Getting started with blogging can be tricky, even if you’re not just starting out in the world of blogging. But don’t worry! With the following tips and tricks, you’ll have a successful blog up and running in no time. Read on to find out how to start a blog in 10 easy steps!
1) Choose A Topic
If you’re just starting out, we highly recommend choosing a topic that’s relevant and close to your interests. Think about what you read most often and what topics you enjoy sharing on social media or with friends. Also, think about where people go when they have questions regarding your area of expertise. For example, if you’re planning on blogging about gardening, lots of people first look online for information before they call their local nursery—so make sure you get your advice and tips out there!
2) Pick Your Platform
Deciding where you want to host your blog is step one. WordPress is currently the biggest and most popular platform with over 54 million blogs using it, but there are several others, including Tumblr, Typepad, and Squarespace. No matter which blogging platform you choose, make sure you feel comfortable using it before you set up your site. Just because WordPress has more users doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone—it’s important that you’re familiar with how things work so that nothing gets lost in translation when creating your website. Once you know what platform you’d like to use, go ahead and install it on your server of choice (if not already done so). Don’t forget to take note of any codes or information necessary for logging into your account at a later date.
3) Choose Your Domain Name
Finding your ideal domain name can be challenging. It should be short, memorable, and include words that describe what you’re blogging about. Also, make sure your domain is available (before you buy it!) by checking at Domain Tools. Once you have your site up and running, you’ll want to create an About Page. This page will describe who you are and give visitors an idea of why they should stick around. Let them know what value they can get from visiting your site on a regular basis! Here are some more tips for starting a successful website.
4) Create an Awesome Design
Start with an eye-catching design that’s simple, clear, and easy to scan. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your first site; you can use something simple for free like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. Most importantly, make sure your theme highlights your content and makes it super-easy for people to read it. If it looks nice but is hard to get through, people will go elsewhere. And don’t forget about mobile access – many people now read blogs from their phones and tablets so if your site is difficult or impossible to navigate on these devices, you might lose them forever!
5) Write Your Blog Posts
Before you start blogging, it’s important to determine your blogging goals. Will you be posting original content or repurposing existing articles? Is there an overall theme or niche you want to target? Once you have your ideas fleshed out, create a list of topics/titles that seem interesting and schedule them for posts. This can be done by hand or using a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite. In order for your efforts not to go completely unnoticed, it’s also best practice to set up some sort of auto-posting system so that people see fresh content on a regular basis (rather than no content). Setting up social media profiles for your business will help get some eyes on your posts. Your writing style might change over time as well.
6) Set Up Your Social Media Profiles
Setting up your social media profiles is one of those crucial, first steps that seems like it should be simple—but sometimes can end up taking hours. The good news? It doesn’t have to. Follow these quick tips and you’ll be set up in no time (note: we’ll use Facebook for step 1, but these steps work for most social networks). Also, if you aren’t sure what info goes into each box, don’t worry! We’ve created a guide on how to complete your social media profile.
7) Focus on Quality Not Quantity
Your ultimate goal should be creating great content, not optimizing it for search engines. If you start with optimization (how can I get ranked higher by Google), you are likely going to forget about writing quality content. Start with what matters: Your audience. What is your message? What do they need? And how can you help them? Create an editorial calendar: Use a simple spreadsheet or tool like Planoly to plan out your posts for each month of your blogging career. Have 2-3 posts queued up before your first one goes live; that way when people ask what’s next, you don’t have to panic and scramble around trying to think of something on the spot!
8) Have Patience
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive an influx of followers when you first launch your site. It takes time for your content to spread, and if you write genuine, insightful posts, then all that matters is that readers—and potential employers—are discovering them.
9) Branding Is Everything
Consider your brand as you start your new business. Before you start blogging, plan out how you want to present yourself. What will your logo look like? What colors do you want it to be? Are there any fonts that represent your brand and message well? All of these decisions come together to make up your brand, which will serve as an overarching theme throughout all of your efforts. This kind of branding is important because it makes readers and potential customers feel more connected with you—they’ll see your brand and know that they can expect a consistent experience when they connect with you or buy something from you.
10) Don’t Worry About Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Just Write Quality Content.
Do your friends like what you write? Are they always sharing your posts on Facebook? If so, you’re already halfway there. Now, just start writing quality content that keeps them coming back for more. Writing great content isn’t exactly rocket science. In fact, if you can string together short sentences and make sure your spelling is correct, then you’re all set. Don’t bother with SEO or getting thousands of links—just focus on making sure your content is something people enjoy reading and sharing with their friends and family. If it makes them laugh or feel better about themselves or life in general, then kudos! You are well on your way to success as a blogger.