You are here because you want to start a blog, right? I’ll spare you a long introduction and jump right into why you are here i.e learn how to start a blog. Let’s begin by defining a ‘blog’…
Ablog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first) ~ Wikipedia
It’s that simple. But should you need to understand why your social media pages or forums may not qualify as blogs and reasons why you seriously need a blog, below are some resources.
- The Difference Between A Blog and Website
- Differences Between Blogs, Forums and Social Media
- 20 Reasons Why You Need A Blog
I know you are eager to read how to start a blog. Here are the premium blogging tips I’ve learned so far and which, when followed to the latter, will ensure you succeed whether you are on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger or Typepad.
It is true that millions of blogs are started every year. In fact, most people have been lured into blogging as a way of making some quick cash online. However, if that were true, then posts like this would be irrelevant; blogging is as demanding as any other carrier is. In other words, you are poised to fail if you joined blogging with a wrong notion.
As mentioned before, millions of blogs are launched only to disappear into thin air after a few months. To give your blog a life, therefore, you need to follow some cardinal blogging rules. The said rules define a successful blogger.
I intend to share the five (5) important practices every successful blogger abides by. While there is bound to be differences as to who a ‘successful blogger’ is, majority agree that all successful bloggers have met their goals. For instance, if you started a blog to earn income then you must be earning to be considered successful. On the other hand, if your goal was simply to inform the masses, then you must have hundreds of loyal readers and subscribers to qualify as a successful blogger.
The following is a list of five (5) cardinal blogging tips that will prove helpful to you:
1. Coin a relevant domain name
First things first, find a domain name that captures your contents. This is the first cardinal blogging rule. A misleading domain name will send your page visitors away. What do you think will happen if chose foodstuff.com as a domain name for a blog that reviews smartphones? You will certainly look irresponsible or confused before your readers. Therefore, take your time and think about a domain name that will allude to your niche or topics.
When I talk about domain, I mean a TLD (Top Level Domain) e.g. .com, .net or .org not a subdomain like example.webs.com, example.wordpress.com or example.blogspot.com. I’m in no way condemning your blog simply because it is hosted on a subdomain, all I’m saying is that a TLD makes your blog look serious. Most readers don’t trust subdomains. So, get yourself a catchy blog domain from Namecheap
at some of the cheapest prices in the market. TLD domains are selling as low as $3/year, you have no reason to keep your .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com free domains.
2. Choose the right blogging platform.
Apart from Google’s Blogger platform, where you don’t have to worry about hosting fees, other platforms require self-hosting. WordPress is free but you will have to part with some cash in the form of hosting fees. As expected WordPress has more features than the free hosted blogger. You always get what you pay for. Are you undecided which platform to launch your blogging on? Well, I’m on blogger but wouldn’t blindly sway you to choose it. Instead, I’ll refer
you to this REVIEW
to help yo make an informed choice. You may also want to check out a ‘comprehensive review
‘ of the 10 most popular blogging services.
3. Pick Quality Template
If you are not a conversant with HTML and Web design, then you will have to buy a template or download one free. It does not matter which blogging platform you are using, the default templates these platforms provide will not take you far. You need a beautiful, fully SEO optimized and Ads ready (if you intend to monetize your blog) blog template. Now, you may be lucky to access hundreds of free blog templates with some of the above-mentioned features if you knew where to look.
- Qualities of a good blog template
- Get the best free Blogger templates
- Where to download quality WordPress templates free
4. Always Write Unique Posts
If you thought blogging is simply a copy and pasting process then you are very wrong. It is about hard work, research and creativity to give highly unique contents to your readers. While I am not suggesting you take a trip to Mars to get new topics, it pays to give a different perspective of the common topics. Learn how to write quality posts and the different approaches to use when writing about a popular topic by visiting these links:
- What constitutes a quality blog post
- Different approaches to a popular topic
Writing a unique and informative post after a century will see you fail in this business. Instead, provide your audience with fresh content as regular as possible. I’d suggest a well researched and relevant piece every week or a fortnight.
Information is changing and what was true yesterday may be outdated today. So, go through your posts whenever you can and update them when necessary. Now, updating may involve adding new information to the existing one or removing a certain section of your post and replacing it with new data. Whichever is easier, please update your posts.
Constantly updating your blog is the best way to improve your SERP. Search engine bots and crawlers love sites with newer contents as opposed to those with outdated ones. Such simple trick will help you create a loyal audience as well as enhance the crawling and indexing your posts by major search engines.
- How to attract and maintain loyal readers to your blog
5. Practice Responsible On Page and Off Page SEO
As a new blogger, you may be consumed with the need to rank better. I mean, Google Pagerank and Alexa ranking are things bloggers can kill for. I too got sucked into it to the extent that I downloaded a link building and traffic generation software. Both backfired and only served to hurt my blog.
So, I wouldn’t want you to go through the same. Yes, good Alexa ranking and the Google PageRank are important. However, they aren’t so important that they can replace your audience. Your readers need new tips and if you are not going to provide that they will leave and never to return to your blog.
Instead of hurting your readers, simply learn how to improve your Ranking and Link building techniques that work. Here are the links:
- How to improve your Alexa ranking the easy way
- Effective Link Building Technique
While the tips aren’t going to miraculously turn your blog into the most sought after website, they will certainly jump-start you on the interesting journey of blogging:
1. Define your goals
As yourself this simple question, why am I starting a blog? Answer this honestly and your are on your way to a promising blogging career. Are you interested in republishing alarmist news or you really have some unique knowledge you’d love to share? In my opinion, starting what we call SHOCKER blogs ( blogs that have very outrageous titles with no substance in the body) isn’t the way to go. While many are running such blogs because they attract social media traffic, you should stop and ask what’s the value of such traffic and how long can you maintain your readership based purely on hype.
Your goal should be to providing your audience with relevant and factual posts all the time. Again, ask yourself what it is that you want to achieve within a given time period. For instance, set a goal to publish at least 2 high quality and unique posts weekly.
2. Know you audience
Whom are you writing for or who is your article targeting. Is there a specific age group, social class or academic demography that your articles are directed to? Knowing your audience is the best way to get more targeted readers and clicks (if you have ads on you blog). Your niche dictates your audience.
3. Be Visible
Simply promote your blog on the social media and effectively use webmaster tools from Google, Bing and Yandex.
4. Be Inviting
Apart from writing wonderful titles and choosing a keyword-rich domain, invite people to your blog. You can start with your close friends by asking them to
visit your blogs then creating giveaways or e-books which readers can download for free.
Just make sure the e-book is on a trending topic such as ‘How To Get Quality Traffic To Your Blog’. Also, avail email subscription option through one of the many subscription widgets out there.
5. Be Yourself
To promote originality, don’t try to copy other bloggers. I know when it comes to how to start a blog, some thing it’s all about copying from other sites or re-posting trending articles as if they were your own. I suggest against such a move. While it’s okay cite other authority websites, making their posts yours doesn’t make you any unique. Come to think of it, why should your anyone skip the original site to read a copy on you blog?Bottom line, the more you copy contents from others the more influential they become and the least significant you get. The web is a market where everyone is trying to create a brand and no one ever creates a brand by copying another brand. Once people see your ‘copied style’ you will not like the results.
Just be yourself and bring out the uniqueness that is in you. Let your articles address issues from a given perspective or tone.
- How To Give A Popular Topic A Different Perspective
6. Be Consistent
As you continue with your blogging journey, there are lots of temptations to re-brand, run to other niches or even change the name of your blog. My advice is don’t; not only will you appear less serious but also face a reduction in blog traffic. Just move on with the unique theme and style and you will reap the rewards for consistency.
7. Be Persistent
Like I said before, this is a market and it has fluctuations. Some are very biting but only the persistent will survive. Don’t give up because a few people gave you poor rating or because only 200 people are reading you posts per day. Better 200 consistent readers than nothing. And getting such a loyal readership is a milestone worth celebrating.
I’m in nowise saying you should stop looking for ways to grow your blog. You should and learn from those who have succeeded in your niche (your subject). The secret is research and implementing . Soon you will be an authority in your niche and traffic will not be your worry anymore.
8. Take Risks
There comes a time when blog promotion becomes a necessity. Well, always be ready to spend time and money on blog promotion. Be it Google Adword or
Boosting Posts on Facebook, there is always return on investment. Sadly, you will never find out if you don’t risk.Yes, you may want to leave that sub-domain, buy a Top Level Domain name (e.g. example.com), host it on WordPress, build quality backlinks and advertise your blog if you have the means. Every business must take risk and blogging is no different.Resource:
- How To Create Search-Engine-Friendly Backlinks
9. Ask for Help
Even the best bloggers are still looking for new information, what about you? Don’t be shy to ask for help from other bloggers. You might just be lucky to find a honest one (like me 🙂 ) to help you with your site customization or help SEO. I repeat, never refrain from asking for help.
10. Be ready to learn
It doesn’t matter if you have been blogging since the internet was discovered or you still searching ‘how to start a blog’, learning is continuous. You surely know that there are several things that are being invented and reinvented daily, just position yourself to learn on a daily basis.