If you are looking to start a new blog, you are at the right place. I hope this article serves as a comprehensive resource for how to start a blog.
Blogging can be a very successful career option if you do it the right way. Blogging can lead to great things in life, good connection, better jobs, passive income, feeling of satisfaction and probably more is achievable if you can achieve success in blogging.
However, success in blogging is not easy. It takes time for people to know you and recognize that you may add value to them in some way. Your blog is like a business a product, which will only be successful if it solves a problem or enhances a customer’s life.
Before you get started with your blog,
Why start a blog?
A blog is a medium of expression. You can communicate your ideas, share your experiences, sell a product, learn, help others learn and pretty much whatever you can imagine can be done using a blog. A blog can be a tool to achieve your goals and help other achieve their goals. If you own a business, a blog can be a platform you to communicate with your customers, suppliers and other industry participants.
So instead, the question should be, why not start a blog?
If the only thing holding you back is selecting a good topic to blog on, then think of what you are passionate about and whether you can add value to your reader in that particular domain. I did a mega post on blog topic ideas. Use that post to find a topic that resonates with you and go with it.
There is no better topic than the one you have currently in your mind and there is no better time than now to start your blog. The best think you can do is to get started now.
Domain name, Web hosting and installing WordPress
The first few steps you will need in order to get started with your blog are a domain name, a web hosting plan and a platform (software) to run your site on.
A domain name is the web address for your website. I use BlueHost, which is a very good hosting service for a very low monthly price. WordPress is the option I use and recommend to build your blog. See my step by step video guide on how to register a domain name with BlueHost and install WordPress in one click.
Designing your website
WordPress looks decent right out of the box, but it lacks your personality. I use Thesis on my site. Thesis is a premium theme, I have tried many other themes in the past but thesis stands out. There are also many free themes available for WordPress. A more expensive option is to hire a web designer to get a custom design. If you are just starting out with your blog, you probably don’t need a custom theme yet.
Writing awesome content
Your blog will only be successful if you write articles that are worth reading, sharing and commenting on. I cannot think of any successful blog which has not blown me away at some point with the quality of their content.
There are several ways you can write awesome content. Observe the characteristics of the best articles that you read online within the field you want to blog. The most common characteristics I have seen in awesome posts is they are all well researched, timely and often long. There are also some writing styles and strategies that can help you write awesome articles. For example, an article in a list format is easy to read and follow and generally actionable. Take time to make a resources page which can help the visitors to your site.
Building relationships with other blogger
Blogging is a communal activity. If you want to succeed with a blog, build relationships with other bloggers in the filed you have chosen. Don’t start right at the top and ignore all the upcoming bloggers. Try to build relationship at all levels (don’t be pushy while doing this). You never know, someone who is an upcoming blogger today might be the star of tomorrow. When you build relationships with other bloggers, they are more likely going to link to your articles sending their loyal readers your way.
Spread the word
Like in any business it not sufficient to create good products alone, you have to promote it, especially in a competitive market. Submit your content to popular bookmarking sites like digg, delicious, pinterest and social networks like facebook and twitter to give it the best chance to get noticed. If you have built relationships with other bloggers, they are likely to visit your site and may also promote your content if they think it adds value to their readers.
Reuse use your content on other platforms
It takes effort to produce awesome content; you have to research the topic, analyze issues, make conclusion. You don’t want the work you did to be confined by the reach of your blog.
Repurpose the content in as many formats as possible. Make a video on a popular article from your site and post it on YouTube and other video sites, make a slide show and post it on document sharing sites like slide share, take your top articles and make an eBook and offer it as a download. You will get more readers from these platforms.
Navigate new visitors and make them your followers
When a reader arrives to your site for the first time, they either followed a link or arrived from a search engine. They don’t know you yet, so give an introduction and guide them to your best content to create an impact. Show them you have valuable information to share with them and they will follow you; share your content and signup for your email list. If you fail to do this, you will lose the visitor forever.
Make your blog standout
Why should someone follow you, what is so different about your blog that it deserves attention? Unless you have found a topic no one else is blogging on, you have competition. So how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? Find the unique selling proposition of your blog. It could be the complete transparency, it could be insights from your experience, or it could be your willingness to try something new in your industry. Unless there is something unique about your blog, no one is going to follow it.
Make money from your blog
When you start with a new blog, you will have very limited readership, if you are in the blogging world for the long run, don’t even bother putting ads on your site in the first few months until you get readership. You only goal should be to establish yourself as an authority in your domain. Blogs can make money in several ways, either by showing ads using a program like Google AdSense (which shows relevant contextual ads), by selling banner space via services like Buysellads, by selling links, by selling products or engaging in affiliate marketing. There are new ways and services to monetize blogs popping up every day. Think of a monetizing solution that adds value to your readers to create a better experience for your readers.
It is often difficult to get noticed as a new blogger even after following all the suggestions, don’t give in. These suggestions work but take a long time. Blogging is a long journey and if you are determined to make it in big with your blog, with time you can. I wish I could tell you there is a shortcut to success in blogging, there is none.
I hope you now have a roadmap to plan your blog and get started. The difference between someone who will succeed after reading this guide and someone who will fail is going to be whether they took action after reading this guide.