Blogging is something that absolutely anyone can do and most likely enjoy doing. You don’t need to be a great writer or have revolutionary ideas. There are dozens of ways for a blog to bring value to readers.
The process of starting a blog can seem complicated, however, and this prevents many people from jumping in. It’s not. In fact, we’ll break it down for you in 10 easy steps.
1. Choose your platform
For many this will be WordPress, but there are numerous other free blogging platforms available. Tumblr is a popular platform that’s very visual, as well as a cross between blogging and social media.
2. Choose your domain
If you’re serious about your blog, you’ll want to get your own domain name rather than use a link through your blogging platform. This will give your blog more credibility and allow you customization options and room for expansion later. Choose the shortest, most relevant name to your theme that you can. Then be prepared to keep thinking. It’s not true that all the good ones are taken, but a lot of them are so come up with a list of possibilities.
3. Choose a content theme
Speaking of themes, the major mistake most bloggers make is that they lack direction, or a main theme to attract and keep readers. You may think your life and your thoughts on random subjects would be interesting to others, but to the average person they are not. You need a main theme that your content will mostly adhere to. It doesn’t need to be an overly specialized niche. It could be something as broad as being a mother or living in New York, but it needs direction.
4. Choose a visual theme
With your content theme in hand, you can choose a visual theme for your blog that fits it well. You’ll probably want to keep the design simple and clean at the start. You don’t need to make your blog an eyesore just to try to be “unique”. Keep your design clean and make navigating your blog as intuitive as possible. When you get your feet under you and have a following, you could consider a more personalized, branded look.
5. Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool for showing you what’s popular on your blog, where people are coming from and for what purpose (or keywords). It also will show you how your blog is progressing in traffic over time.
6. Install helpful plugins
In addition to Google Analytics, there are other programs you can install that will give you a decided advantage in building your blog. One is SEO Friendly Images, a free WordPress plugin that automatically optimizes all of your images so that they’ll appear in Google Image Search. Very few bloggers do this manually, and you can draw a surprising amount of traffic to your site through image searches. Keep yourself updated on the latest plugins and what they could do for you and your blog.
7. Populate your blog with content
Now you need to actually get blogging. If your blog is related to your personal life, it should be easy enough to know what to write about each day. When your blog is related to a particular subject, you’ll need to know what’s happening in that area. If you’re interested in the law, for example, follow the news, other legal blogs and law firm sites to keep up to date.
8. Promote your content
Forums and other blogs relevant to your content are great places to link to your blog or to a specific post. Just be aware of the policies on linking so that you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes when you do so, as your post may then be removed. And try not to make it obvious that you’re promoting your own content or come across as desperate. Offer a tease to what your link will show and casually invite the reader to see more.
And of course, you should be running social media accounts for your blog to attract more fans and promote your content through those avenues as well.
There’s a popular Internet meme whereby people make a list that ends with “???” and “Profit!”. Example:
- Start a Blog
- Write Posts
- ??? (This is ostensibly the key ingredient in each list)
Knowing your memes and Internet trends can be an important aspect of appealing to readers. It offers them something familiar that they know and can relate to, or just find funny. Just don’t get too carried away with Internet pop culture, as that could alienate readers who find the references cryptic.
There you have it. You’re now ready to conquer the Internet with your new blog and profit from it – assuming you can discover the pesky missing ingredient. Enjoy your new blog, and good luck.