Do You Need Technical Skills to Start your own blog?
As the global community exercises social distancing, many find themselves with a lot of free time on their hands. It is best to look at the bright side of things and use this opportunity to do something productive. So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of starting your own blog, this is the perfect moment. All you have to do is pick a topic and get to it.
What if you’re not equipped with the necessary tech skills to create a good blog? Don’t worry, you have a lot of options available. While there is absolutely no need for you to be familiar with tech-related knowledge to start your own blog, you still can pick up a skill or two if you want to. Already, there are many platforms like WordPress and Wix that provide all the required tools to build your website or blog without having to write any code yourself.
There are also a lot of open-source stock images sites such as Unsplash and Freepik, so you can still complement your blog post with a relevant photo without the burden of copyright concerns.
How to Start a Blog without Any Tech Skills
- Pick a good topic
Aside from monetary gains, another important motivation for people to start a blog is to share their knowledge with the masses. Deciding the topic for your blog is a very crucial step. Some things to consider include how well-versed you are in the topic and whether or not it will gather public interest. Keep in mind that the more unique your content is, the more standout your blog will be.
- Choose a web hosting provider
A web host is a service that provides a server that will host the technologies that make it possible for your blog or website to be viewed online. While it may sound complicated, it really is not because there are a lot of existing businesses that can assist you with this. In most cases, you are required to pay a monthly fee and leave all the work to the web hosting provider.
- Pick your platform
If you wish to get started quickly, there are a number of platforms such as WordPress or Wix.com which are designed to help you build your site or blog. They typically offer ready-to-use design templates and easy-to-use features to simplify the process for you. If you need guidance on how to use these platforms efficiently, you can find many tutorials online that can demonstrate the basics.
- Install plugins
On WordPress particularly, plugins help to build a powerful website. There are a variety of plugins to choose from, depending on your needs. Some of the available plugins include attaching media and including contact forms into your posts. There are others that can help boost traction such as the search engine optimization (SEO) tool which will offer suggestions to make your posts more reader-friendly.
- Set up your configurations
Another important step is fine-tuning the configurations for your blog. If you want to make your blog accessible by many, you can turn the settings into allowing search engines to find your blog when a relevant keyword is entered. You can also set up a permalink which makes it easier for search engines to understand the intent of the blog and pull it out for the right crowd.
- Fine-tune the layout
A good blog has to have at least two core pages—an about page and a contact page. These will complement the posts you published from time to time. You can also go the extra mile by offering a menu option to make it easier for visitors to navigate your blog.
- Make your first post
That’s it, your blog is ready to have its first post.
Tech Skills That Can Help
With that said, having some tech skills could bring more value to your blog. Especially, any digital marketing skills that you have or can learn will improve the chances of having a successful blog. There are many online courses you can take to learn new coding skills to complement your content writing. Some other tech skills that can prove to be beneficial include:
This programming language is meant for building websites. Having some basic skills in the hypertext markup language (HTML) can improve your website design and functionality. Knowing how to write headings, links, images, line breaks, quotations, fonts, and colors will help you to have a more customized design.
Cascading style sheets (CSS) is a styling language that essentially controls how your website will appear visually. CSS is closely linked to HTML—while the latter gives structure to your site, the former adds style which can be used to mirror your personal brand.
It stands for search engine optimization and is a set of actions you can take to make your website more friendly for search engines. Having a good SEO practice means a search engine will have an easier way figuring out what your post is about and thus better position it on the search results. For example, one of the practices is to do keyword research and increase its usage in your text.
It is a server-side scripting language that will help you to improve your website, especially if you are building it with WordPress. It allows you to do things like creating your own plugins.
Benefits of Having Your Own Blog
Improved resume: Having your own blog, no matter which topic, will look good on your resume. It demonstrates your knowledge in many topics and your penchant for in-depth research. Aside from that, a niche blog will also highlight your expertise to a potential employer.
Expanded network: Having a digital footprint will help to expand your connections. You will make yourself known in the industry and will likely even elevate you to expert status by your peers. This will subsequently open up opportunities for others to contact you on possible projects, consulting opportunities, or job positions.
Monetize your knowledge: Possibly the main reason many people decided to blog is to diversify their income. Websites allow ample room for monetizing. If you build a really successful blog, you can make that your main source of income. If not, having a blog still counts as a great side gig.
Build new skills: In the search for new and unique topics, you will find yourself exploring new paths. This will open your mind to learn new things that may help advance your career. Somewhere in the process of building a digital presence, you may also pick up new marketing skills that you can now include in your resume. Other obvious skills that will constantly be nurtured by having a blog are your writing and communication abilities.
Posts from partners
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech. https://twitter.com/arturmeyster https://www.linkedin.com/in/meyster