Making Disease Detective was a journey that took me weeks to work out the kinks. What started out as a simple interest really grew into a passion to share knowledge with others. If you’re reading this, you are most likely interested in blogging, but are unsure how to get started. I remember being in this situation a few months ago and I figured that this would be a great opportunity to share some advice on how to blog based on what I have found works for me. Below are six key tips to help get your blogs off the ground and build them up to the way you want them to be. Enjoy!
- Pick a topic you are passionate about. When I wanted to start my blog, I had an assortment of ideas running through my head about what I could write about. After talking with some friends, I had narrowed my topic down to two main choices. What finally sold me on Disease Detective was my passion to become a physician and to be a part of the medical community. During my undergraduate years at Drew University, I have taken a diverse set of biology courses to provide me with a solid, scientific foundation that allowed me to write about diseases in blog posts that everyone can easily understand. Whatever topic you end up choosing, make sure you have a passion for it, because it will make writing and maintaining the blog much easier. Spending the time now to think about what topic you will write about will save you confusion and aggravation later on.
- Determine who your audience will be early in your planning process. Once you establish who your audience is, you can easily write your posts. Deciding your audience takes some time, but can only be decided after you have picked your topic. Writing to a specific audience is important because it will help your blog reach the viewers you are looking for, and it will help you focus the tone of your writing. Getting this out of the way before creating your blog will make it easier to focus on sharing your information when it is time to write posts.
- Get started using WordPress. Yes, there are many web design platforms to choose from, but in my opinion, WordPress is one of the easiest platforms to get started on if you have little to no experience. Starting out with a free WordPress account, you can easily configure your blog and have it up and running in a matter of 15 minutes. While picking a theme can be challenging given the numerous options, start out with a simple (free!) theme to get going, and then work to make it your own. Overtime, if you see fit, you can upgrade to paid themes or higher-level WordPress accounts to gain more advanced features, but the free account is more than enough to get you started.
- Don’t be afraid to play around with the visual theme of your blog. Once your blog is running, has a few posts, and has some followers, it’s time to work on perfecting the visual appeal of your blog to make it your own. Adjusting the color palette of your theme, or changing the theme all together are some of the fastest ways to change your blogs aesthetics. The visual theme of your blog should complement the topic you are blogging about. For Disease Detective, I choose a simple color palette that tied in the colors in my logo. This theme makes it easy for my readers to comfortably read text, see images, and navigate the blog. Best of all, the theme I choose was free! Find a theme that makes you happy, highlights your hard work, and goes with the topic you are presenting!
- Blog on a regular basis! Whether you blog daily, weekly, or biweekly, once you start your blog you should aim to blog on a weekly basis. Admittedly, I have not been 100% perfect on this myself, but if you can blog on a regular basis, you can keep your followers actively engaged with your content. Keeping the web traffic flowing to your blog may not be your priority when you are fresh and starting up, but eventually, you will want to build up your followers so that your hard work can be recognized. Blogging regularly shows that you are more serious about your topic and it gives your followers something to look forward to at a predictable time.
- Use social media to help spread your blog when you are ready to attract more followers and traffic. Once you have posted a few posts and have configured your blog the way you want, it is time to start generating some traffic. Expanding your reach is a nice way to showcase your hard work and share your thoughts with others. Social media is one of the easiest ways to do this as you can quickly reach a large amount of people in a short time. Start by making a Twitter account for your blog and linking it to your blog site – doing so will drive traffic between the two places and expand your reach. If you have personal social media accounts, publicize yourself and share the URL for your blog – The more you spread your blog, the more followers you will get.
I hope these tips were helpful! If anyone has any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below and let me know! As I graduate Drew University, I plan to keep Disease Detective running, so enjoy the posts!