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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14 Responses to How To Practice Blogging Before Diving Into The Real Deal

  • Good advice ……. I am currently in the process of improving my old low quality blog posts to increase my blog standard …..

    • I would have done that with my “internship” blog, but by the time I had sold it I had posted over 800 posts and that would be a lot of revising… Plus I didn’t like the domain name.

  • Hey Ian, landed here for the first time and would like to introduce myself as a newbie blogger. Started with blogging a few months ago and not seen considerable success till now. I keep on looking for some good tips written by the leading blogger and try to learn more so that I can earn more.
    Thanks for these tips..
    Hope to be a good blogger someday 🙂

  • Hey man,
    Exactly some of the things I did before fully starting my blog last 2 weeks. I guest-posted on blogengage.com, read a lot of blogs, networked with great bloggers, etc. So when I started my blog, it’s growing pretty fast with about 800k alexa in 2 weeks. That might not be something to celebrate for some folks but it’s great achievement for me.

    • 800k Alexa is pretty good for only two weeks. I have an aquarium blog that I have had for about two months now and the Alexa rank is still over 1,000,000. A good way to determine if a blog is doing well or not is by the number of comments you are getting.

  • Sending off guest posts is another good way to gain a link from a high traffic blog just like OmegaWeb. I think instead of having a practice blog on WordPress, I suggest that you should invest on hosting and a domain since transferring content from a free blog to a new domain takes time since you need to delete the free blog and make it removed on the search engines to avoid duplicate content.

    • In this particular article I wasn’t implying that you would want to transfer the information from the free blog to the new one. Often times a blogger’s first post is not his best.

  • Hi Ian,
    Like you, my first blog was a free one on WordPress.com. It was fun blogging for the sake of “fun” and the camaraderie it brings when you get to meet other bloggers all over the world.
    Good to know your tips and how you started out on blogging as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • I would normally say that it doesn’t matter if you “practice” using WordPress or Blogger, but if you are planning on using WordPress.org to make your “real” blog, I would suggest using WordPress.com to practice.

      Starting out is like a child in the developmental stage – what you learn here is the foundation for what you do in the future.

  • Setting up a practice blog will also help you decide if you want to focus on a niche or pursue a general blog.

    I have seen a lot of bloggers who started really well and then stopped blogging because they have no time to do it or want to shift to another niche. These instances will be avoided if we launch a practice blog first. 🙂

  • Hello,
    A very useful information posted here. Yes before starting any blog we have to read and follow the blog is essential for every start-up bloggers. And we have to know all the remaining things. My opinion is before starting any blog make one free blog and do some activities in that this gives more effective awareness on blogs….

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