I started to comment then realized that I had much more to say than would be polite write in Laurie’s comments section so I’m responding here instead.
When setting up your blog host it yourself. This means that you’ll need to reserve a domain name through a registrar or hosting company. I could take all day long to explain how and why you should do this but I don’t have all day so for now I will refer you to this excellent guide. If after reading it you have questions please post them in the comments below.
Don’t write a welcome or introductory post.
I cringe when I see these. Why? Because nobody cares what you’re growing in your garden, how many cats you have, or that you are lactose intolerant. We don’t care because we don’t even know you yet. Write your first blog post as if it’s your one-hundredth and put your bio on your “About” page where it belongs. People will click on this page to learn about you if they like what you’ve written and if they don’t well then you might want to consult with your therapist but don’t ask me because I’m not qualified.
Provide your perspective on your topic du jour. We want to know why you chose to write about that particular subject or issue. If you aren’t passionate enough about the subject at hand to have an opinion then don’t bother writing about it because what is the point.
Write a comments policy and post it on your blog. Be sure to state that you reserve the right to change it at any time because if you are even slightly good at blogging you are going to need to.
And, if after six months you find that you have never once needed to invoke your comments policy you may want ask yourself why you are blogging in the first place.
Be prepared to make a commitment. Blogging requires time and effort to draw readers in and keep them interested and engaged. Once you get started you’ll need to post at least several times a week. With that said, it doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds if you’re smart about it. There are many ways that you can structure a blog post without spending too much time.
- Answer people’s questions in a blog post. Sometimes when someone comes to me with a question I ask them if I can write my response in the form of a blog post. They always say yes.
- Write a response to something you’ve read. It could be something you read in a book, article, or blog post. I don’t comment on other people’s blogs very often but I do write blog posts in response to what I read and link back to it just like I’ve done in this very post.
- Conduct an interview by email. They’re easy to do and popular with readers and unless you are a complete idiot this leaves little room for getting sued misquoting someone.
- It goes without saying (I HOPE) that you need to write about original ideas that you have related to your field. But, not every single post needs to be one of these.
Ready to get started? Read this in order to learn how to set up a professional blog. It’s an excellent article that walks you through the process step-by-step with links to and explanations about the things you’ll need.