Start a Blog in 2017: Ten Things You Need to Know

Hey so you are planning to start a blog as 2017 commences?  Or got a dead one and you want to revive it? Pretty awesome plan there! With everything being digitized, your business and personal brand need online presence nowadays, more than ever.

We will be looking at some of the things you have to know before you start a blog.

In my recent post, I emphasized on the need of having your own website as one of the Tips to Successful Online Promotion.

Why do you need start a blog?

Everyone is a seller. We are all selling something to someone at any particular point in time. We are always bargaining our prices through. This explains further why you need to be where your buyers are, as a seller.

Internet receives billions of visits every hour and if you are crafty enough, you can use this platform to reach out to them. It could  that free book you want downloads from, a blog post that you want people to read or sometimes you simply need their time.

WHERE TO HOST YOUR WEBSITE?

If you are looking where to host your website, then we highly recommend BLUEHOST. They are relatively cheap and offer great features. You can easily install WordPress and get your site live in minutes.

There is much I can highlight on this, but am writing an explicit blog on The Need of Online Presence, and so if you are not following this site yet, be sure to click the follow button just below this post at the right hand corner.

I will also be writing more on Things you have to know before you start a blog.

Now let’s examine what we need to start a blog…

Now let us get to the serious section of the article. Gabriel Dinda has always been so keen to ask the question, what do you need most as a writer? This is not quite far from what we trying to answer, what do you need most as a blogger?

To start us with is definitely what your aim is.

1. Short and Long term goals.

What do you want to achieve given a certain period of time, and how is that relatively important when it comes to your own personal branding. As a blogger, start with an end in mind. Have the big picture. If you are using a free sub-domain like blog post or WordPress, maybe your short-term goal is to buy your own domain within the next six months or 1 year.

2. No One Really Grows Alone.

How to Start a Blog: Ten Things You Need to Know About Blogging in 2017

I spend time reading other people’s blogs, commenting and sharing. You almost said that right again! The Only way to get what you want in life is to help a couple of others get what they want in life. Lately I have been reading blogs like Career Path by The Writers Guild, The Blog Tyrant  and Copy Blogger etc. You will have to promote other people’s contents if you want yours to be promoted.

3. To Start a Blog and become successful, You need Great Content.

Value is the Key.

That’s what people are willing to exchange it for their precious time. Choose your niche and gain expertise on it. It could be fashion, design, relationships, finances, news and entertainment, poetry etc.

Do not always be quick to publish posts, but pose to ask yourself, is it gonna add value? What problem are you aiming to solve and how? Every post you write should have an aim… like do you wish to inform, inspire, challenge, trigger some emotions, entertain?

4. You Can Start a Blog with Free Hosts, But Do Not Last With Them.

Probably you are using or  rather planning to use Blogger or WordPress Like Me here,  or even Tumbr, or Medium. Though they might sound easier, they are not always kosher. Free blogs do not give you the control, ownership or the branding options that you need, and the Google indexing are not also pretty high. Kenyan bloggers might want to save Ksh 3000 and buy their own hosting from hosts such as Kenya Web Experts.

It will cost you only that for an entire year. However, some providers will charge WPengine might charge you  up to $99 per month. Their services are pretty awesome as well, but you definitely don’t want to start there, when you are not selling anything to cover up the costs.

5. You Might Have to Invest.

Rather, it’s not like you might, you will have to. And yes, that means going back to your kitty and spending some on promotions. The aspect behind this is that there is so much noise in the internet and you would want to stand out.

There are so many competitors in your niche, perhaps brands that are already established. To bypass their domination and get your content read by your target audience

6. Never stop learning! Like, Never!

To build your own brand under a specific niche, you will always need to learn. Learn how things are done, and how should be done. Walter Akolo, the brain behind a successful Kenya Freelancing Blog, read a blog post I had written on this blog, and advised that I should consider shorter paragraphs…

That changed everything in my blog. Long paragraphs are boring, hard to read and navigate and that is likely to piss off your visitors into another well-organized and structured website. The repercussions of this is not something I would like to imagine.

Read Also: How to Generate Perfect Content for Your Blog

So learn, and see what you are not doing right and start doing it. Focus on the comments that people leave on your website and never take them personally.

Every morning, at around five, I wake up to purposely scroll through pages for any piece of information on how I can be more, and do more when it comes to writing. My favorite morning read, has been The Walletally, as they offer quite valuable information that I need along the way.

7. Your Network is Your Net Worth.

 

Start making connections as early as you possibly can. In this case I mean, real lifelong friends whom you walk together in the writing journey. Do not spam them with emails asking them if they can help. First make sure they know you. Write about their blogs on your blog, or simply mention them and let them know.

A simple tweet like,

Hey, #Name, I recently wrote a post on Ten Things You Have to Know Before Starting a Blog, and I mentioned your Blog in the second paragraph. You might want to have a read, #LINK.

Comment on others blogs, ask to guest blog and when you do, write an outstanding post that you would have liked to remain within your sites. Most of them will accredit back to you and you will thus get more visits.

8. Your Design Might Scare Your Visitors Away!

Simple is the way to go. However, sometimes simple is more complicated than the complex when it comes to blogging.  CLICK TO TWEET THIS QUOTE.

Choose a pretty cool WordPress theme, buy a premium one or ask a friend to help you design a website. If you have money you can hire a professional. Avoid too much and more so, carelessly placed graphics. Go straight to the points in your posts and avoid so much animations, as they are normally associated with scam sites.

9. Your Subscribers are Your Customers.

This means that you will have to integrate an opt-in form to collect the emails of your visitors. The more subscribers you have, the larger your niche and scope of your operation. However, don’t be spammy and always make sure that you are adding value

Craft an awesome give away, like an eBook or an online course and offer them upon successfully subscribing to your blog. The simple rule is never expose their details to a third-party. That’s illegal. Everyone hate spam you know!

10. Finally, Rome was not Build in a Day!

Patience and more of it will only lead you to a successful blogger. It will cost you much; your time, your resources and your energy but apparently, it will pay off. And if you are a teenager, you will have even more time to build your blog a better way. Stop complaining that you do not have what it takes.

The simple rule of life is that the only way to start doing something, is to go out and start it!

 Your Say… Things you have to know before you start a blog? 

Hey, that was a pretty long post but am sure I did not even manage to cover one percent of what blogging pertains. What do you think? Did I leave something out, do you agree with any of the above points or which one do you feel shouldn’t have made it to the list? Click on the comment button and let me know what you think!

Read Quick Tips: HOW TO WRITE UNIQUE BLOG POST AND AVOID PLAGIARISM

#cheers!

Posted by Victor Korir

Victor is a content strategist and specializes in SEO, Email marketing, long form and data-driven contents. He loves seeing people win and helps small online businesses to create contents that convert. He is the founder and content strategist here at The Penny Matters. You can read all his posts by visiting his author page

31 Replies to “Start a Blog in 2017: Ten Things You Need to Know”

  1. Hey, I loved this article Mysson. Quite useful. Indeed blogging is a journey which we have to really plan for, if at all we are passionate at throwing some useful information in the internet sphere.

    Awesome blog too. Simple and attractive …

    Reply

    1. Hey Daisy, thanks for your kindest comment. I am happy that you enjoyed reading this post. Am back again, ready to delve in to blogging with a new zeal. Thanks for being my number one reader….

      And for the new look of this blog, I thought this theme would make it look better. I am glad you like it. Thanks and cheers! 🙂

    2. You welcome… My blog is coming soon!

    3. Awesome… I just can’t wait! May the internet be with you, huh? Someone once told me that… wait where was that place? Oh it was a certain networking event I had attended, only to bump into this popular blogger in the country….

  2. Here comes another awesome read again… I almost splattered my tea over my computer while trying to take down some notes. I particularly loved your argument on the design and the type of theme which a blogger should go for. In fact I just bounce off some blogs as soon as I land on them, because if there is something I hate a cluttered work which causes me to strain.

    Thanks buddy.

    Reply

    1. Oh my, Let me just hope that your smartphone, your computer and your notebook survived!

      Thanks pal for such a nice comment. I am really happy that you loved it.

  3. Great article and thank you (a) for writing it and (b) for drawing it to my attention. 2017 is a new year … and a new start … my new year’s resolution … to grow and to get better …

    Reply

    1. Awesome… I can really great strength, optimism and enthusiasm in these words. The very best Roger. Thanks so much for dropping a comment herein…

    1. Thanks so much Daniela. Blessings,
      Mysson

  4. Hi Mysson, I love the tips. I would like to contribute to these tips by saying that every upcoming blogger needs to avoid the myth that they will get a get-money-quick endeavor from their blog. Like is said above, it takes time. You may want to figure out how to get there first. Now here are a few Metrics that will determine how much you can earn from your blog.

    1. Web Traffic – Hits Per Day/Page Views, Time on site per user.

    2. Niche – Targeted niche and audience recognition.

    3. Demography – what is the age group that breads your blog most?

    4. Alexa Ranking – Will give you a quick look at how great THE WWW thinks your blog is.

    You will want to know how the above metrics and more that I didn’t mention play out to give you a blog that can actually earn you money.

    Reply

    1. Hey Brian,

      Thanks a lot for your very useful comment. In deed blogging is a journey that requires patience, commitment and passion. Earning from one’s blog, as you said, is never a means-come easy. To obtain the above metrics for your blog will not only need time investment, but investment of other resources as well. The focus of every blogger therefore should be to provide some useful information to the internet sphere, build audience, enhance loyalty of their blogs’ followers, and in the long run, this will pay of.

      Thanks so much for this Sir. Much Blessings

  5. Yes! This was very useful. I like the sharing is caring part of it! I don’t if you are familiar with the word Ubuntu (not the software xd), but you remind me of this way of living. I would love to share some of your blogs as reference for my own blogs, if that is okay with you!

    Reply

    1. Thanks so much for your nicest comment. I am glad that you found this post quite helpful. Yes and about Ubuntu, I am.(I get you)

      And oh sure, feel free to share any of my blogs. That would really be so kind of you. Thanks again

    1. Thanks again Grand for the share. Much blessings…

    2. You are welcome!

    1. Hey Grand, thanks so much for letting this post reach a wider audience by re-blogging it. Thanks and much blessings buddy

    1. Hey, thanks so much Lorna for re-blogging this post. I am really humbled. Great blog. I loved it. 🙂

    2. Thank you. i also liked your piece,it a good guide.

  6. Love this.

    Already hooked to your site.

    Reply

    1. Thanks so much Timon

      That’s so humbling to note

  7. This is a really beautiful article… I love it

    Reply

  8. Really nice.Thanks for sharing

    Reply

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