Starting a blog can be a fun new adventure for you to get your creative ideas across to a large audience. Blogging has skyrocketed over the past decade, with many people working as bloggers full-time today. However, blogging isn’t as simple as signing up for a free website and sharing your ideas. There are many hours of work that go into starting a blog that readers don’t often see. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss 10 different things you should know before starting a blog to maximize your success.
- Get a domain and hosting
Choosing a domain name and hosting service is the most important place to start. Your domain name is what comes before the “.com” in the URL. It should be something short and simple, and something that people are likely to remember. Once you’ve decided on a domain name, make sure to register it to set up your site. The next step is choosing the right hosting platform. Web hosting is how your site will be stored on the Internet. There are tons of options available with anything from free web hosting to premium plans. The right option depends on what your goals are for your blog, but make sure to choose a reliable host. This is so that your website is fast and secure, both of which are critical to keeping readers coming back.
2. Decide what your blog will be about
A lot of people tend to start their blogs while focusing on several different topics at once, which makes their blog seem unprofessional and disorganized. You want to choose a niche topic for your blog and stick to it. Keep it simple, and make sure that it’s something you’re passionate about- not just something that is popular now. This is because choosing something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about will make the whole process much easier and more enjoyable. Your passion will also shine through in your posts, making people more likely to want to work with you and consume your content. Focus on creating quality content that readers are sure to enjoy instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing. That will set your blog apart and make you more successful.
3. Choose your platform
Another important factor to determine is the platform you will be blogging on. The main platforms are Blogger, WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. Each of these options has their pros and cons, so you should research them and decide what would work best for you. It is free to sign up for all of these, and they all offer free options, but if you truly want to have a successful blog, then it’s important to incorporate some premium elements. You’ll want to avoid using free blogs like Tumblr because they are temporary and don’t offer the same features as the other platforms.
4. Learn SEO
SEO is one of the most important tools a blogger can use. This term refers to search engine optimization, which involves factors like keywords, email outreach, and link building. SEO seems difficult, but if you learn the basics, you can easily transform your blog. The best place to start is keyword research, where you study different keywords that you can target in your blog to give it better rankings in a Google search.
5. Learn how to take basic photos
Every blog post needs photos. People enjoy visuals and including these visuals in your blog posts will take them up a notch. You may be wondering why you can’t just use the photos from a Google search, and the main reason for that is copyright issues. You definitely do not want to get handed a lawsuit for using someone else’s content. In addition to that, your readers are following your blog to read your content- not someone else’s- so you want to make sure that you have something unique to offer. Providing your own pictures that are taken tastefully is a great way to start. They don’t need to be super professional, but learning how to take proper photos will really take your blog to the next level.
6. Use social media
We really can’t stress this enough. If you haven’t already made social media pages, now’s the time to start. Marketing and networking on social media are keys to your success. In the beginning, you will often have to rely on social media to promote your blog and give it a head start. Social media is also a great way to keep in touch with your followers. Sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the best places to start.
7. Understand that consistency is key
You’ve heard it many times: consistency is key. But we really can’t stress it enough. Come up with a schedule of how often you will post and stick to it as best you can. Running a successful blog depends on consistency and posting on a regular basis. Your followers want to read your content- they don’t want to have to wait months to read your next blog post. Also, consistency is important for factors such as reach and traffic, too.
8. Research some of your competitors and other bloggers
Your competitors aren’t your enemies! In fact, many people in the blogging sphere will work with one another and bounce ideas off each other. It’s always best to get to know them and to follow their blogs as well. If you don’t already follow several blogs, you should get started, with a special focus on blogs in your niche. Check out everything from their content to the structure of their websites. Remember that it’s perfectly fine to be inspired by blogs- just don’t copy their posts word-for-word. Check out posts that they’ve written and see what’s missing or what you can bring to the table that’s unique and different. Also, don’t get discouraged- you’re probably looking at highly successful blogs that have been running for years. Their first blogs probably were nothing like the blogs they have now.
9. Don’t automatically assume that you will make lots of money
Nowadays, there are plenty of bloggers whose main income is from their blogs. Some of them live quite lavishly, and their income could be anywhere to the seven digits. There are many ways to make money through blogging, such as affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and brand promotion, and these methods could turn into something lucrative. Of course, everyone wants to live this kind of lifestyle, but it’s not something that comes easily or right away. It’s perfectly fine if your blog does not produce revenue for several months, or even years. That kind of revenue is often the result of many years of hard work and networking. Just enjoy the process for right now, and keep at your blog. Your hard work will pay off.
10. Remember that blogging involves work
Finally, remember at the end of the day that it’s going to take time, effort, and energy to run a successful blog. It’s not as simple as making an account on WordPress and calling it a day. You have to constantly put effort into your blog and keep at it. For many, this is a full-time job, and some bloggers work longer than the average full-time employee. It is easy to become discouraged at first, but if you work hard, you will see your efforts come to life!