So you’ve discovered why you want to start a blog. But what about now? How does one start a blog?
The good news is that you are on the right path. The first step in the process is making the decision to move forward with your intent.
Some of the top bloggers have turned their passions into full time blogs that support their hopes and dreams. Why can’t that be you? What’s stopping you? Lack of information?
Well, this guide will break everything down into simple, easy steps to help you start your blogging career.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, FLA will earn a commission. When you purchase hosting using the Bluehost or SiteGround affiliate links, they compensate Fresh Life Advice, which helps make this comprehensive guide free of charge to you. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind.
Let us start with the basics:
What Is A Blog?
Some of us may not know what a blog even is. Well, guess what? You’re reading a blog right now! The word blog is actually short for the term weblog.
A blog is known to represent digitized information, an online magazine, a diary, a portfolio of art, a teaching platform, and really anything that you can imagine.
The most popular modern blogs use not only text, but also a combination of images, GIFs, videos, journals, and other references. This conglomeration is ideal to convey the message, information, or propaganda the author is attempting to present.
Blogs are often interactive, where readers can comment on posts in real-time. This is facet alone is a massive advantage over outdated televised news outlets and physical newspapers and magazines.
Now, we are aware of what elements make blogs so popular and successful. But how do we build our own? Here are 8 easy steps for you to follow and start a blog:
1. Choose Your Niche
Before you come up with a website name, it’s smart to target a specific niche you would like pursue. The Internet is a vast place. Choosing a niche will allow the people who are searching for your content find you with relative ease. If you have a general blog with no direction, your work will most likely end up in the graveyard of unfinished blogs after you’ve seen the lack of traffic to your site.
I recommend focusing on 1-2 niches on your blog, but no more. If you write about too many topics, then your SEO potential will be limited.
The search engine Google typically likes to establish themes around your blog. From that point of establishment, then you will be able to rank for a myriad of subcategories around that theme (i.e. personal finance).
If you want your blog to be about all areas of your life, that’s awesome; however, to be blunt, your posts likely won’t rank as highly as a blog focused on 1-2 topics.
The following list includes some of the top profitable niche categories, some that even encompass billion dollar industry opportunities:
- Fitness / Diet / Weight Loss
- Dating / Relationships
- Wealth / Investing / Personal Finance
- Make Money Online / Passive Income
- Beauty / Anti-Aging / Makeup
- Gadgets / Technology
- Prepping (i.e. Meal Prepping to Doomsday Prepping)
If you are looking into selling your own niche products whether via e-commerce or whatever it may be, then here are some inventive ideas to sell online:
- Handcrafted Beaded Necklaces.
- Home-made Frozen Yogurt.
- Leather iPad Cases.
- Bluetooth Wireless Speakers.
- Baby Clothes.
- Mason Jar Pour Caps.
- Fidget Spinners.
- Organic Beard Oil.
- Bow Ties.
- Wood Apparel.
Reviewing the previous list, you’ll notice a pattern that these odd items grouped together are profitable because there is little competition. Therefore, if you enter the market, you will have a greater chance of succeeding. Never forget to do your thorough market research before diving into your chosen niche.
Action Item: Jot down a list on a piece of paper, on the computer, or on your phone of your 5 passions, 5 problems and 5 fears. Once you have a list of 15 items, pick your 5 favorite ones. From this point, enter these 5 key terms into a keyword research tool and look for related keywords that branch from your selected original term that you can utilize to build a site fully function website.
2. Choose a Blog / Domain Name
Ultimately, the name of your blog is everything. It’s your brand. People have such short attention spans these days that you need to IMMEDIATELY hook them in with your name.
Many choose to use their domain name as their full name (i.e. www.FirstNameLastName.com), especially if they are the only person running the blog.
However, if you would like to remain anonymous, use a company name or brand instead. In that case, the possibilities are endless.
Try to keep your domain name to fewer than 4 words or 20 characters. Anything too long may make it difficult for your audience to remember. Think about the most iconic companies, such as Apple, Nike, etc. They are short, concise, and easy to recall.
Keeping a short, punchy name will lead to higher direct traffic as users will be able to directly type your business name into their browser HTML bars.
More importantly, experts highly recommend securing the .com domain since it has the largest global ranking potential. Even if the price is higher, you will see a higher return on your purchase.
Action Item: Jot down a list on paper or on your phone of your 10 different possible domain names. Be sure to use an online thesaurus to aid with the process. This is still preliminary since you’ll need to check with the next step for finalization.
3. Check the Name Availability
You may have gone through the mentally taxing brainstorming process. However, all of that work may be for not if someone else has thought of the idea before you.
Action Item: Use the free tool below to see if someone else has already come up with your concept.
If you want to start your own blog, feel free to start with hosting your very own site!
4. Buy and Reserve the Domain
After you’ve ensured that no one has stolen your ingenious name, it’s time to put the petal to the metal. Go ahead and purchase that domain name to ensure you are the sole owner of the website domain.
SiteGround Domain Purchase
Bluehost Domain Purchase
Action Item: Lock that dream business name in stone by purchasing an available domain.
5. Choose Your Hosting
One of the first mistakes I made was proceeding with a free blog. I did not want to spend money as it was common sense that saving money rather than spending money would result in a profit. However, it took experience to learn that it wasn’t so much foolishly spending money as it was rather investing in the business. Some of the most profitable blogs on the Internet spend millions of dollar in advertisements and other marketing techniques. But for new bloggers, the best advice I can give you is to not skimp on hosting. You want your site to be fully functional without the servers crashing.
- Customer Service Support – to answer any of your questions. Trust me, making a blog is not easy. You will have questions and they will not rest until they solve it.
- Fast and Responsive Loading Times –if your site goes down, you may lose valuable traffic opportunities. A fully functional site will also decrease your bounce rate, ensuring readers stay on your site for long periods of time.
- Unlimited Advertising Opportunities – you are free to monetize your site with this hosting option. This is how you will make your money in the long run. Don’t skimp out on hosting.
Bluehost Hosting Plans
SiteGround Hosting Plans
Action Item: To be clear, buying domains and buying hosting are totally separate and different transactions. However, Bluehost and SiteGround are the hosting companies that make it really easy for you by combining both steps into one. Go ahead get your site running smoothly with hosting!
6. Design your Website Theme
Moreover, before you jump into writing your blog posts, you should take time to lay out your ideal website theme. You may not be a trained web graphic designer with front end software engineering experience, but I can promise you WordPress has made this a cinch.
WordPress is the most popular platform for content management. It is an application programming interface that allows you to stay organized.
As you can imagine, WordPress is used by some of the top Fortune 500 companies, most popular news stations, music record labels, and celebrity influencers. In fact, WordPress is used by
WordPress Bluehost Recommendation
Action Item: Familiar yourself with WordPress, themes, plugins, tools, and settings. Once you watch a few tutorials, you should be ready to select the theme that most appeals to the look and feel of your website design.
7. Write A Blog Post
This is one of the least technical aspects of the process. College English majors and professional writers dream of this step. Put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. In order for a website to thrive, you simply need content. There is no circumnavigating this step. Writers block is often the toughest obstacle in this case.
“Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.”
According to a Backlinko study, the average word count of a Google Top 10 Result is 1,447 words. Does this mean you need to write a 1,447 exact word count post every day? No, of course not.
You can still succeed with plenty of posts under 1,000 words, but it is generally suggested to write at least one post per month of at least 1,500 words. This will convey experience, authority, and quality when user traffic searches for their inquiries.
The best thing you can do is begin to write. No one writes a perfect draft because it’s called a draft for a reason. Continue to proofread and edit until you are finally satisfied to press the ‘Post’ button for the first time.
Action Item: Remember, there are never perfect conditions to start. Just begin, take action, and the momentum will run in your favor. Write that first blog post!
8. Promote Your Blog
You may have written the best blog post ever, but there is a possibility no one will read it.
Build an audience before you launch. Once you’ve got that audience, promoting your blog via social media becomes significantly easier to manage.
The biggest hurdle in social media, at least in my experience, is the initial push. Taking your blog from a no-show to a small success is difficult, but scaling that small success into a much larger traffic source isn’t as difficult as many social media marketers make it out to be.
The age old belief that building an audience after you launch your product is, simply put, entirely wrong.
From Bloomberg writers to one of the world’s most well-known marketers, the majority of successful business people will tell you that building your product after identifying its ideal market is the way to go. For bloggers, despite lacking a product per se, the rule still stands fairly true.
Building an audience before launching your blog allows you to quickly and easily make changes to it based on their reaction. It’s the same line of thinking that’s behind successful product advertising campaigns and focus groups – gaining data as quickly as possible. Treat your blog as an experiment in its early days and you’ll quickly discover what works, what doesn’t, and what’s worth doing right.
Not all of the following launch techniques are appropriate for every blog, and not all of them have the potential to build you a sizable audience before your launch. However, they all can help you build a promotional asset before your blog launches, which can come in very handy for initial promotion and word of mouth marketing.
‘Coming soon’ opt-in pages
Before launching a blog on any topic, you need to make use of the biggest social media outlets to build a base level of subscribers. While these subscribers aren’t enough to spread word of your blog far and wide, they’re very helpful for launching smoothly.
Provided you have a reasonably large audience and a trust level that’s fairly high with them, you’ll have very little trouble converting followers into subscribers.
I should clarify this, since given the marketing antics that are often pulled on Twitter it’s important to weed out the potential for misinterpretation. If you have a Twitter account that’s loaded up with spam messages, endless self-promotion, and mindless marketing, you’re going to have difficulties converting your followers into opt-in subscribers or blog readers.
There’s a trust that needs to be maintained over social media, and every time you send out a link that’s forwarded to an affiliate offer or a mindless sales page, you lose some of that.
This runs somewhat against the ‘quantity is everything’ Twitter credo that many marketers believe in, but it’s essential to maintain authority if you plan to build a high-traffic blog.
Short-term tricks just don’t work in the blogging world, and an account that’s loaded with direct marketing tactics is likely to cause more damage to your blog before it launches than it could possibly cause in benefits.
Your core audience
Here’s an interesting phenomenon that I, and I’m sure most other marketers have noticed: regardless of where you’re publishing or what you’re writing about, a small (although not always) few will find it and market it for you.
Even if it’s an insignificant batch of ten to twenty people, almost every blog or guest post writer is going to find themselves attracting some kind of audience over time.
In the case of bigger bloggers, this audience eventually grows to the point where it acts as a buoy for their other content.
An interview or guest post on an unrelated site attracts comments that will turn attention in another direction, often towards your main blog or website. When combined with your new blog’s launch, this can eventually prove to be quite a valuable promotional asset.
Just like marketers are familiar with the landing page – a pre-sales page that convinces consumers of a product’s value – bloggers need to be familiar with their core audience, as they effectively do the same thing for their blog, albeit in an organic manner.
Avoiding ‘pushy’ emails
Effective mailing lists, particularly lists that have been generated over several years, are incredibly valuable for marketing a new blog, product, or service. While I didn’t have a large mailing list that could be used for the Fresh Life Advice launch, I can understand how valuable they are from past mail and subscription-based projects I’ve been involved in.
There’s one golden rule for sending email, particularly email that has a non-sale goal attached to it: don’t be pushy.
Andrew Warner, the founder of Mixergy and several other high-value websites, put things fairly well in his interview. When he founded his business in the late 1990s, receiving email was a monumental occasion for one of his subscribers.
Today, it’s something most of us don’t want to see, particularly in a niche as crowded with messages and technology as web design. While pushy email marketing can work in some fields, those with an urgent need for solutions especially, it’s not the best way to market a blog to tech-savvy readers and high-value customers.
Be persuasive when email marketing, but never be needlessly pushy.
Offer an incentive to join
Incentivizing your blog is a fairly risky move. On one hand, it’s incredibly effective at grabbing the attention of potential readers and contributors, yet on the other it can become quite a costly process, both in the amount of time required for a good promotion and the cost of running one.
If you’re completely new to the blogging world and lack any form of audience, running a promotion or competition is a fairly good way to generate subscribers and long-term readers.
The standard ‘buy a product for opt-in’ readers is fairly overblown and dull. Instead, it’s worth offering a service that’s related to your blog’s content, or providing some sort of professional value for your readers.
Instead of the standard prize, try to come up with something unique to your audience as an incentive to join your community or subscribe to your blog.
Action Item: Create the social media pages for your website, build an email list, and start interacting with other bloggers and users via responses to comments, emails, and other forms of social media. Set aside an hour per day as this is arguably one of the most important steps of launching a successful blog.
Final Thoughts on How To Start A Blog:
It isn’t hard to launch your blog, but it is quite hard to avoid making simple mistakes and minor errors.
More than anything, consistency and regular posting builds authenticity. There’s an endless amount of empty marketing on the internet, particularly on thin blogs purporting to be impartial. When you have a huge archive of content behind you, it becomes significantly less likely for people to think of your blog as a marketing shill, ultra-commercial sales resource, or inauthentic scam.
Simply put, with a large content archive behind you and a reputation that’s stemmed from it, you’re insulated from the risk of being labeled a sell-out. I think that blogs are a fantastic tool for sales and marketing, but new blogs rarely are. It takes a certain amount of authenticity and reliability to sell to regular readers – much more so than it takes to sell to a search-based website visitor.
All in all, running a high-traffic blog has confirmed the immense value that I thought they could provide to both bloggers, readers, and advertisers. There’s really no excuse not to have your own blog, whether as an outlet or a commercial asset. If you’re on the fence about starting a journal or information blog, don’t fret – get out there, get writing, and start your own blog today.
Today, more than ever, there seems to be endless advice and information, but there is only one place that will provide you with Fresh Life Advice. Welcome.
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Just think. If millions of others can successfully launch blogs, then so can you! Go out there and take action!
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