Many PR pros are passionate about blogging and social media.
Based on a variety of student questions, it occurred to me that I should write about how to start a blog. When researching, I was surprised at the lack of basic information geared toward launching a blog.
Although there are countless articles on the technical aspects, I didn’t find insight that would help blogging newbies. Here are seven things you should know before launching your first blog:
1. Use your blog to learn.
If you are a PR student, launching your own blog and writing regularly, it will help you structure your ideas and will teach you to look for blog post topics everywhere, as well as how to frame them from a PR perspective.
2. Blogs are great a networking tool.
You will be curious to read what others do and write about. You will connect with great PR communities and blogs such as Gini Dietrich’s Spin Sucks, Deirdre Breakenridge’s PR Expanded, or WUL by Shonali Burke, to name a few.
Don’t be shy: Comment on their blogs, and become part of their communities.
3. Successful blogging takes discipline.
If you want to launch a blog successfully, you must write and publish regularly, and you have to be patient.
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Choose the frequency you want to publish on your blog (minimum once a week), and stick with it. As you grow and become more confident, you can write more often.
At first, only you and your friends will read your blog. There will be times when you’ll be frustrated that no one is reading, but keep going.
4. Share your posts on social media.
It’s not enough just to write a blog post and publish it; you also have to let people know about it. Share it on your social media networks, and ask your friends to share it, as well.
5. Choose a blogging platform, domain name and hosting provider.
Nothing screams “beginner” louder than a blog address such as your.name.wordpress.com or yourname.blogger.com.
If you want to be taken seriously by PR pros and bloggers out there, buy a domain name. It can be your name or anything else, as long as you keep it professional.
There are many resources out there where you can learn how to do that, here is one of them.
As for a blogging platform I prefer WordPress. It’s easy to use, there are always plug-ins and themes released to make it better, and it easily incorporates search engine optimization.
6. Optimize your content for SEO.
Writing and publishing a post are not enough anymore. It was in 2004, but not in 2016.
Now, you have to have your posts optimized for SEO, so that search engines index your blog and posts. Orbit Media blog explains SEO basics really well.
7. You don’t have to have everything figured out.
Be patient; blogging takes time and dedication.
The top bloggers didn’t become experts overnight. It took them years to learn what they easily share with us today. Read them, learn from them, but don’t be overwhelmed. Give it time.
The more you write and publish on your blog, the more confident you’ll become of your writing and yourself.
The vision you’ll have for your blog will change over time, and that’s OK. Change means you’re improving. Learn the basics on how to set up a blog, start writing in advance, choose a publishing frequency and hit publish.
What tips do you have for starting a blog, PR Daily readers?