Starting a blog is no easy feat.
While they used to be a simple journal for personal thoughts, they have since become a very officials means of sharing information and content. Businesses hold blogs, professionals use it to show their authority, and people enjoy writing them to share their passions.
Along with this mainstream adoption has come a certain expectation to meet. The bar has been set high, especially for more official or monetized blogs. You have to be prepared to put in the work required to make the most out of your own site. Otherwise it won’t reach the potential the quality of the content itself might deserve.
If you want to be successful in running a blog, what you do before you get started is just as important as what you do after. Building a proper foundation will make things easier in the long run.
1. Choose a Topic
It might sound like common sense, but plenty of people go into blogging without a clear focus on what they will right about. Instead they remain too broad and as a consequence their posts wind up all over the board. That makes it hard to capture long time readers, because you are trying to please everyone, or else catering to your own varied tastes without narrowing it down to something more cohesive.
So, for example, if you were to choose Entertainment as your category, you would want to decide what topics within that niche you will cover. So you could handle music news, movie reviews and celebrity birth announcements, rather than everything related to entertainment. Here a few personal stories of why people started to blog for you to get inspired! Also, I have found MyBlogU a perfect community when it comes to getting help to start. I’d recommend checking it out!
2. Compare Platforms
What platform you run your blog on will make a big difference when it comes to things like features, marketing strategies, monetizing and affiliate programs. Among other odds and ends that are a matter of preference for each individual blogger. Before you get started, go through different platforms and decide on what features seems the most beneficial.
Do you want a free blogging platform, or can you budget in a paid one? Many people end up going with WordPress, which has quickly become the most popular of all blogging platforms on the web. But if you go with their service you will have to decide on whether you want .org or .com. One will be better for those who just want a standard blog without worrying about back end of advanced customization. The second is for those who want technical control and access to their full store of themes and third party widgets/add-ons. If you want to monetize through Google Adwords, you will need the advanced service.
3. Select a Host
Just like a good platform, a good host is important. Some platforms will have their own host you can purchase and pay for. But others are available, and you should go based on a number of factor. Price is one important one, and most hosts will have special deals for first time customers that are half or even more off of the original price for a certain amount of time. They also discount for paying for an annual or semi-annual contract rather that month to month.
But also look based on their customer service, features included without further charges, and reviews from past or current customers. Here’s the whole book to download on choosing a host!
4. Decide How Often You Will Post
Having a plan on how often you post is important, because it will let you set an editorial calendar at a later date. That will keep you on track and motivate you to keep up with your publications. If you are a current events blog, you should aim to post at least once, five days a week. You could do more if you want additional traffic. For other blogs, aim for at least once a week. But up to three times a week is better, as it will maximize your growth. Once you know how often, set the days and even times you will post. You can also write all posts on the same day, and schedule them to be released through the week. As long as you have new content being regularly posted to your blog.
5. Clearly Map Out Your Goals
What is it you are hoping to gain from your blog?
Do you want to grow to a certain traffic rate by a certain date? Are you looking to share something you are passionate about with others and join a community? Is monetizing your website on your mind, and you hope to establish a small income? Maybe you want to show yourself to be an expert in your field? By clearly defining your goals, you will be able to better target your actions to reach them.
Have any tips about what to do before starting a blog?
Have any questions? Let us know in the comments.