The following is a post from contributing writer Demetria at Christian Homeschool Moms.
So you’ve been thinking about capturing those homeschool family moments.
You could start a scrapbook or photo album. You could even step it up a notch and begin a digital album or online portfolio. But if you’ve been thinking this far along, the idea of starting a homeschool blog has probably already crossed your mind.
In this post, I’ll share with you a few simple steps on how to start a blog.
Start with a vision.
Before you start a blog, the first thing to think about is your goals.
Is it because you’d like to share your school days with relatives who live far away or a military spouse who is deployed? Maybe you’d like to share your curriculum ideas, encourage homeschool parents, or connect local homeschool families. Perhaps you simply want to provide information on how to get started homeschooling.
Whatever your ideas, write them down so you know what your overall vision is. Now it’s time to start planning.
Get Your Feet Wet: Start Small
I always like to encourage bloggers-to-be that it’s okay to start small–most everyone does.
In the beginning, I would say that if you’re just getting used to the idea of blogging, do it for fun and leisure and start off on a platform that’s easy to learn, such as Blogger. This is a great way to get your feet wet and begin to explore the world of blogging.
You would simply open an account with Blogger, follow the instructions to set up your first blog, choose a subdomain, choose a template, and begin blogging away!
Hobby blogging is the best way to determine if blogging is even something you want to do regularly, and will help you determine if making a commitment to professional blogging later on will be your cup of tea.
Get Into a Routine
How often will you blog?
You’ll need to find a routine that works for you. You could start off blogging once or twice a week until you hit the right number that you’re comfortable with. Try to find a sweet spot and stick with it. Once you begin gaining readers, they’ll be looking for your content to be updated regularly.
Connecting with other like-minded bloggers not only gives you a guide to see how others are blogging, but it gives you the opportunity to form connections with the homeschooling community online.
Set aside some time to follow, read, and comment on other blogs. Connect with fellow bloggers via social media as well. And by all means, reply to any comments you receive on your blog. It lets your readers know you care about the time they took to give you feedback (plus, it’s nice to find positive comments waiting for your approval).
So encourage comments and be sure to respond to them.
Step It Up A Notch: Become a Professional Blogger
If you’ve adjusted to hobby blogging well and find that you’re ready to begin blogging professionally, you’ll want to think of how you will monetize your blog. As a professional blogger, these are the questions you’ll want to consider:
How will your site make money?
This could be through banner ads, video or podcast promos, Adsense, sponsored posts, paid blogging opportunities, digital product sales, etc.
How will you rapidly increase your readership?
Growing your blog means gaining more followers and there are many ways to go about doing this. Comment on other blogs often. Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ to your advantage. Offer freebies and get a buzz circulating on social media about your freebies. Host Google+ hangouts or Twitter parties. Begin creating videos for YouTube; or you could even create a podcast for iTunes.
More than anything, being present around the web in prominent spots on Google will definitely boost your traffic, and ultimately, your readership–so be sure you take advantage of social media.
How will you grow your tribe?
Every professional blogger understands the importance of growing her tribe. These are your readers (or listeners and viewers) who absolutely love your content and want to know when you’re offering the next good thing.
It’s great to have loads of traffic, but it won’t do you much good without a way to keep them coming back to your site. Make sure you have a mailing list set up (such as with Aweber, Mad Mimi, or Mailchimp for examples), so you can capture and retain your audience and keep them informed of updates. Keep them engaged through contests, social media posts, and other virtual events. Continue reaching out through social media engagement to attract new followers.
How often will you blog?
The best answer to this is one in which you will consider how lucrative you want your blog to be. Obviously, the more you blog, the more valuable content you add–and of course, this is excellent for your Google ranking (which in turn is great for traffic and growing your readership). Find a happy medium that fits your personal needs and stick with it. A few times per week is good.
Consider switching to WordPress
If you’re ready for professional blogging, you may want to consider switching from Blogger to WordPress. Owning your own domain name and hosting will prove to be quite important to you as you begin monetizing your blog.
Blogging has truly been a blessing for our family and we have benefited both emotionally and financially from it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. I’d be glad to answer any questions you may have about how to start a homeschool blog.
Demetria is a homeschooling mompreneur of two. She loves motivating homeschool moms and helping mompreneurs with their online business ventures. You can find her blogging, designing, and podcasting at Christian Homeschool Moms and WebSuccessCoaching.com.
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