Five years ago, author and blogger Mark Manson gave 33 pieces of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. Among them, there was one that everyone dreaming of making a living as a blogger should take to heart: “A blog is not a business plan. It’s just not”.
He suggests that you should only start a blog because you love to write, not to make money. “No blogger who is making mega bucks off their content started that way or planned it that way,” he writes. “It just happened. And it took years. Not months, years.”
In the light of this piece of advice, you might wonder whether the many articles about how to start your own blog are getting it wrong.
They usually start with you registering a domain name, subscribing to a web host, and choosing a CMS and theme for your newfound blog.
But to build your personal brand these are not necessary right away – sharing your unique ideas and showing off your talent, in turn, are. And you don’t need your own domain name and hosting plan for it – you only need a place to publish your articles.
One of the most obvious ways of starting blogging right away is to choose one of the many free blogging platforms, like WordPress.com or Blogger.
These are, in turn, a bit too well-known for many tastes. Blogs hosted on free platforms are usually not taken very seriously because of all the “chaff” – spammy blogs, abandoned blogs, aggregators, and such – plaguing their pages.
They are, in turn, a no-cost, virtually no-maintenance, and no-commitment means to get your writings out there that serve as a perfect launchpad for your career as a blogger – and to build an audience that will follow you when you decide to migrate.
Another popular blogging platform today, perfect for personal blogs and writers at the beginning of their paths, is Medium.
Many consider it the best platform to start a personal blog, especially because it is so easy to navigate and – unlike WordPress.com – it is completely ad-free. Medium was developed by Evan Williams, former Twitter CEO, as a means to communicate in writings longer than Twitter’s 140-character (now 280 characters) limit.
Over the years, it has grown into one of the best social journalism platforms, gathering both amateurs and professionals, bloggers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and many other publishers on their pages. Plus, it has a no-nonsense, no-distraction article editor that makes writing a great experience. Not to mention its minimalist design that allows writers to focus on their message.
It was built with long-form writing in mind and helps writers communicate better with their audience by allowing readers to leave comments not just on articles but on specific paragraphs as well.
While Medium does make it difficult to migrate to another platform (or use your own domain, for that matter), it is the perfect no-commitment solution for any writer.