If you are thinking about starting a blog, you’ll want to make sure you follow and understand key steps first.
More so, blogging is a business like any other and it requires lots of planning and preparation. After blogging for the past six years, and after many lessons learned, I’m am happy to share them with you.
In this article, we will cover seven key areas you need to know before you begin. Trust me, these tips are just the beginning and you’ll discover, like any other business, the learning really begins once you start.
Starting A Blog From The Ground Up
Even if you don’t know a thing about blogging, you too can start one. With hard work and dedication, you can even earn a decent income as well.
First, you need to understand blogging is not easy and it takes a lot of time, effort, creativity, and patience to build a blog.
More so, it doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how, but it does require you to learn the tech behind the scenes. As you grow as a blogger, so will your tech skills – that’s a given.
So, let’s dig into the first thing you need to know about starting a blog!
1 – Choose Your Topic Carefully
Before you begin starting a blog, your topic, what you will blog about, it one of the most important things you need to know.
For example, when I first began blogging back in 2014, and clueless about the genre I wanted to blog about, I wished I have it more thought. At first, I wanted to blog about crafting and home decor but after a few months, that quickly changed.
Personally, choosing your topic is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make. But you can always change topics early on if you need to so don’t worry.
For instance, if you love sewing, mommy blogging, crafting, cooking, tech, or any hobby you love, you might want to think carefully about going with the best fit.
Pro Tip: Choose your blog name carefully. Changing your blog’s name presents many challenges and can lead to low-traffic and reader confusion.
Of course, you’ll choose a name for your blog as well. Choosing a name is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll want to toss around multiple ideas and ask your family and friends for their advice as well.
First, you must make sure a domain name is available which reflects the name of your blog. Make sure it’s easy to say and spell as well and doesn’t contain hyphens. Try your best to keep it short and sweet!
You can also choose Lifestyle blogging, covers all niches perfectly. If you feel a deep connection to several topics, Lifestyle blogging might just work for you.
Also, do worry or think about how many food bloggers or crafters are out there. All you need to do is find the topic you love most and make a decision. No one said starting a blog was easy but nothing worth doing is!
More importantly, try not to choose a highly controversial topic. You always want to think about Google ranking and ensuring best practices as well.
With that said, be sure and choose carefully and I suggest creating a pros and cons list as well. It’s also a good idea to talk to your friends and family and ask their opinion.
After all, no one knows you better than they do! Starting a blog should involve your friends and family for support as well.
2 – Choosing Your Web Hosting Company
So, now that you chose your blogging topic, the next thing you need to do is choose a host.
When you are starting a blog, there are a few technical matters you will need to take care of. The very first is finding an affordable web hosting company.
To explain, Web hosting is essentially online real estate. It provides you space on a server so that you can publish your blog online.
For example, and so you understand, web hosting allows individuals and businesses to have their website accessible to the World Wide Web or the internet. They provide space on their servers (computers in data centers) for a fee and return, provide connectivity.
Choosing the right web hosting is not difficult if you know what to look for. The best blog hosting sites are easy-to-use, affordable, and accessible. There are a few things to take into consideration.
Moreover, not all hosting is the same. There are a number of different plans that suit different individuals and companies. For a blog, the simplest option is generally the right one. Getting space on a shared server is cheap and simple. You will have enough bandwidth to support your media and bring in lots of visitors.
Note: You Can Opt For A VPS (Virtual Private Server) As Well
If you are expecting a very high amount of traffic, you will need something more. A VPS, in this case, provides you a dedicated amount of space on a server that you have more control over. It is more expensive, and only necessary if you expect a lot of growth.
Albeit, I changed hosting companies at least 4 times. You’ll discover this is a common thing bloggers do. We always look for the best plans, rates, customer service, and switch at the drop of a hat if we need to.
Research is the best way to find a web hosting company that suits your needs both financially and in terms of the features they offer.
3 – Find A Blogging Platform For Starting A Blog
This is where your research starts in discovering which blogging platform suits your needs.
However, if you feel clueless and have no idea which platform you want, go with WordPress. OK, let’s take a step back. Starting a blog requires a platform online to publish your blog posts.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system that provides us with a platform when starting a blog. While WordPress does offer a free plan, there is also a paid plan you should check out as well. The paid plan offers far more features and functionality and totally worth the cost.
Note: Some of these companies also offer hosting plans as well as blogging platforms.
Below, you’ll discover a list of other blogging platforms for you when starting a blog.
- Bluehost (affiliate link)
- Network Solutions
Once you choose the platform of your choice, I highly recommend watching some YouTube tutorials on how to use them.
In hindsight, I would have done that myself but instead, learned through trial and error. So, be sure and research first and learn how to use the platform you decide upon.
Personally, I think WordPress is the best choice when starting a blog. It has many options, features, and functionality that you’ll appreciate once you dig in.
4 – Choosing a Theme When Starting A Blog
So, you followed the steps above and now ready to choose a theme for your new blog. How exciting! Choosing a theme is exciting and it can be stressful as well. But, don’t worry, you can always change your theme if you need to.
Now, you are asking, what is a theme and how do I use them? For instance, a theme reflects your blog in many ways. It represents the look of your genre as well as the design you want your readers to enjoy when visiting.
In WordPress, we use themes to define the appearance of our blog and color pallets you decide to use as well. As defined above, other platform companies do offer themes and color choices as well. So, either way, it’s time for you to make decisions on the style of your blog.
You can also manage, add, or remove themes as well as the color choices easily but it’s a good idea to make these choices beforehand.
To date, I changed themes a few times and will again soon. Again, changing themes is very common when starting a blog. As mentioned, it’s fun changing them but remember, while there are free themes, most decorative themes come with a price tag so always choose carefully.
More importantly, a theme is more than color and layout. A good theme will help improve engagement and add beauty and style to your blog.
5 – Writing & Publishing Your Content
OK, so you completed all of the above and now ready to start writing content and publish it on your platform. Please remember, starting a blog is not easy and does involve many hours of hard work and dedication.
But, if you arrived at step five, that means you have the drive and ability to move forward! Below, you’ll find key pointers regarding publishing your articles on your blog.
Now, it’s time to start writing. In hindsight, I would have prepared my article well in advance rather than writing on the fly. Before you publish, it’s a good idea to have at least ten articles, or blog posts, ready to go!
You can use an editing program like Microsoft Word to write them in advance and save them on your computer. Of course, you can choose any editor you enjoy working in as long as you save them and keep backups as well.
Good Writing & Grammar Skills Are Essential!
Since most of us bloggers are not professional writers, it’s important to brush up on your writing skills. There are plenty of free writing courses on the internet so sign up and keep improving as you go.
More so, you’ll want to ensure your content contains comprehensive unique information for your readers. Additionally, never copy content from anyone else and make sure your posts contain at least or over 500 written words.
Also, writing a great and impactful headline is extremely important. Remember, since folks see and read your headline first, you’ll want to make sure it grabs attention. You want folks to click and read your posts and creating a powerful headline – imperative!
The good news – I love using Coschedule Headline Analyzer to create my headlines. It’s free, easy, and I would never create one without it. You can also search for other headline analyzers as well if you like but remember, some have fees to use them.
You want to share practical ideas and tips in your posts, so your readers feel they are learning something valuable. If you don’t share important tips and information, they will move on to another blog.
Furthermore, be sure and create a way for your readers to subscribe to your newsletter as well. Since starting a blog involves many important areas not covered in this article, you’ll want to ensure they can subscribe to you as well.
Bottom line, you want your content original, unique, informational, and a valuable resource your readers can rely upon.
6 – Making Money By Starting A Blog
Of course, you want to start earning an income with your new blog but remember, this will take time. You can earn a good living with your blog if you follow the guidelines and use key strategies.
Most often, bloggers use affiliate programs to earn revenue like Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and many more. These programs, designed for bloggers, help you earn revenue every month by using affiliate links in your blog posts.
So, do the research and join affiliate programs right away. Even if you don’t start earning money right away, they will grow and blossom into a wonderful revenue stream for you.
In addition, you can sell products and services to earn revenue. You can write and sell an eBook, and offer sponsored posts to companies.
Also, let’s not forget about promoting products from companies as well. Many businesses love sending products for you to feature in posts and this is another great way to benefit.
So, do the research immediately. Discover ways to earn money from starting a blog and do it the right way!
7 – Your Social Media Presence
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention your social media presence and how important social media is when starting a blog.
While developing a blog is so much more than seven steps, you’ll want to create social media accounts to share your blog posts and create a presence on the internet.
Key Social Media Accounts To Create:
For instance, you don’t need to join all of these social media platforms, but you should join at least 3-4 of them to start.
Sharing your content on social media platforms is essential for increasing page views and a visible presence on the internet.
Plus, they are free to join and share your content as well. You must follow the guidelines set forth by these companies so make sure you know the rules before posting.
All in all, these seven key areas will get you on your way when starting a blog. As I mentioned, there’s so much more but if you have the drive, they will help on your way!
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