Remember when I talked about all the wonderful benefits of blogging? Today, I am going to share some tips on how to create and maintain your blog.

There are two important questions you want to answer as you create your blog:

  1. What do I want to say?
  2. Who is my audience?

Now that you’ve determined what you want to talk about and who you want to talk to, it’s time to determine where you want to host your blog. Of course you have the option of purchasing your own domain name, but if you are a bit more frugal, here are some free web hosts.

  • WordPress: Currently the most popular site for blogging. There is an option to purchase a custom domain from WordPress, but there is also a free option that works just as well. WordPress is easily customizable and quick to set up. It also has a feature that shows you your blog activity: how many people have visited your blog, who left comments, and also how to strengthen your search engine terms in order to have a greater search rank.
  • Blogger: One of the original blogging hosts. A great feature of Blogger is you can now link your posts to your Google+ account, which helps you promote your blog.
  • Tumblr: Another popular site that not only allows you to create a free blog, but also interact with fellow Tumblr members, which helps your traffic as well as increases your network.

When it comes to maintaining a blog there are three simple things to keep in mind:

  • Consistency: If you want your intended audience to frequent your blog, then you must be consistent with posting new material. We live in a fast-paced society; when people visit your site, they aren’t going to want to keep seeing the same post for a month. Create an editorial calendar in order to keep yourself on schedule with your posts, and also share with your audience when they can expect new material.
  • Content quality: Your blog may be pretty with all of the latest technological features, but if it lacks substance, you’ll lack traffic. Make sure the content you are publishing is of quality; check for spelling and grammatical errors before posting.
  • Connectivity: You can be a consistent poster of content quality, but what good is any of that if no one knows about it? Promoting your blog is crucial for generating an audience. Engage your friends, followers and subscribers of your social networking sites by providing links to recent posts on your blog, and encourage them to pass it along. You can also create business cards with your blog site included and provide a link in your email’s signature.

The success of your blog is directly related to the amount of time and effort you put into it. Remember that your blog is an extension of your personal brand, so make sure it is consistent with how you want to be represented.

Have you already began blogging? What are some tips that help you maintain your site?