Many athletes decide to start a new blog and write about their training, racing, journey to their next PR, adventure to concur their fear, or as a motivational tool for others who want to adopt an active lifestyle. This is all great but many don’t know where to start and how to maintain a successful blog.
I have been in this industry since the days of Altavista, Lycos, and no one paid attention to Google. Seen the good and bad, and did the Google Dance. Started many online ventures, some were successful and some were just bad.
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned triathlete, a runner, or a cyclist and been blogging or interested in starting a new blog, I will try to guide you through the process and share what I’ve learned about blogging and building a successful online blog.
Decide on Content Management System (CMS).
This is where blogging start, you need to decide on a platform to use to write your posts, and a blog host. There are hundreds of them but these are the most popular ones:
WordPress is the biggest and most popular blogging tool that is used by some of the most popular news media. It is very easy to use and expandable. There are thousands of plugins and themes that are available for free. If you are serious about blogging then WordPress might be the place to start.
Blogger is great for personal blogs. Blogger is own by Google and you can find many free themes to customize the look and feel of your blog.
Tumblr is also more personal but has the look and feel of a social media platform as opposed to blog. It is good for posting small posts, images and media. Millions of people use Tumblr and some are quite successful.
One thing to consider is what are you blogging for? Is it to promote a business, for a living, or you just want to keep it personal and have no interest in growing your blog. WordPress is what I usually recommend even for small personal blogs, because if you ever decide to become a serious blogger or make it a business then it is easy to upgrade your account or move it to a self hosted server.
Design your blog
WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr all have free themes that you can start with. You can also search for more custom themes and there are plenty available for free. Design is important so give this some thought and I will cover this in details in a different post. In the meantime, this should get you started:
Now the fun part. Just start writing. I know you are expecting a grand piece but that might not happen in your first few posts and maybe first few years. Just write what’s on your mind and build content. Don’t worry about how long your post is. It can be a small one paragraph or 5000 word post. The main thing is just to write. Remember, this is your own blog and you have no boss to impress!
Share With Friends
Once your blog is live and you have your first post, share it with your friends and family. The sad part is they will probably be your only reader for now. Be patient. This is a sad fact I know. Search engines and the Internet gods will not make you the next Whatsapp overnight. Hopefully your friends and family will start sharing your posts and your audience will slowly grow. Leverage social media and engage with other bloggers.
This should get you busy for a while and I will discuss design, SEO and marketing in a future post.