“A blog (shortening of “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with latest posts appearing first. It is a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.- www.firstsiteguide.com”
I have been blogging for more than a decade now and people have been asking me how to start a blog and how one can earn from blogging. I would love to share all that in the succeeding articles, but let me share to you some of the reasons why I encourage people to start blogging because my first question to you before sharing the tips is: WHY do you want to blog?
Here are some reasons which might spark your interest to finally jump into blogging.
1. Blog to Improve
This was honestly the first reason why I started writing publicly. When I was in college, I was looking for a way on how to improve my writing. I was already writing on private journals, but there were things I wanted to share to my friends and I saw that writing publicly made me more cautious about the grammar and writing techniques because I knew other people would read my posts. Thus, I had to make sure I would be understood. Blogging has somehow given me that sense of responsibility. As I began publishing my posts, I saw myself searching for ways to improve my writing. I kept on double-checking some grammar rules that could cause confusion and even learned some technical aspects behind the blog like simple coding.
2. Blog to Express
I express my thoughts better in writing. Some people prefer speaking — that’s why some people choose to vlog (on Youtube) instead of blog, but I give more concrete thoughts and explanations when I am writing. Writing is my way of expressing my thoughts and opinions, whether through a quote, poem, or word play. If your way of expressing yourself is more on writing, you can give blogging a try.
3. Blog to Share
One quality that is most common to bloggers is that they love sharing information. Whether it’s about a nice place they’ve seen, or a book recommendation, they just have this generous heart to not withhold information that others might find helpful.
I have benefited from many parenting blogs even until now. When I was a new mom, I would often read articles by moms who have gone through all the baby blues and parenting. These people have shared their experiences and I have gained very much from the stories they’ve shared. If you think you would love to share some great information about anything you love doing, go ahead, start a blog. Whether it’s about crocheting and being a mom in Jeddah, like our Jeddah Mom,or travel destinations in Saudi like Blue Abaya’s blog, there’s just something you want to share to other people.
4. Blog to Have a Portfolio
I keep on going back to blogging even with the rise of micro-blogging sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Yes, they are considered blogging too in a micro level because you basically write the same thing, it has just become easier and more convenient for people to write posts in these micro-blogging sites because you feel like you can type and post anytime without maintaining a site. The technical maintenance is not on your shoulder anymore.
I keep on going back to blogging because it is more organized. If you need to give a link to someone about the photo you take, you can jut give them the link of your blog so they see everything you do in one page. If they need sample of your writings, they can see your writing samples there.
It is also customizable.You can choose a blog theme according to the type of content you want to show. For blog about photography, a layout with bigger photos and less text is great. There’s also a theme for suitable for a small store, magazine, crafts, listings, recipe site and more.
Check out some blog themes fo photographers in this post: Blog themes for WordPress
Check out Feminine WordPress themes by AngieMakes here: Honeycrisp Theme
A company found me once through my site. They were looking for food bloggers here in Jeddah. Since at that time, my site was full of restaurant reviews of the places I’ve dined in that time, I was offered to write for their food site. So, my blog became my portfolio. The same with your art, photos, letterings, works, recipes, anything you do that you’d like others to hire you for-just publish it there.
5. Blog to Earn
Yes. You can earn from blogging. There are many ways to earn from blogging. The first one is like the example above. When your blog has become a place for companies to reach you, then they can hire you to do some tasks for them. Here are other ways to earn, I’ll go in detail in the future articles.
After establishing your blog, you can eventually join affiliate programs. These programs will give you an opportunity to put links on your blog. For example, you have featured one of your favorite products in one of your posts, you then can provide a link of that product which will direct your reader to the shop where they can buy it. You earn a commission for every purchase made through that link.
Collaborations can happen between bloggers and companies either by giving free products to review and promote or with fees. Here’s an example of when Victoria’s Secret Jeddah made collaborations with me.Collaborations can also happen between bloggers or content creators. They can create an event especially if they are of the same niche.
Sponsored post is when companies pay you to write an article about a certain product they are promoting. You get paid a certain amount that you both have agreed. The difference of this from affiliates links is that you don’t wait for people to purchase. You get paid whether they purchase or not. This, by far, is my favorite way of earning through blogging. Payment usually comes after 30 days through PayPal or if in the same city, money is usually transferred to your bank account. Here’s a sample of a sponsored post I made for a car company in the US.
If you are an artist, you can start selling your work on your blog by simply posting it in one of your posts. You can also dedicate a specific page or tab named SHOP where all your products can be seen. This is one of my favorite illustratiors, Katnipp Illustrations.Check out her site and you’ll have an idea on how to set up your site to showcase your products. You see, even PewDiePie, a Youtuber with 93M subscribers going 100M has a page where his products go: PewDiePie SHOP because it is necessary to have a page where you can direct your followers to buy your products or if you are sharing free downloads, they need to at least have a place to go back to get these items.
So, have you finally been inspired to start blogging? I hope this simple overview have somehow given you a different perspective of this online world.
The thing is, I don’t want you to spend most of your time just browsing on the your social media accounts and reading articles when you yourself can contribute. Instead of reading other stories, maybe your success stories are the ones that should be read. Instead of buying online all the time, why not selling what you make and have people purchase your work.
If you are interested in learning more about blogging and earning through blogging, be sure to follow me around the web (@islesgilian) and you can send me a message or a specific question that you would like to know about blogging. Enjoy!