How Did I Start Blogging? – My Blogging Story

(I’m going to write a series of articles which is going to be the most useful online resource for those who want to learn how to start a blog. ‘How Did I Start Blogging? ‘ is the first article of this series.)

Everyone has a starting point, but it’s the effort and consistency which takes a person to new heights (or depths). I’m sharing my story because I want you to know what, how and why I have been doing.

Going through the story, you may find similarities with your situation. Somewhere in this story, I’m sure that you will find something amazing; something you need to get started. Share your story in the comments too. Let’s begin.

Why Did I Want To Blog?

It may sound a bit weird, but I had a vague wish some years ago. I wanted a website of my own; a ‘.com’ domain containing my name. I also wanted a personalized email address.

Whenever I used to receive an email from a @webiste.com or @company.com address, my wish to have a @myname.com email address became stronger.

This dream, combined with my passion for writing was the core foundation of my choice to start a blog.

My First Step Towards Blogging

Over the years, I managed to keep that dream alive. In 2013, I started my first free blog using Blogger (Google’s blogging platform). It was based on my passion for football.

I didn’t know anything about blogging. I just started and updated it for a while. It was awesome to make some progress, but I chose a terrible time to start it.

I was dealing with public procurement, and it was financial year closing. Did I tell you I work full time in a govt organization? Now you know anyways.

Those who know what fiscal year closing is, they also know how terrible my timing was. I left the blog as it was and eventually shut it down.

The WordPress Free Blog

Three years later, my wish was still on my list. I wanted to do it. But I was making an awful mistake again. No, it wasn’t the timing this time. It was the lack of effort from my side.

I wanted to do it but did nothing practical to make real progress. In short, I wasn’t learning enough, not even basic stuff. Anyway, back to the story. I still wanted it, so I started a free WordPress blog. I shifted my Facebook page notes, which I used to write as a hobby, to that blog.

The free blog helped me learn how to blog. It was great because the foundations were being laid. I learned how to write a post and add pictures to it. With my interest and help from my Facebook community, I was beginning to know what a theme is and why it needs to be good.

I didn’t have a topic in mind, so I posted all my notes there. That was pretty much it. I didn’t write much for my blog. I just wanted to have a basic feel of things which I got. It was not real progress, but it was the first step.

Therefore, I think of it as a significant milestone. I deleted that blog too after I started this blog (ilyastarar.com).

How Did I Start Blogging On This Blog?

Knowing a little bit about blogging through prior experiences and online research, I wanted to buy my own domain and hosting, but I didn’t have a Credit Card or PayPal account for the online transaction.

Fortunately for me, this problem was solved by one of my Facebook friends. Khurram Shezad is an online entrepreneur who is CEO of PawnHost, a webhosting company. He also runs Asan Dukan, a platform dedicated to empowering online entrepreneurship/businesses.

I came to know that his hosting company offered local currency bank transfer as a payment option for buying domain and hosting. I immediately contacted him, and within days I had my domain and hosting.

He helped me set up my blog, guiding me about WordPress installation through cPanel (a control panel offered by your hosting company to manage your website).

Note: – I’m not driven by money. People get surprised when I tell them I don’t blog for money. Money never was and never will be my focus.

My personal mission is ‘making a positive difference‘ and the purpose of this blog is to help people get their first blog online.

Learning How To Manage My Blog

Once I was able to setup my blog, I started blogging straight away as I already knew how to create blog posts (thanks to my experience with a free WordPress blog). I started learning more about managing my blog from my dashboard (WordPress admin area).

Gradually, I started using free plugins and widgets to tweak my blog. I searched for suitable free themes. It was getting interesting. I was learning something new each day.

Using Free Online Tools

Going one step further, I started testing my blog using free online tools to see how it ranked in speed, SEO, and various other important aspects of blogging.

I remember spending an entire long weekend to analyze my site’s speed and mobile-friendliness and then making it faster by using Uncle Google.

The results were amazing, and I was a bit (maybe more than a bit) proud of myself. I will share these tools in upcoming posts. Here’s what I did to my site that weekend.

When you start blogging, don't forget to use this tool.

The results on the right side were the reward of a weekend-long struggle.

How Did I Learn More & More About Blogging?

I have been doing a variety of online courses. I’ve also been reading a lot in 2016 including close to a dozen books and hundreds of articles. I began to write about things I was learning through courses and books.

This is how I wrote my blog posts initially. I put my heart into what I wrote; trying my best to produce 100 % original content based on the ideas I got from my experiences. Two of many courses that I did are shown below:-

Certified content creator here pals!

Contagious Content Creation Course from University of Pennsylvania (via Coursera)

Start blogging and make money course from Udemy

A Course on Blogging from Udemy. It focused on money making methods, but I learned a lot from it.

The Massive Breakthrough In My Blogging Journey

I kept writing blog posts until my job started getting harder for a particular period. It became difficult for me to give time and attention to my blog, so the number of new posts also went down.

Then the best thing in my blogging journey happened to me. A friend, again Khurram Shezad from Asan Dukan, suggested me a guide about blogging. I read it once. After that, I read it one more time. Then I listened to the audio version of that e-guide.

It was by far the most beneficial and the most comprehensive guide on blogging I ever read. And I have read a lot! You can get the guide just by subscribing.

For Every Little Learning, I’ve Read Thousands Of Words

I didn’t know much, you can say anything, about blogging so naturally, I’ve studied a lot about it. Ranging from online courses to super long articles (one article alone was of 22,000+ words), I’ve gone through a lot of material about blogging to learn all the basics and technicalities.

I still do that, and apply it too, to improve my blogging expertise day by day. But I must tell you that out of everything I’ve read and done so far (and it’s a lot), this blogging guide was the best ever thing. It gave me what I desperately wanted; actionable guidelines and a focused direction.

I’ve put everything I learned from this fantastic guide to practice on this blog of mine, and it’s helping me so well. I never thought I’d be able to setup a fully functional and nearly complete blog this soon.

I’ve shared my story. Let me share the story of Neil Patel who is kinda big deal!

This Blog Will Help Beginners

I’ve gone through a rigorous effort to find learn even the basics of blogging. I’m on a mission now. I want all the necessary knowledge gathered at one single platform so that beginners can start their journey without going throughs tons of articles.

I’ve started this blog from the beginning now with this focused mission. I’ve put in a lot of work to incorporate everything a blog should have.

I’m going to share everything that I’ve done and learned so far so that my subscribers and readers can do it too.

Do You Want To Start Blogging?

Blogging is a powerful online tool. You can use it to achieve a lot of goals, from expressing yourself to earning financial freedom eventually.

I hope that after reading my story, many of you will find the courage and motivation to take the first step towards blogging.

To start learning about blogging, do read the next article which will explain definitions of terms frequently used in blogging.

I’m sure these articles will help you start blogging. Subscribe to keep in touch with the latest posts. I’ll gift the great guide which became my big breakthrough to my subscribers.

Ilyas Tarar
 

My mission is to ‘make a positive difference in lives of people’. I love writing content which helps beginners start a blog. Blogging and content writing is something I love doing.

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