In the past, if you wanted to start a blog you could just install WordPress and start typing about whatever takes your fancy. Be it a personal opinion on the price of fish, social commentating or even writing on a given subject or sector you’re well versed in. These days though, there is a lot more to it. A lot more thought needs to go into each and every aspect of your journey through the blogosphere. This, primarily is due to increased competition. If you want your blog to have any hint of a readership which let’s be honest, most of us do. Then you’ll need to put the time and effort in with a view of setting yourself apart from your peers.
During this article we’ll highlight the fundamentals of blogging from the outset, the initial idea right through to growing your audience. This is in no way a detailed guide but if you’re thinking of starting a blog it should give you some food for thought. Don’t let the increased competition point above put you off, there is room for everyone and as they say, competition is healthy! If you put in the time and effort you will most definitely reap the rewards.
Choose Your Sector Wisely
Choosing a sector will ultimately depend on what your goals are and what you’re interested in. An avid interest in something does not mean that you’ll be able to create a blog on the subject and turn it into a money-spinning machine. In reality, having an interest in a subject and making money from that subject seldom go hand in hand. You need to decide if your blog is for fun, profit or just to give your take on the subject at hand. If the intention is fun or you simply want to share your opinion on a subject you feel passionate about, the fact that not many people are interested in reading about the subject nor the fact that it has limited income earning opportunities should in no way deter you. If, on the other hand your intention is to make money you really need to choose a niche or sector that has people advertising in it as well as a large, potential readership.
In short, if you want to turn a profit, choose a sector with lots of readers, lot of people searching for information and lots of people wanting to advertise products or services within that given sector. If profit isn’t your goal then simply go about your blogging without a care in the world!
In truth, the build of your blog (and by build I am referring to the design and programming) isn’t all that important. Well, it is, but my point is that it’s not something you need to worry about per se. The reason being, let’s be honest, as far as a blogging platform goes you’re likely to use WordPress which means there is no programming needed on your part. You install it and it’s good to go out of the box. The same goes for the theme. There are so many places to download a reasonable free theme or even pay $20 for a high end “premium” one. There are literally tens of thousands of options out there which you can install with a click of your mouse. So again, not something you need to worry about.
What you do need to consider though is 1) If the design fits your niche and 2) Is it professional enough. If you’re a personal blogger, appearing professional probably isn’t a huge factor but if you’re business it can make or break you. Thankfully, most of the WordPress themes in the market these days, even the free ones are of a good enough calibre that they’ll no doubt suit your project perfectly.
Marketing is an extremely important part of your blogging experience. Assuming you care about getting visitors and a readership that is. Thankfully, when it comes to online marketing, everyone is in the same boat, nobody has a free ticket to success. What that means is, you can basically copy what everyone else is doing. They don’t make a secret of it either, you can read articles such as this which will give you a clear and concise run through of how to promote a blog from the ground up.
Of course knowing how to do it doesn’t automatically equal success. You need to put the time and effort in. If there is one piece of advice I would give it would be to not neglect your social profiles. Have a presence on Twitter/Facebook at least and interact with as many people as you can. Your readers, readers of similar blogs or readers of well known people in the industry you’re operating in. That’s a great start.
On top of that, consider finding other, similar blogs in your sector and offer to write content for them. They will give you an authorship link and if people like what you’ve written they will in turn visit your blog in order to read more.
So there you have it. This is by no means a complete guide as each of these 4 points can be expanded upon and each contains a lot more detail than this basic overview. This article is not intended to be a complete guide, more simply thought provoking for those wishing to start a blog. We hope you’ve enjoyed it.