So You Want To Be a Blogger

Guest Post by Kristofer Brozio at

So you want to be a blogger? You want to quit your wonderful 9-5 job and work from home, make your own hours, come and go as you please and just hopefully enjoy your life and freedom a bit more. I got news for you; it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s certainly not easy, and it’s not going to be something that just happens overnight. If you want to do this full time, don’t quit your day job as you most likely won’t get rich from blogging.

I’ve been doing this for several years now for my own sites and other sites. Sadly, over the years, I’ve developed bad habits, and most likely you will too. It is human nature after all; we get into habits of doing things, or not doing things as the case may be.

When you first start out blogging you’ll do it because you think you enjoy it, notice I said ‘think’ there. When you start out you’ll have the best intentions, you’ll want to do it every day, or multiple times per day. You’ll update your blog all the time, but after a while you won’t do it as often. Or not, you might be one of the few that succeeds.

If you really want to be a blogger, professionally, when you start there are a few things to keep in mind. These aren’t in any real order though; just thoughts tossed together more or less as I think of things.

In the beginning the most important thing is the topic of your blog. I don’t think I can stress that enough, it’s the most important part of your blog, and it’s actually a part of you essentially. The topic should be something that you are not only passionate about but it should be something that you know very well. It should be half passion and half knowledge really. The topic should be what you enjoy; it should be what you know about. If you look around pretty much every topic out there is taken so you’ll need to do something to make yours different than the others. You’ll need to be unique and certainly differentiate yourself from others out there. A lot of what I do is product reviews, so my topic is sort of hard to be different really; tech itself is a very broad subject. Part of the topic should also be the name of your blog; it’s hard these days to find a domain name as most all are taken, not by people using them but by squatters who just hold onto names hoping to sell them at a profit. You can get lucky though sometimes and find the name you want.

The next thing you’ll want to do is come up with a design for your blog. Depending on your knowledge this can be hard and rather tricky. I personally learned as I went because I wanted to do things myself, but you could hire someone to help you. Chances are you’ll use WordPress, it’s the most common blogging platform out there and it’s easy to learn and use. The easiest thing to do is find a free template then modify it to your needs like changing colors and the basic design. The problem there is you’ll have watch for copyright info. Many people put out free templates but with the caveat that you can only modify it so much, like leaving in certain links back to the creator. That’s the cheapest way to do things, you can get templates inexpensively though and modify them how you want to and not worry much about copyrights and links, but template can also be rather expensive to license. If you’re just starting out you most likely aren’t making much money so free is the way to go in the beginning. One other thing about free templates is that most likely there are already hundreds if not thousands of other sites out there using that template so you’ll be spending a lot of time making it your own. If you have the extra cash though you could pay someone to design a site to your specifications but that can get very costly and you’ll have to find someone who knows what they’re doing. Finding someone to help you though can be tricky, it’s the internet and finding someone who’s actually trustworthy can be an issue. The best thing to do is find a reputable service or even find someone you know to help you. If it’s someone you know though, don’t expect a discount, especially if it’s a family member. Just because you know them doesn’t mean you’ll get a discount and it doesn’t mean they’re available for you 24/7. Knowing computers as I do people think they can call me all the time and have me do stuff for them and not pay me, then they’ll actually get mad at me because I don’t have the time to do something for them which I’m not getting paid for. So look around and see what people are charging for the service and expect to pay close to that.

If you’re doing it yourself remember the colors should match, they should flow and go together. Make sure to pay attention to the contrast between the text and the background. There’s nothing worse than visiting a site and finding it just hard to read. Speaking of text, watch your fonts, don’t use all sorts of different fonts, pick one or two or even three and stick with them. Maybe use one font for your titles and then another for the rest of the text, and then maybe another font for sidebars, but that’s about it.

On the topic of writing make sure every post has a good title, not just some generic thing. Try and make sure it relates to your post and that it’s interesting. People will read the tile and right there decide whether or not to keep reading the rest of the post. Following the title you need a nice strong introduction or opening paragraph, here you’ll hook your reader in and make them want to read more. Then the closing paragraph could be a summary of everything you said, it all depends on the subject matter of your blog. Make sure you ask questions in your posts, you want people to contribute or participate and interact with you. You might just learn something from the comments you receive.

Another tip is images and resizing them. I learned quickly that you shouldn’t use the full sized images your camera takes in your blog. We all like to look at pictures on blogs but if you use the original pictures they can be megabytes in size and your site will have to load each of them and it will slow the site down considerably in some cases. Resize the pictures before you upload them to your blog, don’t let the HTML do it for you as it’s still loading the original pictures and resizing them taking time and resources. If you’re doing a lot of pictures take them at full size and resize them down. You can always downsize pictures but when you try and upsize them it usually never works.

The next thing you’ll want to think about is hosting for your site. If you’re first starting out you’ll want to go inexpensive. You can upgrade your hosting as your site grows, there’s no real reason to jump in and pay for a full dedicated, uber-powerful server if you’re not getting any visitors, it just makes no sense to essentially waste the money on hosting you’re not using. The other school of thought is to do that though, so it all depends on your cash flow and your thoughts on it.

Working from home can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing. Sure it’s great to wake up and grab your coffee and sit around in your pajamas while at your desk, but you may have a tendency to sleep in which in some cases doesn’t matter much really. I’ve got kids so normally I’m up to take them to school early in the morning, unless they’re off then I sleep in as well. There’s also the possibility of getting too comfortable, and even going so far as taking a nap in the middle of the day. Time management is something that people who work from home have the greatest problem with, that and I think second would be distractions. You’re on the internet you’ll most likely be browsing searching for things, watching some interesting video, and time will just pass, you’ll be sitting there and a couple hours will just go by. The best thing to do is make yourself a schedule, just like you would if you were working a 9-5 job. Blogging though, isn’t really a 9-5 job, I’ve come to learn that it’s something you do all the time really, and so doing a schedule can be hard. You could though make a schedule for certain things, or set time limits for yourself. Time limits for work but also for your own enjoyment time. Expect to work all the time really, well depending what your subject is anyway.

You’re in this to make money most likely right? Making money online is a tricky thing; sure you can sign up for all the ad services like Adsense or Infrolinks and/or dozens of others out there but without traffic you won’t make any money. The old adage that you need to spend money to make money is very true on the internet, you need to advertise. Just like any real business you’ll need to set a budget for yourself. When you first start out you’ll be spending more than you’re taking in, but it’s like that with any business so there’s no surprises there. I can’t tell you how to advertise, there are plenty of options out there, but I can tell you to use a reputable service. On the internet if it sounds too good to be true then it is. Someone offering you hundreds of thousands of hits for ten or fifteen dollars is most likely a scam. Sure you’ll get the hits but they’re not worth anything really. It’s not ‘real’ traffic most likely.

There’s plenty more I could say I’m sure, but this is just the basics.

Are you a blogger? What are some of your tips for time management? Do you like working from home? Have you come up with a system that works for you?

This is a guest post from Kristofer Brozio at, a gadget review site. TestFreaks is the world’s largest review comparison site with over 10 million reviews and 30 sites worldwide. We help 6 million consumers every month find better product information at our TestFreaks sites.

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