How to Start a Blog

To start a blog you need to make a few decisions. Luckily they’re quick ones.

The Purpose

Nobody runs a blog to “organize their thoughts”, that’s what a diary is for. We do it because we want something from others. Whether it’s to build a reputation as an expert, do content marketing for your business, or test and gather material for your book - your blog needs to make a good impression and reach as large an audience as possible.

Should I use medium.com?

It’s a tempting choice:

  • Your content will receive more organic traffic
  • You’ll get useful statistics
  • You can get started right away

But you mustn’t yield to the tempation:

  • As far as SEO is concerned, your domain will not benefit
  • Limited formatting
  • Your blog will look just like any other blog
  • You can’t add CTAs, the key to successful content marketing

There is a proliferation of articles saying “Why I left Medium to host my own content”, but rarely something the other way around. Why don’t you skip a step and start by hosting your content yourself? I use and recommend Hugo.

Subdomain or subdirectory?

Internet lore has it that while blog.example.com is easier to set up, example.com/blog will get you more organic traffic.

While I cannot “prove” anything related to SEO, it’s logical to assume that a subdomain will make search engines perceive your blog as a separate product altogether.

Big brands prefer the subdirectory approach, and that’s what experts advise you should be doing as well.

Invest the additional effort required and host your content under your main domain.

The date

syften.com/blog/post/how-to-start-a-blog/ or syften.com/blog/post/2019-01-06-how-to-start-a-blog/?

Blog is short for “web log”, but very few of them actually “log” anything.

A date makes sense for product updates, personal blogs, or the news. Otherwise skip it. Would you read this guide if you knew it was published years ago? Plus, it becomes irrelevant as you keep your article up to date (as you should).

Conclusion

  • Host it on your own
  • Use a subdirectory, not a subdomain
  • Skip the date from the URL

It should take you a day or two to set everything up. And after you do, see how to write well and what to write about.

And once you have your blog it's time for the world to see it. You should spend 20% of your time writing and 80% making sure someone sees it. Did you post about your blog on social media this week? Search For Content Marketing Opportunities