Blogging can be a fun and lucrative way to spend your time, both as a companion to your other ventures and as a business in its own right. It’s great for your SEO, gives clients a better look into the goings-on of your industry, and helps people get a more personable view of who they’re doing business with. We happen to know a thing or two about running a blog (you’re here, aren’t you?), so we figured it was time we gave you a few tips and tricks on how to start your own blog.
While starting a blog isn’t rocket science, there’s still a lot you should know before diving right in. You want to get things off on the right foot, otherwise, you might just end up with a bunch of wasted time, money, and web domains. What do you do, exactly? Let’s go over these four easy steps on creating your first blog to find out.
1. Decide on a topic
Before you even consider securing a domain or coding a page, you must know what you intend to blog about. A common mistake many bloggers make is ploughing on through the blog creation process without having a concrete plan on what they’ll be making posts about. This just leaves them floundering as they try to craft their niche with an audience who wants no part of their inconsistency.
The worst part is that this shouldn’t even be a hard decision. If you’re running a blog in tandem with a larger business venture or an online presence, you’ve got a topic sitting right in front of you. Post about whatever it is you’d normally talk about. You’ve got tons of background knowledge and a ready source of new information to blog about, so it’ll be a simple matter of producing tons of content.
2. Secure web space
What good is a blog if you don’t have…well, a blog to blog on? This means securing web space. While simple enough on its own, there are a few things you should know ahead of time to get the best results.
For one, find a good hosting service. There’s a ton of sites out there built specifically for hosting blogs, with most of them having built-in WordPress integration (WordPress is a free program that helps you set up and your run blog). If you’re a bit more daring, you could try building your own website from scratch. If you do this though, think of your user-friendliness and ease of navigation.
3. Design the blog
Once you’ve got a domain nailed down, you can move on to actually designing your blog. Visuals can really make or break any kind of project, so try to give the impression that your blog is a step up from what a ten-year-old might come up with. This will likely mean hiring artists and/or programmers to help you with the technical bits if you don’t have those skills yourself.
Also, while many will stress the importance of a good blog title (and it is important), don’t start stressing about it right off the bat. Yes, a good name is key to success, but try to have everything else in place before you go worrying about it. You’ll just end up wasting time and energy worrying about something that might not even reveal itself until you get a good look at the rest of the blog.
4. Form a schedule
Consistency is key to a lot of things in life. Blogging is absolutely one of those things, as both visitors and bloggers love a well-kept schedule. Keeping a tight content schedule – both for what days you post and what times you’ll be posting – helps to train your audience on when to expect your content and when to visit. It also avoids the very common mistake of making people fight to see what you post, which just ends up frustrating people until they leave for someone who won’t make them jump through hoops to read about their favourite subjects.
Running a blog isn’t always easy, but if you’ve got a good idea of what to expect and what you need to do, you’ll come out on top. Just keep these four steps in mind when you’re building your blog and you should be golden.