In our last blog post, we discussed the fact that blogging can be a great way to improve your overall quality of life. For instance, blogging can offer a number of potential benefits for your long-term mental wellbeing by helping to:
- Manage anxiety and stress by putting events and feelings in context.
- Organize your thoughts and better understand your fears and concerns.
- Keep track of developments in your life that you can reflect on later.
- Identify and work to eliminate negative behaviors more easily.
- Express yourself and find like-minded people who can relate to your experiences.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to focus your blog on attracting other readers. If you want, you can set your blog to ‘private’, which will make it visible only to you. This way, your blog functions just like a traditional diary. The only difference is that it’s hosted online.
So, now for the million-dollar question: how do you get started? Let’s take a look at some of the basics of managing your own blog, and how to go about actually starting one for yourself.
Choosing a Platform
There are some people who opt to create their own websites from scratch in order to host their blog. Of course, there are plenty of easier options out there that will help you out, free of charge.
Three of the most popular, easy-to-use options for personal blogs are WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. You’ve probably heard of these. Just in case, though, all three are platforms that allow you to create and host a blog using thousands of free themes and layouts.
It’s a fast, simple process to get up-and-running with any of these platforms. You can also customize your blog’s layout to create a space that reflects your personal tastes with relative ease.
There are certain advantages to building out your own blog and finding a third-party hosting site. For instance, you can have more creative control over the look and content. You’d also get your own custom URL (rather than being tied to a “wordpress.com” or “tumblr.com” domain). For most users, though, a free hosting site will be the best option, at least at first.
Choosing a Look
So, how do you make your blog look the way you want? As mentioned above, the quickest and easiest option is to pick from one of the predesigned themes offered by your blogging platform.
Let’s take WordPress, for instance. Under themes, you can pick from tens of thousands of premade layouts. Some of these are designed by third parties who charge a fee to use the theme, but there are still thousands of free themes to pick from.
Not totally satisfied with any one theme? Not a problem. Once you’ve picked a theme, you can refine and customize the elements with a simple widget-based editor built right into the platform. You can tweak the design of your blog at any time, allowing you to keep things fresh. This way, you can avoid getting bored with your blog’s look.
You can also change the theme at any time as well. This won’t affect any of the content you’ve published; it will only change the layout of the blog. This allows you to drastically redesign your entire blog in seconds with just a couple of clicks.
You’re Set to Publish!
Once you’ve picked out a platform, created an account, and customized your chosen theme, you’re all set to start blogging!
You can cover literally anything you want to write about. For instance, want to talk about events in your day-to-day life? You can do that. Or, would you rather write about your favorite movies, games, music, or books? You can do that, too.
Some people start blogs as an outlet for their fiction and nonfiction creative writing. If you’re interested in giving that a try, a blog could be a great way to start developing your skills and eventually start building an audience of readers who follow you.
Feel free to let your imagination run wild with your blog. Whatever you choose to do with your space, it’s totally up to you!