PHOTO BY Pexels

How You Can Start a Blog As a Teen Today

Lifestyle

I started a blog last October. It has quite literally been one of the best decisions of my life. It is so freeing to be able to share your thoughts and opinions with others in a safe space that you created. The best feeling is when a post goes up that you're really proud of and are so excited for others to read. I love to write, and through my blog, I began to get feedback on my work for the first time. I've started getting followers from all over the world and have found that people comment the kindest things.

That being said, you really shouldn't start a blog just for people to read it. If you aren't passionate about blogging when you don't have any page views, you won't find that excitement even if you get thousands. It is a pretty time-consuming hobby, but in my opinion, it's completely worth it. If you want to start a blog, I would say go for it!

I definitely didn't know what an impact blogging would have on my life before I started. I just knew I had some extra free time during study hall that I might as well do something productive with. Honestly, it was definitely harder than I thought it would be, but it doesn't need to be.

When I started my blog, it was challenging to find resources on how to do so without spending lots of money. There definitely weren't many articles on how teens could succeed in starting their own blogs. However, once I started, I found a wonderful community of teen bloggers. We've all succeeded in starting our own blogs, and so can you.

What to Write About

Before you do anything, you need to figure out what you want your blog to be about. You don't want it to be too random, because your readers want to know what to expect every time they read your work. A way to ensure that all your posts work well together is to come up with your blog's niche.

A niche is basically your blog's category. Some people think that your niche should be very specific, but it's okay for it to be broad, especially when you're still figuring out what you like blogging about the most. For example, my blog's niche is lifestyle with a focus on problems teens face.

If you're anything like me, you're probably groaning right now because "my life isn't interesting" and "I have nothing to write about." You're wrong. Everyone has something they need to share with the world. Think about your hobbies. What are you good at? What could you teach someone else? What could you talk about for hours?

Try making a list of blog posts you could write. Is there a common trend or theme you notice in most of the ideas you write down? You may have a niche already without even knowing it. If you're still stuck, look at the kinds of posts your favorite blogs publish.

How to Create Your Own Blog

I started a blog a couple of years ago on Blogger. It's a website through Google that allows you to make your own blogs. This worked fine, but I would definitely recommend WordPress.

WordPress.com is the website I currently blog on, and it's much more user-friendly and customizable. Here, it is easier to comment, like posts, and customize how your blog looks. Also, it is far easier to follow WordPress blogs, and many bloggers who have switched from Blogger to WordPress have noticed a jump in followers.

If you want to have even more control over what your blog looks like, and you're a little more tech-savvy, you may want to look into WordPress.org. It's software made by WordPress that you can download, and it basically gives you complete control over how your website looks and functions. Another website builder that is similar to WordPress.com is Wix. It has many of the same features, but I prefer WordPress. However, that's just my personal opinion, and I recommend trying out a couple of different website builders before deciding which is the one for you.

One note about Wordpress.org is that it's the only option I've mentioned that does not provide a free domain or hosting. Wordpress.org is self-hosted, meaning you would have to buy hosting (a domain usually comes with it) for your website to be on the web. The free WordPress.com URL ends with wordpress.com, the free Blogger URL ends with blogspot.com, and the free Wix URL is in the following format: accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress.

You can buy domains ending in .com on WordPress.com, and you can use domains you bought from a host website on Blogger. Also, you can buy a domain from Wix or connect domains you've bought elsewhere to your Wix site. I don't think it is necessary to buy a customized domain name when you are just starting to blog, especially as a teen (most of us don't have the money to spare). I would wait until you've determined you're passionate about blogging and would like to invest money in your blog.

How to Write a Blog Post

Everyone's writing process is different. This is because everyone's brains work differently. But most blog posts are structured similarly: an introduction at the top, body paragraphs that are separated by headers, and a conclusion. Once you write your post, you're not quite done. You need to edit your posts, check for grammatical errors, and, as I recommend, read them aloud to see if the words flow naturally.

You'll probably want to decide how long you want most of your posts to be. If your posts are too short, they may lack substance, but if they're too long, they may bore the reader. One way to keep your viewers reading is to include pictures. Looking at a page full of text can be overwhelming, but if it's split up by photos, it's much more approachable. Headers also help break up blocks of text, and they make your post more skimmable.

How to Sustain Your Blog

Like I said before, having a blog is a wonderful, fulfilling hobby, but it can be a lot. One of the first decisions you need to make when creating your blog is what your schedule will be. Will you post once a week? Twice? Biweekly? Be honest with yourself about how often you can fit writing posts into your schedule, which is probably already pretty busy. In my opinion, it is better to post less often but keep to a schedule than to post frequently and miss posting routinely.

Once you decide how often you can write, you can schedule your posts. This means writing your posts prior to the day they come out and creating a blog calendar of sorts. With this calendar, you can decide what posts you are going to write in advance, so you aren't at a loss for ideas when the time comes. I would also recommend creating a running list of post ideas you have. Writer's block is seriously the worst and this can be a real lifesaver.

I hope that you are now inspired you to start your own blog; I definitely don't regret starting mine. You won't get many views at first, and it might feel like an isolating hobby. It might not even be for you. But what if it is? What if blogging is what you're missing in your life and you don't even know it? Hopefully, you'll get as much out of blogging as I have!

Sophia Juhler
1,000+ pageviews

Sophia is a high school freshman from Iowa who is passionate about reading and writing. In her free time, Sophia enjoys blogging, daydreaming, playing bassoon and clarinet, doing cross stitch, and spending time with family and friends. She hopes to use the written word to change the world.