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.