So you want to start a blog?
Without much ado, here are the 11 things you must consider before starting a successful blog.
1. Understand why you want to start a blog.
Most people don’t really know why they want to start blogging.
And it’s a big mistake.
Because people blog with different motives. And because of this, they will definitely have to take different steps to arrive at the outcome.
So before starting a blog one of the questions you’ll have to answer is, why do I want to blog?
When you answer this question, you’ll be able to find out strategies that will help you achieve this aim.
So if you’re blogging to become a social influencer, there are certain kind of posts and strategies you’ll need to use.
This strategy may be slightly different from what a person that’s blogging to make money will have to use.
Same thing goes for someone out to set up a news blog and another person who wants to evlove a coaching blog.
These two folks will definitely have different aims for blogging. And these will definitely affect the strategies they’ll have to use to some extent.
When you know the reason why you’re blogging, it becomes easier to get into the next step which is choosing a blogging topic.
2. Choose a blog topic that makes sense.
You see I would have actually said, go choose a topic you’re passionate about.
Most blogging coaches will definitely tell you that.
The reason for saying that is because when you’re passionate about something, there’s a higher possibility that you will keep doing it consistently until you arrive at your goal.
But this is not completely right.
Because depending on your motivation for starting a blog, starting out only with topics you’re passionate about may not lead you to your goals early enough.
Take for instance, if the topic you’re passionate about is cooking egusi soup and there are not up to a sizeable number of people interested in egusi soup, you’ll definitely be struggling to get readers or even survive as a blogger.
When it comes to starting a blog to make money online, your passion is not supposed to be the deciding factor on what to blog about.
Instead your passion should guide you to a topic you’re comfortable with which is also lucrative and in which other people will be interested in.
So if for instance you’re passionate about egusi soup like I mentioned earlier, instead of focusing on blogging about egusi soup, you can look at other things related to that subject with a more broader audience and include it as part of your blogging topic.
This is to say that instead of starting a blog about egusi, you could start a blog about Nigerian soups which egusi soup is also part of.
When you do this, you’ll find out that your passion meets up with other people’s passion.
This will not only be lucrative when it comes to monetizing your blog, it will give you access to a larger audience.
And remember, when more people are interested in a topic, there’s a higher possibility of making a lucrative business out of the topic.
On the other hand, if you are blogging as a hobby or to learn how to write etc, you can focus on choosing a topic you’re passionate about.
3. Create a Long Term Business Model
When you grab a good idea, it can be tempting to buy a domain name, launch your blog, and start publishing articles right away.
You will have a better change of making your blog successful if you do some research beforehand.
Before you start a blog, ask yourself the following questions:
Who are my competitors?
How do they make money?
How will my blog make money?
How long will it take me to monetize my blog?
What will I do differently to make my blog stand out?
What problems can actually happen to my blog after launching?
Make some research on these issues before starting your new blog.
This will help you come up with a model to follow through as you keep blogging business going.
4. Choose a Great Domain Name
Finding a good domain name is very important especially when it comes to branding.
Be sure the domain name you choose captures the essence of what you’re blogging about.
This helps a lot in SEO.
Also, The .com extension remains the best domain name extension for blogging but if the domain name you want is not available with the .com extension, you can still try something else.
5. Choose a Reliable Web Host
It is important you host your blog with a company that is reliable and offers fast response time.
You don’t want to experience unnecessary down times here.
If you’re blogging on a budget, you can start out with a cheap shared hosting account at less than $5.00 to $7.00 per month for the first few months.
And then upgrade to a better hosting solution once you start getting serious traffic.
6. Set up your blog with a professional web design
Whether you like it or not, visitors will make a judgement about your blog within seconds of accessing the blog.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression; so this is why it’s very important you get a professional design for your blog.
Of course, to avoid messing things up, you can get professional web designers like us at victorwinners.com to save you the hassle and get your blog all set up with a clean design.
Be sure to include a search bar, a list of recent posts, and an archive page. This will help visitors find your content easily.
Avoid cluttering up your blog design with too many banners.
While it may be worth adding banners later to help monetize your blog, in the beginning, your main aim is to get a good number of readers.
7. Speed up your new blog.
A slow loading blog will frustrate readers and increase the likelihood of them leaving the site before it even loads.
This is why it is important you optimize your blog to load quickly so people can access your blog more easily.
Also remember that search engines rank fast loading websites higher, so optimizing your blog design will help your blog gain more search engine traffic.
To further optimize your blog loading time, you might want to choose a reliable and fast loading web host, remove bloated plugins, keep as few plugins as possible, reduce the sizes of your pictures before uploading them etc.
8. Get the search engine optimization for your blog in place.
Although WordPress has some good SEO features built into it such as the ability to use pretty permalinks and the option to change your article page slug; however you can optimize your blog further.
With a plugin like Yoast SEO or All in one SEO pack, you can further optimize your blog for the search engine.
Also be sure to optimize each post update on your blog for the search engine as most of your traffic will come from the search engines.
9. Research Your Subject.
It doesn’t matter if you’re already too familiar with your subject matter or not, to create a strong impression with your audience, they will have to see you as being on top of your games at all times.
This is why it’s vital you research regularly and be informed with the latest trends in your niche.
Again you won’t only have to do the research in your blogging niche, since the long term goal is to become an authority in the niche, from time to time, you’ll have to be able to creatively break down innovations in the industry to your readers.
Also you’ll have to be able to support your blog posts with credible and authoritative sources etc.
10. Write Great Content.
Blogs live and die by their content. If you want to start a blog and make it successful, you will need to focus on publishing high quality content consistently.
So go ahead, publish great content.
Follow a schedule. And be sure your readers find something to read whenever they get on your blog.
Take time to improve your writing skills. Proofread your articles to ensure that there are no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.
Be honest in your writing. Let your sincerity flow throughbthe paragraphs. Give your opinion on issues you feel strongly about.
Be original – don’t focus on copying other people. With time you’ll find your unique blogging style.
Learn from the best – There’s always something to learn. Make an effort to follow some really good writers within and outside your niche, and you’ll find something to learn.
The key is to give exceptional value to readers if you really want them to come back again and again.
And you can do this through reviews, tutorials, news, and views. If you can help a reader in some way, they will be grateful and more likely to subscribe to your future articles.
Be sure to maintain a high standard on your blog. If a post is not ready, do not publish it. It is always better to come back to an article the following day and work on it some more.
You should also spend time writing linkbait articles and in-depth featured articles.
These articles will have a better chance of being shared by visitors and being linked from other blogs; which in turn will rank them high in search engines and generate more traffic to your blog.
11. Publish Blog Posts on a Consistent Basis
Most readers get used to the frequency in which you publish articles on your blog.
This is It why it’s in your best interests to choose a posting frequency and stick to it.
A common mistake that beginners make is to publish too often when a blog is first launched.
Their enthusiasm for their new blog gets the better of them and they post once or even twice per day.
Ultimately, it can be difficult to maintain this posting frequency when you are also trying to promote your new blog.
Posting frequency, and the quality of posts being published, are usually affected because of it.
Rather than publish articles every day for two weeks and then not publish any more articles for a few weeks, it is better to stick to a posting schedule that can be easily maintained in the future e.g. three or two times a week.
If you find that you have too many articles scheduled for publication, you could increase posting frequency to four or five times a week.
Whether you publish once a day or once a week, I recommend sticking to the same posting frequency so that readers become accustomed to when more articles will be published.
Alright. So this is where we’ll draw the curtains.
Feel free to drop your comments and I’ll answer each of them.