Remember the early days of the Internet when blogging was all the rage? Everybody seemed to have something to say, and the need to share it with the world. Most people, including myself, seemed to enjoy platforms like Blogger for posting occasional updates — while those who enjoyed writing daily turned to websites such as LiveJournal.
And then YouTube happened. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the giant video platform, and for good reason. It has quite literally changed the way we're able to create and share video content. I mean, c'mon — look at me. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for YouTube.
What can I say? I'm incredibly grateful for what YouTube has brought into my life. But there's something very important that most people seem to overlook nowadays. The Internet doesn't stop at YouTube. There's actually so much more to enjoy. You just need to know where to look.
Besides video, what else is there?
Let's talk about blogging — which, in my opinion, is just as effective as any video platform currently available. Sure, reading something may not be as exciting as watching a video, but that doesn't change whether the content is good or not. It's simply an alternative way of consuming said content. And besides, reading is good for the mind.
Okay, I'll admit... I rarely open a book. However, if I come across something online that I find interesting, then I'm going to read it — whether it be an article or blog post. This especially applies to information that has to do with anything entrepreneurship related, such as running your own business.
Simply put, a good blog comes down to sharing quality content that can help pique readers' interests. And as long as people continue to crave good content (which they always will), then blogging as we know it will be around for quite some time.
So, bloggers, you have nothing to worry about.
What to blog about
If you are new to blogging, you might be wondering where to begin. This can vary depending on whether you have existing content on other platforms. If you do, then it's simple. Your blog can be an extension of what you already know, but in textual form.
Let's use YouTube as an example. It's an incredible platform that enables creators to upload videos about any topic they desire. But why stop there? Take your video content and apply it to your blog. Not only can you easily embed videos on any blogging platform nowadays, but you can also add textual content whenever you feel the need to.
In a way, blogging is limitless. A blog post is never truly complete until you say it is. Make it your own.
Where to blog
Choosing a reliable platform to use as your blog is easy, but that doesn't mean you should stick to the first one you come across. Your choice can also depend on whether you're willing to pay a small fee. Most new bloggers tend to prefer free, so don't be afraid to go that route in the beginning.
However, I do recommend that you choose a platform that seems like it's going to be around for a while. My two favorites are Squarespace (what you're seeing now) and WordPress. Each platform has its own unique take on blogging, and content management in general.
If spending money is something you don't want to do, then definitely go the WordPress route. It's completely free to use and open-source. This means that the CMS (Content Management System) is free to the public, but it can also be openly modified at any given moment — hence why you're likely to see quite a number of software updates over time.
While WordPress may be free to use, you'll want to look into purchasing yourself some affordable web hosting. For my WordPress websites, I use Bluehost. They do require that you pay upfront for an annual plan, but consider this a form of motivation to keep going with your project.
On the other side of the spectrum is Squarespace. It's a much more premium and controlled platform, but it's also the web host — meaning it does both. If you prefer to focus on your content and not worry about whether a plug-in update is going to break your site, then Squarespace is probably your best bet.
Either way you look at it, you simply cannot go wrong. Squarespace and WordPress both offer an awesome experience. And if for whatever reason you choose to switch platforms at a later date, that will not be a problem. Each platform offers the ability to export your site's blog content and import it into the other.
And finally, the biggest question of them all
What if you don't already have an audience? Well, I could lie to you and say creating a blog is guaranteed to bring in traffic — but that's not realistic. Sure, you could try, but it's going to be really difficult with nothing else to fall back on.
If you're in the situation of having no one to read your blog, then my best advice is to start elsewhere. It's far easier to build an audience on a platform like YouTube that has millions of potential viewers than it is with a blog with zero dedicated readers. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that, whatsoever. Everybody has to start somewhere.
You will always have the opportunity to start a blog at some point. But until then, it's best to concentrate on creating the best content possible and building an audience in the process. And then from there, you can begin directing your new audience to other content mediums that you find yourself involved in — such as your future blog.
Just remember, success doesn't happen overnight. The best things in life take time.