This post will talk about how to start blogging your favourite hobby. It does not matter if you just want to blog for fun or as a side-hustle. If you wanna know more, this post is for you.
Hello everyone! How are you doing today? I hope everything is well wherever you are. In Malaysia, we are currently going through a National Recovery Plan for Covid-19. I live in Kuala Lumpur that is currently going through Phase 1 of it so we can’t really go out that much unless you’re fully vaccinated and even that you are subjected to standard procedures like double masking and social distancing. Dine-ins with 50% max capacity is allowed but eateries are erring on the cautious side by only offering deliveries and take-aways. Which I think is a smart thing to do because cases are still rising.
How To Start Blogging As Your Favourite Hobby
Before we begin, these are what we’ll talk about:
- Choosing a blogging platform
- Choosing a blog name & niche
I’d like to note that I will not touch on the topic of search engine optimisation (SEO), monetisation and how to drive traffic to your blog. I’m still learning SEO, monetisation and how to drive traffic to my blog. If you are new to blogging, I suggest focusing on blogging as a hobby first instead of jumping to SEO and monetisation. However, you can learn those as you go along.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
There are plenty of blogging platforms to choose from. There are free blogging platforms and there are paid/self-hosting blogging platforms. You can even self-host your blog if you want.
Free Blogging Platform
- Blogger (You can view my post about it here)
- LiveJournal (I’ve blogged in LiveJournal from 2004 – 2014. You can view it here)
- LinkedIn (they’re not really a blog but the ‘articles’ do function as a blog post)
Paid/Self-Hosted Blogging Platform
- WordPress paid plans
- Wix paid plans
- WordPress.Org (you need a host for this. You can read about the difference between WordPress.Com & WordPress.org here)
- Ghost (you need a host for this. You can read about the difference between WordPress.Org & Ghost here)
You can choose to either sign up for a free account on any blogging site or upgrade to its paid plan or you can self-host your blog on any website provider.
Sign up for a free account if:
- You are a complete beginner and want to try out blogging for the first time
- Budget is an issue – For non-US/non-UK/non-EU residents, hosting plans aren’t cheap
- You don’t blog regularly
- You don’t plan on monetising your blog – some blogging platforms won’t allow you to run ads
- It’s a personal blog for rants and ramble
Choose paid/self-hosted if:
- You have been blogging for a long time (not really necessary but this is just my recommendation)
- Money is not an issue or at least you budget for it
- You blog regularly
- Control and customisation is your thing
- You plan to monetise your blog (regardless as a full-time career or as a side hustle)
Choosing a Blog Name & Niche
Your blog name reflects on the topic and/or niche of your blog. For example, Ringgit oh Ringgit by Suraya is a personal finance blog and Solosophie by Sophie is a lifestyle blog with travel-heavy niche posts. Another example of a personal/lifestyle blog is Blog Dosh Saleem which offers a myriad of topics from travel to food reviews and his daily life.
If you are starting out or you don’t have a specific niche, I suggest using your own name as a blog name. This is because it’s the most flexible and it’s about you. You are not tied down to a certain niche. This gives you more creative control in your blog. Unpopular opinion: You can’t blog about just ONE topic all the time. I think it’s just not sustainable in the long run. Unless you are REALLY passionate about a certain topic that you live and breathe, go ahead.
If you are like me who’s interested in multiple topics, a lifestyle/personal blog is the way to go. As you can see, I talk about a lot of things from music to blogging and personal finance and sometimes relate them in my daily life. Bloggers like Suraya and Aaron from Mr-Stingy also incorporate their lifestyle into their personal finance posts.
If you are opinionated about politics and current issues, you can start a blog about politics and current issues. However, please be careful when blogging about these topics. Please do your research and try to keep as neutral as possible (unless you blog for someone). Topics like this tend to get people in trouble, especially defamation lawsuits. I personally avoid this topic absolutely. The same thing goes if you want to start an entertainment blog.
To sum it up, these are the ways that you can do to start blogging as your favourite hobby:
- Determine whether you want to choose a free blogging platform or paid platform
- Choose your favourite blogging platform
- Pick a blog name
- Find a blogging niche
- Watch out for things like defamatory statements (and other nasties)