Although these are not necessary skills for a writer, they are almost always preferred.
  • It makes you unique. Showing that you have taken the initiative to start your own blog or website shows that you have drive and motivation. You care about getting your expertise out to the world, and this helps you stand out from other writers.
  • You earn more connections. Having your own blog will help you earn more connections. This will help more people see your writing and recognize you as a top freelance writing in the field.

Most writers have at one point or another learned how to use WordPress. It is often easier for a website owner to have the writer upload his/her own articles, so many of us have actually become quite good at navigating our way around the system. Although I didn’t know it, this is half the battle when it comes to creating your own website or blog.

How to Start Your Own Blog or Website

Although it may seem like there is a lot to starting your own blog or website, you will actually find that it is quite simple. Consider a few of the steps a writer can take:

Step #1: Choose WordPress.com or WordPress.org

A writer can start their own blog by either using WordPress.com or WordPress.org. I personally have used both approaches and have found that both work great for a writer who is just dabbling in beginning a website. Both are intuitive and easy to use, but WordPress.com is generally where people start. WordPress.com is easier and far less expensive, but it does not give a writer all of the cool themes (style and look of the blog or website) or plugins (sharing icons, subscribe section, etc.) that WordPress.org offers. You can visit Expand2Web to read more about the pros and cons of each service.

Step #2: If you went for WordPress.org, choose a hosting service

A hosting service is simply a company that provides space on its server to allow your website to appear online. There are a variety of different hosting services that you can choose, all of which differ in price and features. I use iPage and am very happy with the provider, but you may want to do your research to determine the service that is right for you. Although you may not understand every little feature available, it’s a good idea to see what others say and talk with those who have started a website. You can visit the 2012 Best Web Hosting Comparisons and Reviews to get started. Signing up for your hosting service is where you will determine your domain name.

Step #3: Install WordPress

This takes a little bit of time, but I found it very easy to figure out. Once you sign up for your website, your hosting service will provide you with instructions detailing how to setup WordPress. Follow the steps and then wait for the tool to download, and you’re set to go! Then the fun part begins where you can choose a background color, font color and size, and upload your articles. If you ever get confused, most hosting services have 24 hour online chatting services.

It is important to remember that running a website takes a lot of work. If you want this website to be profitable you are going to have to learn more advanced website management techniques, but most writers are comfortable having something basic (at least to start). This will allow you to earn many of the benefits discussed above and truly further your career as a freelance writer.

Do you own your own blog or website? Did you think it was difficult to get started?

Photo Credit: blogging24h.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to small business loans. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including freelance writing topics to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.

Comments

  1. I recently purchased a domain name for my blog which I had before on blogger, and am very happy that I have moved to wordpress. Now I hope to develop my writing skills and attract more traffic to my website.
    Cathy´s last blog post ..Pasta Arrabiata

    • Amanada DiSilvestro says:

      I did the exact same thing. I was so happy I made the switch. I think it’s exciting having your own website, and the cost can be pretty minimal. Thanks for reading!

    • dinesh says:

      I want to write to write of medical exam related topics for doctors. What is good … to own blog or own website which is ideal and useful. dinesh

      • Amanada DiSilvestro says:

        Well you can start a website that is kinda like a blog. This website is a great example. Freelance writing gigs doesn’t really offer any services, but offers content that can help writers. However, if you don’t want to start a website, starting a blog is free. That might be a good place to start!

  2. This may sound kind of goofy, but my biggest problem is figuring out what to blog about. I’m a freelance writer & editor, but my clients don’t necessarily want to read about those subjects. How do other writers choose an area of specialization for their blogs?

    • Amanada DiSilvestro says:

      That’s a really good question. I think I could probably write an entire blog post about that, so stay tuned in the coming weeks! But for now, I think you should really consider two things: First, you may want to create a blog that deals with the subjects that interest your clients. If you don’t mind this type of writing, this could potentially further your career. Just take some of the ideas you’ve already written about take a different angle or spin them in some way.

      Second, you may want to simply blog about what you really enjoy. As long as the content is great, your blog will show others that you have motivation, etc. If you have a lot of information about being a freelance writer, go for it. If you have a lot of information about dogs, go for it. That’s what blogging is about!

      Does anyone else have any tips for Freya?

  3. I actually had someone more capable in website design to set up my site for me after moving from wordpress.com to .org and I’m so enjoying it! I’ve also made many informed connections that’s in sync with my empowerment website!
    clara´s last blog post ..Book Review: Nine Rubies By Mahru Ghashghaei

    • Amanada DiSilvestro says:

      Excellent! Always helpful when you have someone to walk you through the process, but I did find that it wasn’t too difficult even for a beginner. The live chat on iPage is amazing. They answered my questions immediately and there was no waiting around on the phone or for someone to answer my IM. Pretty cool stuff!

  4. I have used wordpress, but find it a clunky interface. I prefer Blogger, which works very well for a writer with limited design experience. Blogger now offers up to 20 pages for content (where you can place resume, client lists, etc.), along with a handsome-looking blog, wysiwyg design, and quick access to Google tools for analytics, widgets, monetizing, etc. Switched to my own domain name (lisajorudy.com) for my portfolio site and another for my autism/special needs site (www.authenticinclusion.org). I have to say that, while I’ve blogged on both Homeschooling and Autism (both great topics), it’s tougher when you don’t have a “hot topic” to cover.

    Lisa Rudy
    Lisa Jo Rudy´s last blog post ..Universal Design for Learning

    • Amanada DiSilvestro says:

      Thanks so much for letting us know more about Blogger! I am a WordPress user myself, so it’s great to hear about some other options. Thanks for reading!

  5. No worries, Amanada. I tend to be more of a visual learner/producer than a coder… but more to the point, I’ve found that WordPress does this weird thing where images appear one way in preview and another when published … and you can’t really get a feel for the overall site in admin mode. For me, that’s a deal breaker, especially when there are other options available. But of course if I were really a web designer, I’d want a lot more control than Blogger typically offers (though there are workarounds for folks who want to do more than just use the existing templates).

    Lisa
    Lisa Jo Rudy´s last blog post ..Universal Design for Learning

    • Amanada DiSilvestro says:

      Interesting information. I do agree that WordPress does some weird things sometimes, and you do certainly have to teach yourself a bit of coding. I’ve found that I’ve been able to handle the coding, but I know that there is SO much I’m missing. I just may have to give Blogger a try! I would say I’m a visual learner as well, so it sounds great :)

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