Christmas holidays and the New Year’s Eve are a great time to look back at the past, and more importantly, look forward to the new year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes you want to make and find the motivation to follow through. Here are 10 good reasons why starting a site should be your New Year’s Resolution and a good reason to give someone a blog as a holiday present.
Reasons why blogging should be your New Year’s Resolution
- Great writing practice. It is all about writing. If you like writing, running a site will help you improve and become a better writer.
- Boosts your career prospects. A site is like a shop window where you showcase your talents and build your reputation. It can open doors to new opportunities and improve your career prospects. It can be considered an extended CV and can help you get a new job.
- Improves your finances. Your site can become a source of income. It can help pay your bills, improve your finances, get you out of debt and save money. See how to earn your first $500.
- Builds your network. You start a conversation and connect with other people. This builds you a network of potential friends and business partners.
- It is your creative outlet. Whatever is on your mind, whatever ideas you might have, your site is a creative outlet for you to share your ideas and creativity.
- Makes you read. Being in the industry makes you read a lot – you read other sites, read books, read comments. It opens your mind to new ideas and inspires you to do more.
- Gets eyeballs on your work. If you are an artist or just want to spread your ideas and influence, blogging opens the doors to the whole world for you and gives you a wider audience. It allows good work to get shared and be spread, it can get you constructive criticism and gets you noticed.
- It is your personal journal. It is like keeping a journal of moments that you can look back at and revive the awesome memories or see the progress you have made.
- Helps you help others. It can be seen as a form for volunteerism. You choose to spend your time creating content that can help, inspire, educate, and/or entertain many other people.
- Allows you more time with family. It is usually done from home, it is done independently, and it doesn’t go through corporations. It can also be done on the go thanks to the mobile and tablets. This allows you more time to spend on things that matter to you, for example your family and friends.
How to stick to your blogging resolution
We all know the flaky nature of New Year’s Resolutions. We contemplate, choose, promise, but soon enough we forget to act on them. Consider these things first to help you stick to your blogging resolution:
- Vision: Identify your dreams and aspirations for having a site. Are you doing this to have fun and become a better writer? Is this a way to be more creative in your everyday life? Do you dream of the site becoming popular and a source of income? All of those are possible, but remember that dreams don’t work unless you do. Set goals and follow through in order to reach them.
- Topic: What are you passionate about? What do you love writing about? Think hard about which topics you have a lot to say about, find interesting and think other people will find interesting. Is your site revolving around only one topic? Or do you want to write about different things? Get more inspiration here.
- Name: Give yourself some time to contemplate the name – write the names down, talk to some other people about them and make sure that the name captures somewhat precisely the topic or topics you want to cover. Here are some ideas.
- Design: Decide on the design of your site. Do you have a vision about what it should look like? Do you want a minimalistic look, or a newspaper styled theme? Take a look around and get inspiration from other websites.
- Setup: Now this is the easy part. Finding the perfect name and topic might be challenging, so setting up your site technically feels fairly easy. Use my guide to learn how to set up your site. I suggest buying a domain name instead of starting on a free site. There’s a completely different sense of commitment when you have your own domain.
- Writing style: Decide on the style of writing. And make sure you always post quality content and not just filler content. Write at least the first two week’s articles in advance. Use your holidays to do so.
- Content schedule: Try to make a schedule for your content calendar. Figure out how much time the site will demand and make it fit into your normal schedule with work, family and other activities. I would say you should post at least twice a week. Some advice on how you can find more time for your activities.
- Marketing: When you press publish on the first post you will have to spend time promoting that post. Make sure to identify other writers that post about your topic or similar topics. You can learn a lot from them and you can get your first readers by commenting on their sites.
- Social media: Create social media profiles in order to stay in touch with your visitors. Facebook and Twitter are the most important ones. If people like your site, they will automatically scan it for social media buttons. Get the most out of Facebook and Twitter and their ability to send you traffic.
When you have completed and given thought to these points, you’re ready to start your adventure. Because you have a strong plan you will be able to stick to your resolution for more than just couple of weeks. Remember to have fun, to read, to learn and to create content about your passions. All in all blogging is a great way to pass the time in a productive way. You learn something new, you get educated and improve yourself. You become more organized, get better at time management, become more independent and get more comfortable with marketing and networking. One thing is sure, it will change you. Happy new blog!
A gift for my mom
In the holiday season it is prudent that we remember the things that are important. Remembering that the holidays are about friends and family and the ones closest to us makes for a joyous holiday season.
Giving thoughtful gifts rather than material ones often results in gifts that are never forgotten… Instead of buying a physical present, we now often gift to charity in the name of a loved one or name a star after the person. Some of the best gifts that we have received are the ones that have cost little to no money. We tend to cherish them more, and we use our imaginations to make them more fantastic than their look or feel on the surface. We build depth and feeling into these treasures, which in turn, helps us remember who gave them to us.
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably already encountered some of the fulfilling aspects of this hobby. You get to write about that one thing that you really love, you get to share your views and hopefully inspire some people, you meet new friends, you get to practice the art of writing and you get smarter every day! Smarter because you research, smarter because you write and smarter because you as a blogger encounter so many different opinions, understandings and points of view. You may even get a new job. Why not give this chance and opportunity to someone you love as well?
If you know someone who loves to read and write, is passionate about a specific topic, or just in general is an inspiring person, gift him or her a blog. Blogging has the potential to change their life and they will be forever grateful! I decided to start a blog for my mom who is an avid googler, talented writer and a knowledgeable woman in general. Since January 1st 2012 my mom has not missed a day in her blogging schedule, has learned everything about online marketing, met incredible new friends, and has been happier and more fulfilled than ever.
While still working full time, she manages a schedule of five posts a week, proving to anyone, that it can be done with a little organization, hard work and lots of passion! Now we have one more thing in common and one more way to inspire and learn from each other!
How to give a blog as a gift
Giving a blog as a gift is done by the same process really as when you are starting your own site. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and is used by majority of biggest site and I recommend you to start there. See this article that I created to help you start. Follow the process, create the site and send the details to your loved one.
Just creating the site and sending over the details is not everything. Make sure to be there to guide your loved one in his or her first weeks of blogging. Although simple, this new world can be overwhelming so share some of the tricks you’ve learned.
- Offer emotional support – let the person know when they’re doing a great job and motivate them to become the best blogger they can.
- Engage in the blog – read and comment and support the work.
So, with all of the craziness and stress that can be created with the holiday season, remember to take time for your friends and family. Happy blogging to you and your new blogging family!