Have a topic you want to share with anyone who will listen? Feel like you’re the expert on a subject and could fill an important niche in the field? There are lots of great reasons to start your own blog, but if you are new to the concept of blogging and expressing yourself via an Internet platform, you probably feel like there’s a lot to learn. Fortunately, if you are patient and take the time to really research and investigate every step, you will likely find that it’s not too hard to get your own blog up and running.
Set Your Expectations
The first step in starting your own blog is to decide exactly what you hope to get out of your blogging experience. Are you blogging because you feel that you have a unique voice and unique perspective on a subject and you want to share it with the wider world? Or maybe you’re starting a blog as a natural complement to your business? Or it could be that you just want to have a blog that will make you feel more connected to others in your professional or social community.
Different goals and different expectations will apply to these different blog types. If you are starting a blog just for fun, you should not necessarily expect to be able to make any financial profit off of your blog. If you’re building a blog to act as a facet for your business website, it may not be realistic to expect your content to have a viral component, as it may be focused on niche topics that have no inherently viral aspects.
Next, you will need to narrow down your theme. If you love to read and you also bind books in your spare time, you will not necessarily want to start a blog that covers both topics or a blog that focuses mostly on one topic but that also allows you to talk about other things. The best way to build a readership is to stick to a fairly isolated and specific topic. Just because you love book binding, it doesn’t mean every avid reader will want to read interspersed articles on the topic in a blog that otherwise offers book reviews!
Do the Legwork
Once you’ve outlined your goals and expectations, it’s time to start doing the actual legwork of getting your blog set up. You’ll need to do your homework at this stage to make sure you are covering all of your bases in setting up a secure, safe, and professional-looking website. When you are ready, here are a few points you will want to be sure you’ve covered:
- Find a secure host. Unless you are pretty capable with setting up hosting on your own, you will probably want to go with a company that works well for beginners like WordPress. This won’t be as good a choice if you are more adept at setting up a website, but for a beginner who doesn’t know so much about hosting and website development, it’s better to use a service that provides one-stop shopping for website design.
- Think of a creative and relevant domain name that is within your long-term budget. Do some research to make sure your brand name doesn’t conflict with other brands in other states so that you won’t have to worry about brand confusion down the line.
- Make sure your website is secure. This is especially important for individuals who choose to set up their own web hosting. You will want to invest in good security and DDoS protection to make sure you are protected in the event of a security breach or malware attack.
Invest Your Time Where It Counts
When it comes to blogging, it’s with good reason that they say content is king! The only way to get people interested in your blog and to keep them coming back for future reading is to develop content that addresses their interests, provides new perspectives, and is not cluttered up with mistakes and clumsiness. Here are a few steps you should be sure to take in developing great content:
- Think about what you would like to read. Come up with at least twenty topics that you think would make great blog entries on your topic. This will be a good exercise in making sure you really have enough to say to keep your blog active and healthy for years to come.
- Space out your entries so that you don’t get overwhelmed feeling like you need to update constantly the minute you start your blog.
- Pay attention to current events related to your topic so you will be able to make relevant, interesting articles on a regular basis, and so that your voice will remain relevant in your field.
- If you feel as though you are not the best writer or if you are still uneasy about the whole process in general, consider taking some classes online to help you get started.
There’s no doubt that a lot of work must go into building a high quality blog that you can maintain over the years. Other things you will need to consider will include coming up with a good web design that will be easy for you to update and maintain, planning and maintaining a social media strategy, and coming up with good, unique visuals for your blog. This can quickly become a full-time job and can get expensive if you are doing this out of pocket. If it makes sense to do so, you should consider hiring professional help. Web design can be particularly tricky, so look into hiring a web designer to get you started. Again, consider your goals and expectations and plan accordingly.