How To Start Your Own Blog
Many people are intimidated by the very thought of starting their own website. It’s easier than you think. These easy to follow steps should help you to start a blog and be well on your way.
What Is A Blog?
It is simply sharing your thoughts and opinions on various topics. To begin with, you’ll want to select a topic that you have a passion for. This will help you to brand yourself as an expert in your market.
Choosing Your Niche
You’ll have to take a bit of time and determine what your favorite topics are. Your niche should be something that you know a lot about so that you’re comfortable writing on a frequent basis.
Perhaps you know a lot about gaming or politics. Maybe you’re a foodie and you know a lot about food or specific types of cooking. This would be an ideal niche for you if that’s the case. Other ideas are movie reviews, book reviews, cars and more.
Keep in mind that the more focused your topic the better. An example of this would be the topic “cars” won’t get a lot of views, however, “gangster style cars” might get a lot of views. Find a little corner of your topic that there isn’t a lot out there on and you’re sure to gain more readers. Movies from the 40s are sure to get more views than simply, “movies”. By keeping this in mind you’ll be able to put your niche into the market and stay competitive.
It doesn’t have to be your favorite hobby or your business. It can be something that you’re interested in or an extension of your company if you desire. It can be a “how to” blog and focus on teaching others how to do something specific.
Options: Free Or Paid Sites
You have a few options when it comes to where to publish your site. You can opt for a free blog site. The disadvantage to this is that the blog site will then put their own ads on your web site and earn money off of you in that fashion. While this may be a launching pad for you in writing, it won’t be earning you any money.
Another option is that you can pay a small fee and have one that will allow you to put your own ads on it. This will in turn help to generate you some extra money. This is the route that those who are blogging for a living use.
There are many ad sites out there and you’ll want to peruse your options. Most people who writes will choose at least two different ad vendors and diversify their earnings in that fashion. By doing this, you’re not relying on just one method of earning money.
How To Start A Blog – Blogging Platforms
There are many great platforms out there. You can do a search in your favorite search engine to find them by plugging in the search term.
This will, in turn, bring up various platform sites and you can make your selection. Read the fine print and you may also wish to read some reviews about each of the various platforms that it brings up.
Choose one that you can easily upload your posts to and that is very user-friendly. Again, read the reviews and choose one or two to look over closely before you make your final decision. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to choose a domain name for your site (always choose a great title ).
Branding Yourself As The Expert
If you want to be heard and have a lot of visitors to your site you’ll want to brand yourself as an expert. To do this, you need to know a lot about your topic.
The more you know, the better. However, there are a few workarounds that you can use while you’re learning. You can trade posts with another similar blogger. You can take guest posts and you can simply hire out a ghost writer to write for you.
The more you know about your topic, the more likely others are to believe that you’re the expert. An expert is considered branded in the topic and you’ll have more readers and you’ll earn more from your ads due to this increase in readers.
Check Out Your Competition
Your competitors didn’t get to their position overnight and you won’t either. One thing you need to know, however, is that your competitors are watching you and you need to be watching them.
Peruse their websites. Ask questions as a regular visitor would and learn how they respond. If the competitor is ranked in the number one or number two slot of the search engines you want to pick their brains (subtly) and find out how on earth they got to that position.
Then you have to go back to your own site and make it even better. Don’t copy your competitor. Don’t duplicate their content. Instead, make it better. Make it yours.
You’ll have to do this time and again in order to make your own website successful. Be diligent and trust your instincts. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try harder and change it out.
How To Start A Blog – Setting It Up
Now that you’ve made it this far, it’s time to create your blog. By now you should have your platform all setup and know exactly where you’re going to be putting your website. You should understand how it works and how to post your articles.
Most blogging sites will walk you through this and as you do it you’ll become more and more comfortable with it. Be sure that you read over the instructions on your platform before you begin.
Just follow the prompts such as “create blog”, “post”, “insert photo” etc. and you’ll have your site. Be sure to hit publish after you’ve completed the tasks that are set forth for the posting. Just fill in the form fields and you’ll be on your way to publishing it.
Choose A Catchy Name For Your It
As you set up your webpage you’ll have to choose a name for it. You’ll want something catchy that defines what your site is about and sets it apart from the competition.
You’ll need to write a strong title to capture potential readers. Strong titles often include such words as, best, top, how to, what you need to know, everything etc.
In other words, the title depicts that this is the best, the top, the how to blog, what you need to know about the site etc. Read over some other titles to get an idea of those that do and don’t work.
More than one website has failed miserably because of a bad title so take some time to really consider a strong title that uses power words that will help to set you apart from the rest of the competition.
After you’ve done all of the above, it’s time to begin. These tips will help you to make great article that will stand out and help you to define your niche.
Keep sentences short at about five to seven words each.
Keep paragraphs short at about three to five sentences per paragraph.
Focus on your topic while writing.
Don’t post more than five to seven hundred words in a piece of content. If you have more than this, break the site up into a two or three part posting.
If you do break your content into two or three parts, make sure that you designate “part one of two (or three)” in the title of your post.
Use keywords in each article title. This will help the search engines find your content more quickly.
Include a picture on your posting. This often helps to show a specific detail or simply enhances the posting.
If you use a guest blogger, introduce them, “today’s content is brought to you by Mr. Smith who shares an interest in our niche”.
Use both keywords and secondary keywords in your blog posting. Don’t over do it, keep it to about one to two percent of your keywords in the entire article.
Always use a keyword in the first and last paragraph as well as the title of your article.
Plan to post at least two to three times per week. Fresh content will keep your viewers coming back. It will also satisfy the search engines that your website is worthy of putting on the first page and working its way to the top of the search engines.
Focus on content intensely the first year.
Use tools like Grammarly to ensure that your article is well written. It will help you to check punctuation and spelling errors in your posts. A well-written article is going to get more views than a poorly written one. If you don’t want people pointing out your grammar mistakes, use something like this to ensure that you’re writing great posts.
Open up the comment section. Interact with your readers. If they ask a question, answer promptly (within a business day if you can) to ensure that they know that you care and are working hard on your page. The more they think you know and care, the more likely they are to return to your website.
If there is a discrepancy that your readers bring to your attention, make sure to resolve it in the open in the comment sections. This will show others that your an expert and professional. Don’t engage in arguments. Just simply focus on resolving the issue in a polite and friendly manner without hesitation.
If you’re wrong, freely admit it and thank the person for helping to make it a better place. Don’t focus too hard on it and simply apologize for the mistake and thank them for the valuable contribution to your site. It will make you look a whole lot better to all of your readers and it will take care of any damage control that you need to have done for your reputation (this is called reputation management and it’s vital to your business).
Don’t post mundane things such as what you’re having for dinner, how long you took to shower etc.
Give your readers valuable content that they will take away something important by reading.
If you don’t want people to know who you write the site under a pseudonym and keep it as such.
Don’t slander other websites. This can open up a can of worms that you don’t want to have to deal with.
Be prepared for some rude comments, they will happen from time to time. Try to focus on positive comments such as, “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings or it was not the intent of this blog to….”. Don’t haggle long on anything just move on as quietly and quickly as possible.
Never give out personal information on a private site. Avoid listing the town, your full name or anything that can readily identify you to the public.
Spend some time learning about your niche topic on a daily basis. Don’t focus so hard on your website that you burn out. Set a goal of so many posts per week and don’t overdo it. As you get more experience under your belt you’ll become more comfortable and up the amount of postings that you can do in a week.
Lastly, don’t be hard on yourself. Simply focus on one web page at a time for a few months before you start another one. Once you’re comfortable with one blog you can begin another if you so desire. Make sure that you spell check and double check all of your facts before you publish and you’ll be top in your niche in no time.