So you want to start a blog in 2018?
I bet this is one of the best things you’ll do for yourself in 2018.
Because starting a blog is not just fun, it will get your voice heard across the world. And the best part of it is that it’s very cheap and easy to get started.
You don’t need to be a techie before you can start a blog. Also, you don’t need to be a professor on any topic before you can begin to blog about the topic.
So what exactly does it take to start a blog?
All you’ll need is a website of your own, a laptop or some good smartphone/tablet, some basic writing skills then off you go.
Step by step process to start a blog in 2018.
What’s your blogging goal? So now you want to set up a blog in 2018 huh? We know that…. But WHY exactly do you want to blog?
This is the big question. And this question will to a large extent determine how far you’ll go as a blogger.
Ok. So before starting your blog, you’ll want to find out… Am i just here to
Make money online?
Build an audience?
Or become a thought leader etc?
You need a clear idea about the reason behind your decision to start a blog so you can plan out how you’re really going to achieve this blogging objectives.
Make a plan: When you’re done setting out your blogging goals and objectives, the next thing is to make a plan based on those goals.
So if your goal is to use your blog to become a thought leader for instance, your blogging plan will help you decide on what time you want to post to the blog, write a book or post on other authority websites or even hosts webinar and conferences.
If your goal is to make money with your blog, you can also decide on the income stream that will favor you, based on your location and blogging niche.
Your blogging plan does not really have to be rigid. It’s just a guideline that will streamline your action and is subject to changes that will reflect current realities. It should also contain practical steps that will help you grow the blog.
Domain Name: Having a domain name is one of the most important things you’ll need before starting a blog. This is because your domain name is going to be your identity on the internet.
So you’ll want to be very careful about choosing a domain name. For this reason, you’ll have to consider what you’re going to be blogging about in the long run. This will help you settle on the right domain name.
The default domain name for most bloggers is their personal name. But this is not always the case all the time.
You’ll want to choose your domain name based on the brand you want to project.
So if you’re projecting your personal brand, you can use your name etc.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be blogging about other topics, you can choose the domain name to reflect the topic your blog is about.
So supposing you’re blogging about health with a focus on young adults, you can use something like healtforyoungadult.com, youngadulthealth.com etc for your domain name.
Just make sure the domain name gives people a good grasp of what the blog is about without much stress.
Get a hosting plan: You’ve probably heard about people using free blogs on platforms like blogger, WordPress.com etc.
Yes those platforms exist. People are using them. And they are free. You can settle for them if you’re not planning on something serious with your blog.
Before then, you have to understand that using those platforms come with serious limitations. And you’ll not be able to maximize the use of your blog.
If you’re interested in evolving a successful blog that can also be easily monetized, then you’ll need a hosting plan and customized domain name.
You can choose to host for a year or some months. Just be sure it’s something you’re comfortable with.
Set up your blog. When you’re done choosing your domain name and web hosting plan, you’ll need to set up your blog so you can begin to actually write on the blog.
The most preferred blogging platform for bloggers is WordPress. That’s because WordPress is easier to manage especially for beginners.
You can install WordPress through the one click installation on your control panel and then follow up instructions to set up the blog.
Writing your blog. This is where the actual blogging takes place. Everyone has their own styles for writing/reading blog posts.
Your writing style will most likely depend on your blog’s topic, your audience, and your goals.
So for example, a blog post about computer programming would likely be very detailed and instructional, while a blog about relationships will likely be more emotional.
Here are some tips that will help you write on your blog…
1. Post Length: Don’t make it too long or too short.
Write your blog posts in such a way that it’s long enough to deliver value. Avoid making it so long that it’s intimidating or overly time consuming to read.
Though depending on your audience, it might be necessary to add some details or embellishments but the thumb rule is, make it simple and easy to read.
Get straight to the point, but make sure you’re adding enough character and detail. Most bloggers aim for about 500-1200 words. Sometimes if you’re writing a tutorial like I’m doing here for instance it could be longer than that.
And if you’re writing something like err… say entertainment or celebrity gossip blog, it might be less.
You can easily find a length that’s suitable for your audience by checking out other established blogs in your niche.
2. Use Attention Grabbing Title
Your post title is the first thing a reader sees when deciding to read a post. If the title is interesting and attention grabbing it is more likely to get clicked.
So you’ll want to use a unique title that clearly explains what the blog post is about and what value the reader will get from reading it.
If you have a blog post that lists out steps that will help anyone cook rice for instance, don’t title it “Cooking Rice.” Instead use a title like “How to Cook Rice With Chicken Sauce.”
Titles that start with “how to” or “# tips” are very popular. And people search for them more often.
3. Deliver Value
Blog posts, and all forms of content marketing, should deliver educational or entertainment value.
The more value your readers get, the more likely they are to return for more, engage with you further, potentially buy your product, or share it with their friends.
4. Humanize. Bring in your elements
Authenticity is a great trait to have. Share your unique opinions. Share your stories and experiences.
Don’t be afraid to use slang, jargon, or less than perfect grammar if it adds the right character. I regularly use ellipses and emoticons in my blog posts sometimes.
Where possible and if necessary share your personal experiences in your blog posts. It makes them more relatable.
5. Use the Right Keywords
Keywords research helps you optimize your blog posts with the right kind of words your audience will most likely use when searching for stuff that relates to what you’re writing about.
A keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner and other keyword research tools can help you determine which keywords and phrases you should be using in your title and the body of your blog posts.
Using keywords and phrases that match what people are searching on the internet can improve your search ranking.
6. Your opening sentences should be strong and captivating.
The first line can make or break a blog post. If it’s great, readers will be intrigued to keep reading. If it’s boring, they may lose interest instantly and browse away from your blog.
7. Summarized Conclusion
As a summary, towards the end of your blog post, you may want to include a bullet pointed list of the key takeaways from the post.
It allows readers to get value from your post quickly and easily. A short paragraph with some closing thoughts may also be helpful.
8. Add sub headings to your central idea.
Including sub headings within a blog post helps to make it more readable and organized.
Break up your blog post with a different sub heading to highlight and separate the main points or topics of the post.
9. Content Frequency
Even though content is king when it comes to blogging, in between writing great contents consistently and promoting your content, you’ll need a great deal of time.
So you’ll want to create a schedule that will keep your blog updated with fresh content and at the same time you and your readers won’t get worn out.
You don’t want your readers to forget about you, but you don’t want them to get sick of you either.
So you can start out posting at least 2-3 times a week and then as often as you’d like as the blog grows.
Now, there are many other ways you can conveniently start a blog in 2018 and make money blogging. But, these are the most fundamental steps you’ll have to follow…
So in a nutshell, if you want to start a successful blog in 2018, you’ll need a realistic plan, domain name, a web hosting account and some writing tips to get started.
That’s how far we’ll go on today’s tutorial. Remember real success takes effort, consistency and time. And this will be demanded of you.
Do you have tips you’d want to share?
I’ll love to hear from you.