Before we start, we need to answer a simple question: what is a blog? A blog is a kind of online log or journal, where you can post almost anything you want. Blogging today is easier than ever. You can use a blog to promote your business or post your creative content; anything from text, videos, to images, drawn or taken with a camera. A blog usually covers a single topic or closely related topics, so you can write in a more serious tone, or casually. An important thing for a blog is that it’s frequently updated and that it has plenty of useful information or fun content that visitors will enjoy. Here, we’ll mention some of the more important things you should have in mind when starting your very own blog.
Choose a topic you know and make it interesting for visitors
You probably already know what it is that you want to blog about. Keep that in mind and try to brainstorm a little. You must choose a topic that is wide enough, so you don’t run out of things to write about, but at the same time not too wide, because you don’t want to lose focus and bore people. You must develop your idea, do research before starting, and check whether similar blogs already exist. You should also think of something else, funny or entertaining, that you could incorporate into your blog to keep things interesting. Remember that you must update your blog frequently, preferably on a daily basis, because if you neglect it, the number of visitors will begin to drop. Many blogs with great starting ideas have failed, only because their owners forgot to check in regularly, or they posted too much for their visitors to keep up. You must find that golden mark and stick to it.
If you are an entrepreneur and want to blog about your business to attract visitors you can stick to industry-related topics, but do not keep it too professional, and try and be subtle yet efficient when advertising your products or services, as the focus needs to be on facts, news and tips relevant to your niche. Even those of you who just need a creative outlet may want to consider the possibility of taking up blogging full-time in the future and monetizing your blog. So, if you have that creative spark and a good degree of knowledge and hands on experience in a particular field, creating your own blog and writing about it is a great way to organize your thoughts and help others out.
Create a beautiful blog that people will love to read
Once you’ve decided to take up blogging, whether it’s just as a hobby or you hope to make it your job one day, you’ll need to set up shop. There are different ways of going about this, depending on the amount of effort and money you are willing to put into the project. First of all, there are some websites that will get you well equipped for starting a successful blog. You can use the most popular ones, such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com, which offer several options for beginners, and let you control the content that is posted there by you, or by your visitors. You can build a good looking website, and it will cost you nothing, but of course there is always an option to do some sort of upgrade, which will allow you even more control over it. If you are planning on doing some serious work, sooner or later you might want to start thinking about buying an upgrade. Some free packages will let you choose a theme, different font types, adjust the content for mobile phones, and let you choose your unique address, usually ending with a suffix .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com, of course.
It is important to mention that, while free, some blog providers will place advertisements in your posts, so that your visitors will be forced to view them. If you want to avoid that, you can always buy the upgrades we’ve mentioned, and switch to a better package. Some of the improved features that come with these packages include a custom site address, increased disc space, no ads, premium themes, and improved support via live chat, email, or direct phone call.
Focus on keeping the quality of your posts high without sacrificing frequency
We’ve already touched briefly on the importance of uploading content regularly, but it is also important to note that it can be easy to let the quality of that content slip, or veer off into subjects that your readers don’t particularly care about. That’s when you lose traffic and even some loyal fans. To avoid this, it’s important to not compromise quality for quantity. You can still remain consistent, while slightly reducing your post frequency.
For example, you can start putting out content every other day or twice a week instead of every day. You can also have shorter posts to cover these little gaps between big chunks of popular content, and you can play around with different formats. Playing with formats simply means that, say, once a week you create a cool infographic, funny chart, or photoshopped picture.
Fridays could be Q & A days, Mondays you could do some video material, and you could always switch between different types of content, from informative, to funny and sarcastic, to personal. A fitness blogger may write a bit about motivation, do product reviews, answer some questions, do tutorials and how to’s, have both exercise and nutrition segments and give some first-hand examples from personal experience. There’s a lot you can do to keep things interesting without sacrificing quality or moving too far away from the type of content that is most popular.
Hit the social media and look for ways of monetizing your blog
When a website is made, be sure to post a link of your blog on your Facebook page, or simply put it in your signature area when sending emails or posting on forums. This way you will be able to spread the word about the blog and get people interested. You can also get friends and family involved through social media to get some help attracting visitors when you first start out. As your blog grows, i.e. you start getting more and more visitors, you can start thinking about monetizing it and making blogging your full-time career, or at least making some extra money doing what you love. Both sites we’ve mentioned above are great for a beginner, but, if you ever think about expanding, you will need your own personal domain name, and some proper hosting solution provided by a professional company. This way you can start establishing yourself as a renowned blogger in your chosen niche.
On a hosted website, you can add your own ads, sell merchandise and make money for yourself. However, it’s not just about the money – when people come to your website to read your thoughts on a regular basis, it can make you feel like you’re truly making a difference and contributing to society in your own small way. A lot of successful blogs that earn a decent amount of money started out as little more than an avenue for the blogger to voice his or her opinions, give some advice or just as a way for them to put their thoughts into words. If you chose to take this rout, you need to be careful when choosing your provider, as there can be many hidden costs, and don’t be fooled by their ads, as nothing is really free, or unlimited. It is recommended that you use specialized sites that rate the most popular hosting services and do a thorough review. If you are really serious about it, think about web hosting solutions as early as possible. Once all is set, be persistent, and with a lot of effort, and a little bit of good luck, your blog will be a success.
There are a bunch of little things you need to consider before becoming a serious blogger, but when all is said and done there is only one big piece of advice you should take from all of this – start writing about what you know and enjoy while striving to be fun and informative, and keep writing and researching every day.