So you want to start a blog, whoohoooo that’s great news and I am stoked you’re reading my little ol post on the quick guide to whats involved. There are lots of more in-depth post on the good internet and I do go into parts in more detail. But if you want to know an overview of whats involved when you start a blog, this little guide should help you with that. So without any more waffling lets get going.
First, have some idea why you want to start a blog? Do you want to start a blog for money? Maybe you want to make a blog to prove you can do it or to have a hobby. Whatever your reason is fine but you will learn with blogging you need goals. Otherwise, how do you know when you have made it?
Start a Blog – Think
You will stand a better chance when you start a blog will stand a better chance if you have a niche. Yes, there are plenty of successful blogs out there that cover lots of subjects but they have probably invested years and money into growing their blog. So whats a niche? I hear you say…well what are you passionate about? When you have free time what do you love doing? What subject can you talk about all day and still have more to say about it?
Once you got your niche to stay focused on it. Don’t start talking about something else. Your readers come to your site because they want to hear your thoughts on your chosen niche. Go off on another tangent and it confuses your reader. Your Gran might understand your wondering topic spirit but your readers don’t love you all the way down to your toes yet and might not return. Plus you want more than just your Gran reading your blog.
When you are figuring out your niche make sure it is something that fills your belly with fire. Its hopefully going to be in your life for many years. Is it something you can write about for years and still enjoy?
Also, be original. It’s your blog. Your lovely readers want to hear your voice, not reword of someone else’s work. There is more info on the How to Pick Your Niche post.
Find Your Voice
First, off don’t try and be anything but yourself. Readers can smell fake a mile off. Being fake takes way too much time and effort to keep up. Being yourself is just way easier and less work.
If you not sure if a post sounds right, read it out to your self. Amazing how good or eugh sentences can sound when you hear it, plus it gives you another view of it.
Don’t be too serious. It’s way to easy to write something as if it’s about to be handed to your old school teacher. You’re not handing it to your school teacher and readers want to hear from you. Pretend there is someone sitting opposite you. How would you word what you have to say if you were saying it to their face? You probably wouldn’t be so serious and more lighthearted. Write as if they are sitting right there in front of you. I’ve written a post on finding your blogging voice for more info.
Domain Name & Blog Name
Keep it as simple as you can. The blogging world is pretty full so you will need to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be too similar to another blogger. Its messes with SEO for starters but its also just plain copying and will be seen as that.
Choose A System
If your not sure what CMS to use have a google on the main ones which are WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, and Typead. WordPress is the most used overall. Decide which suits your blog the best. You will need hosting. Some companies do hosting, domains and CMS’s all in one bundle. Decide what you can manage on your own and which you have no clue on and need help. There will be a company out there that matches your needs.
A blog doesn’t grow by itself and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Create a posting schedule, a realistic one and stick to it. Readers like it when they know you post every Thursday and every Thursday they call in and read your post. Your posting schedule can be whatever fits in with you. If you can post every day go for it. If you know that once a fortnight is all you can do then that’s fine too.
Make it easy for your readers to be able to comment. If you make them jump through rings of fire just to leave a comment then they never will. When they comment to respond to their comment. Keep in mind though that at some point someone won’t agree with your view, they will dislike the way you said something and they probably will leave comments that are negative. Don’t respond when your hurt or angry. Take your time and answer with a clear and level head.
Make sure you use photos, videos or/and infographics. It catches the readers eyes and way more exciting than just all text.
You probably don’t need telling that its all about social networks these days. The world, his wife, and the pet dog are all on a social network of some sort. You want readers to your blog so you need to be on social media too so that you can tell them how fabulous you and your blog is. You will need to get your social handle on each of the social networks where your ideal reader hangs out. If your ideal reader hangs out in Instagram but your Instagram not quite cutting it there are a few tips on my Instagram post.
Extra Tip – If you are thinking of going the affiliate route the best course/ebook I have read is PotPieGirls Niche Post Conversation Strategy where Jennifer offers to teach you 13 Easy Strategies To Double – or TRIPLE – Your Affiliate Sales, simple tweaks to make MORE affiliate sales from your existing blog posts even if you get very little traffic. The best $39 I have ever spent and even after blogging for over 9 years I learned loads.
If you go to any events make sure you network. Online link to other bloggers, get out there and have a voice by commenting on favorite sites. Follow people on Twitter, go to a blog conference and nail your elevator pitch.