I created a blog last October. It was literally one of the best decisions of my life. It is so liberating to be able to share your thoughts and opinions with others in a safe space that you have created. The best feeling is when a post pops up that you’re really proud of and you’re so excited for others to read. I love to write, and thanks to my blog, I started getting feedback on my work for the first time. I started getting followers from all over the world and found people commenting on the nicest things.
That being said, you really shouldn’t start a blog just for people to read it. If you’re not passionate about blogging when you don’t have pageviews, you won’t find that enthusiasm even if you get thousands. It’s quite a time-consuming hobby, but in my opinion, it’s definitely worth it. If you want to create a blog, I would say go for it!
Before I started, I had absolutely no idea what impact blogging would have on my life. I just knew that I had extra free time during study hall that I might as well do something productive with. Honestly, it was definitely harder than I thought, but it doesn’t have to be.
When I started blogging it was hard to find resources on how to do this without spending a lot of money. There certainly weren’t many articles about how teens can successfully start their own blog. However, once I got started, I found a wonderful community of teen bloggers. We’ve all had success creating our own blogs, and so can you.
What to write about
Before you do anything, you need to figure out what you want your blog to be about. You don’t want it to be too random, because your readers want to know what to expect each time they read your work. One way to ensure that all of your posts work well together is to find your blog’s niche.
A niche is basically the category of your blog. Some people think your niche should be very specific, but it’s okay to be broad, especially when you’re still figuring out what you like to blog about the most. For example, my blog’s niche is lifestyle with a focus on issues facing teenagers.
If you’re like me, you’re probably grumbling right now because “my life isn’t interesting” and “I have nothing to write about.” You are wrong. Everyone has something to share with the world. Think about your hobbies. What are you good at? What could you teach someone else? What could you talk about for hours?
Try making a list of blog posts you could write. Is there a common pattern or theme that you notice in most of the ideas you write? You may already have a niche and not even know it. If you’re still stuck, look at the types of posts your favorite blogs publish.
How to start your own blog
I started a blog a few years ago on Blogger. It is a website through Google that allows you to create your own blogs. It worked well, but I would definitely recommend WordPress.
WordPress.com is the website I currently blog on, and it’s much more user-friendly and customizable. Here it’s easier to comment, like posts, and customize the look of your blog. Additionally, WordPress blogs are much easier to follow, and many bloggers who have switched from Blogger to WordPress have noticed an increase in subscribers.
If you want even more control over how your blog looks and are a bit more tech-savvy, you might want to look into WordPress.org. It’s software created by WordPress that you can download, and it basically gives you full control over how your website looks and functions. Wix is another website builder similar to WordPress.com. It has a lot of the same features, but I prefer WordPress. However, this is just my personal opinion and I recommend trying out several different website builders before deciding which one is right for you.
A side note about WordPress.org is that it’s the only option I mentioned that doesn’t provide a free domain or hosting. WordPress.org is self-hosted, which means you will need to purchase hosting (a domain usually comes with it) to get your website on the web. The free WordPress.com URL ends with wordpress.com, the free Blogger URL ends with blogspot.com, and the free Wix URL is in the following format: accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress.
You can buy domains ending in .com from WordPress.com, and you can use domains you bought from a host website on Blogger. Additionally, you can purchase a domain from Wix or connect domains you have purchased elsewhere to your Wix site. I don’t think it’s necessary to buy a custom domain name when you’re just starting out blogging, especially as a teenager (most of us don’t have the money to spend). I would wait until you have determined that you are passionate about blogging and want to invest money in your blog.
How to write a blog post
Everyone’s writing process is different. This is because everyone’s brain works differently. But most blog posts are structured the same way: an introduction at the top, body paragraphs separated by headings, and a conclusion. Once you write your post, you’re not quite done. You should edit your posts, check for grammatical errors and, as I recommend, read them aloud to see if the words flow naturally.
You will probably want to decide on the length of most of your posts. If your posts are too short they may lack substance, but if they are too long they may bore the reader. One way to keep your viewers reading is to include images. Looking at a page full of text can be overwhelming, but if it’s broken up by photos, it’s much more accessible. Headings also help break up blocks of text and make your message more readable.
How to support your blog
Like I said before, having a blog is a wonderful and fulfilling hobby, but it can be a lot. One of the first decisions you need to make when setting up your blog is what your schedule will be. Will you post once a week? Twice? Bi-weekly? Be honest with yourself about how often you can fit writing posts into your schedule, which is probably already quite hectic. In my opinion, posting less often but sticking to a schedule is better than posting frequently and not posting regularly.
Once you have decided how often you can write, you can schedule your posts. This means writing your posts before the day they are published and creating a sort of blogging schedule. With this calendar, you can decide in advance which articles you are going to write, so that you don’t run out of ideas when the time comes. I would also recommend creating a running list of post ideas you have. Writer’s Block is seriously the worst and it can be a real lifesaver.
I hope you are now inspired to start your own blog; I really don’t regret starting mine. You won’t get many views at first, and it might feel like an isolating hobby. It might not even be for you. But if it is? What if blogging was what you were missing in your life and you didn’t even know it? I hope you pull as many blogs as I do!