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.
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 Enchanting Marketing 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. .
It will cost you $2.75 only per month but it’s an investment that’s really worth it. 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.
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 SmartBlogger, as Jon offers 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!
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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.