Things to consider starting a blog
Blogging is extremely popular. There are now an awful lot of them out there. So many that it seems people have lost count – although the total worldwide figure is more than 150 million.
That doesn’t mean you should be put off from starting your own blog, however. The fact that there are so many blogs online should be seen as a positive – you’ve got plenty of choice when it comes to searching for inspiration and helping you to decide what to do.
Before you begin, however, it’s important to understand a few things:
You’re not going to make millions overnight
Right, first things first, it’s time for a dose of realism. You might have read about blogs that make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, but blogging is not some ‘get rich quick’ scheme. We’ve already seen that this is a crowded market. It’s not impossible to make money but it takes time, effort, skill and a bit of luck to make it. Don’t bank on getting a steady income straight away.
WordPress is best
Put simply, WordPress is the most popular and easiest of the platforms out there. It’s your best bet for a personal blog.
You need a host
You can then host your blog with that publishing platform or – for more features and greater support you can call on a specialist provider to handle WordPress hosting for you.
Get your domain sorted
Your domain is another important step. You need to register the name of your blog to reserve your little corner of cyberspace. Ideally, this would be the name of your blog or something as close as possible.
Make it look nice
How do you want it to look? You need your blog to be easy to read and navigate, mobile-friendly and, crucially, professional looking. WordPress provides a number of free templates that you can use and adapt for your needs or you can even pay to have a personalized theme for a unique look.
SEO matters but stay ‘real’
You’ll hear a lot said about SEO and it’s true that this is an important consideration but try not to be over-awed – or overly led – by this. Install the ‘yoast’ plugin and you’ll get a traffic light system that helps you to figure out what you need for your posts. Do not just find a keyword and stuff it into your post a thousand times. It’s too obvious and is frowned upon (by readers and Google).
Zero in on a niche
What have you actually go to say about the world? It’s easy to get sucked into wanting to spill out all of your views onto a webpage and you can if you wish – some people like the idea of having a virtual diary on which to empty their thoughts. However, if you want to take it a little more seriously you need to stick to your niche. What are you passionate about? What can you say that’s different? Find your topic and your voice and stick to what you do best.
Take lots of pictures
Pictures are so important. Take a look at any blog template and you’ll notice just how prominent they are. Poor images will let you down badly. Pay for access to a picture library such as Shutterstock, take some high quality ones of your own or use resources such as Unsplash, where you can find quality images that can be used in return for a credit to the photographer.
That’s just a start. From there you need to keep up the momentum and fill your blog with lots of quality posts. Once you’re up and running the next considerations will be:
Promoting yourself on social media
- Variety with different types of post
- Analysing your traffic and statistics
- Getting links from other sites
Who knows, you may even be able to then turn the skills you have learned launching a blog into an online job that earns you some serious money.
Laptop photo is courtesy of Shutterstock