I first started blogging back in 2010, so I didn’t get to where I am today without a little practice. I needed practice writing in the style that is effective for the Internet, practice with blog design elements, social networks, common blog terminology, etc. Successful blogs do not happen overnight and neither do successful bloggers.

How To Practice Blogging Before Diving Into The Real Deal

The steps that I am about to talk about may not necessarily be the best steps to take for you, but it worked well for me and now I consider myself a semi-pro blogger making a moderate income.

1. Read Blogs

Before you even think about starting a blog, you should read some popular blogs first. The way blog posts are written is very different from the way books, magazines, newspaper articles, and some online articles on sites like CNN are written. Most blogs are very informal, use headings to separate text into short, easy to read sections, and use simple language that everyone can understand. I would suggest reading some of the posts on Pro Blogger, Daily Blog Tips, and Guide and News to see how posts are structured and to get a general idea of what blogging is about.

After you learn a bit about blogging, you should read some blogs in the niche that you are interested in. For example, if you are interested in starting a blog about smartphones and other gadgets, read websites like iMore and TechnoBuffalo.

2. Set Up a Practice Blog

If you feel like you can write a blog post easily, set up a practice blog at WordPress.com to play around with the features. Blogging software has lots of options, plugins, and features, plus you can use any PHP, JavaScript, HTML, or CSS code on your website, so that makes the features virtually endless. I would suggest starting this practice blog, writing every other day about things you are interested in, and getting the formatting options, writing style, etc down.

I first started making practice blogs in early 2010 so by July that same year when I started my “internship” blog, I knew what I was doing.

3. Start Sending Off Guest Posts

If you feel like you can write a pretty good blog post, test yourself by submitting one to a website that accepts blog posts. I currently accept blog posts on Omega Web, but it has to follow my clear guidelines or I will not post it.

4. Set Up An Internship Blog

Similar to working an internship at a hospital, you should set up a blog like it were going to be the real thing, but only plan to post for about a year. After a year of blogging you will learn a lot, the quality of your writing will improve, and the amount of money you start to make will improve.

I first started a general technology blog in July of 2010 and posted regularly until April 2012. In April I decided that the poor-quality posts I had from early on were pulling the quality of my website down. In addition to these lame early posts, I also had a bad domain name/blog name, so I decided to sell the blog on Flippa and start over. I sold my “intern” blog in April for $800 and started Omega Web one month later.

5. It’s Go Time!

Now that you have had a good 18 months of practice, you are ready to start a professional blog. Remember to watch when you link to websites, maintain proper SEO, and keep writing good content. The income from Google AdSense and other services will not come right away, but nobody ever said that blogging was the fast track to quick cash. After about a year of hard work on the “real” blog, however, you will be making up to a couple hundred dollars a month writing about what you love – and nothing can beat that.

Image Source: Western Illinois University

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