So, you are thinking about starting a blog, huh? We think it is a great idea! There is a lot of work that needs to be done though and you may be wondering just what the heck you need to do to make this happen. Many people write blogs for a number of different reasons from wanting to earn money to informing people about a new brand or service in the local area.
Being a newbie to the blogging world is not a bad thing, but it means that you still have a lot to learn and you never want to jump ahead of yourself and start to think bigger than your actual blogging britches. If you want to be the blogger that receives hundreds of thousands of viewers per day, you need to get going as soon as possible.
Below, we will cover the most important steps you need to take to get yourself up and running in a short amount of time.
Decide on Your Blog’s Topic, Purpose, and Objective
Before you can even start to write a blog, you need to decide just what it is you plan to write about. Many people think that blogging sounds like a lot of fun, but it is a lot of work too. You should choose a topic that you are knowledgeable about and one that you would consider yourself an expert in. For example, if you have to do tons of research just to talk about a home improvement topic, do not make this the focus of your blog.
Blogging should come naturally to you, so if you know a lot about reptiles, then blog about them. If you love to cook, blog about it. Make sure your topic is something you are passionate about; otherwise, blogging will quickly turn into a “job” you hate.
Next, think about your purpose and objective. Are you trying to monetize your blog? Are you trying to simply inform others about something? Are you trying to raise awareness about something? Collect donations for an organization? All of these purposes would require you to have a different blog, a different mindset, and a different end goal.
Choose a Blogging Platform
Now it is time for you to choose a blogging platform. This is a personal decision and one that can only be made by you, but you can get some recommendations of course. You do have both free and paid options when it comes to the platform you choose.
See this guide that shows you how to setup your own blog in less than 20 minutes
Some of the most commonly chosen blogging platforms include:
- WordPress hosted
- WordPress self-hosted
- And more
The best and most commonly relied on platform is a self-hosted WordPress site. There are over 80 million active users on WordPress and you too could be one.
A self-hosted WordPress is one that you own. You purchase a domain, use a hosting company, and you control the content on the site. There are many advantages to this type of a blogging platform including:
- You can choose from FREE themes
- The system is easy to use
- You can blog directly on the site
- There are support groups and a support line, if you need help
- Your blog will be ranked on Google
- People can leave comments, ask questions, and interact with you
Next, you will need to buy a domain name and setup hosting, especially if you choose to go with a self-hosted WordPress blog. There are many downsides to not choosing a self-hosted blog such as you do not own the content and you are given a URL, one that is not personalized.
If you plan to be serious about blogging, you need to purchase a domain and if you do a little bit of research, you can find domains on sale for as little as 99 cents through GoDaddy. Domains are good for a year, but you may have the option to purchase them for two, three, or five years at a time as well.
Once you have a domain name in place, you will need to think about hosting. There are many hosting companies that you can choose from Host Gator to GoDaddy and even Bluehost. The host you choose is going to be a personal choice and one that can be made after you read reviews and determine your needs.
After you have purchased hosting, which is not too expensive, you will then need to connect your domain to the host and then you can create your WordPress site. Some people find it easiest to purchase the domain through the web host they choose and many times, your web host will provide you with a free domain when you do buy hosting.
Make Time to Blog and Write Unique Content
Your blog is not going to add content on its own. It will be your responsibility to place content on your blog and the only way to do this is to sit down and write.
Before you write, you need to think about topics related to your blog that others want to know about. For example, if your blog is about caring for Labrador retrievers, then you may find that lab owners are interested in flea prevention for their pups. This would be a good topic to write about and you should suggest homeopathic remedies and more.
You want your content to be unique and you want it to resonate with real people. This is the best way to get people to your blog. The more content that you write that is designed to help others, the easier it will be to rank on Google.
Lastly, do not forget to make time to blog either. You should set aside time each week to blog. If you find you are short on time, use a program such as Hootsuite, which will automatically post written blogs to your site based on the schedule you set.
Drive Traffic to Your Blog
If you want to drive more traffic to your blog, there are some things you can do. Remember, though, everything takes time, so do not give up just because you have not hit the numbers you want just yet.
Here are some great tips to help drive traffic:
- Promote your blog via social media
- Be an expert in your topic
- Include videos and photos with your posts
- Add links
- Invite top name bloggers to guest blog on your site
- Add social buttons so people can share your blogs
- Write more throughout the week
- Hold a giveaway
- Promote your blog to your mailing list
What to Expect with Your New Blog
You should expect your new blog to be slow at first. Do not be surprised if you do not receive as much traffic to your site as you would like. Keep your head up, blog, and make sure you optimize your content to reach those who would be interested in reading it.