It’s no longer news. Starting a blog and making money online is very possible. No mater your location.
This can be demonstrated by the number of successful bloggers out there who are doing quite well with their blogs, either as a business or as a media platform.
As an aspiring blogger, it is also possible for you to start a blog and evolve it into a powerful platform, if you;re willing to put in the work.
But, before you can get started, there are a number of things you need to put in place.
In this post. I will be discussing below, 11 things you need to consider and put in place, before starting a professional blog…
Without much ado, here are the things you must consider before starting a successful blog.
Understand WHY you want to start a blog
Most aspiring bloggers do not really know why they want to start a blog. And this is quite unfortunate…
Because people blog with different motives. And because of this, they will definitely have to take different steps to arrive at the outcome they have in mind.
So, before starting a blog one of the questions you’ll have to ask yourself will bother on why you really want to start a blog.
The reason you need to answer this question is because when you do, 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 for instance, 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 evolve a coaching blog.
These two folks will definitely have different aims for blogging. And this will in turn, 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.
Choose a Blogging topic that Makes Sense
A lot of blogging experts will comfortably advise you to start blogging about a topic you’re passionate about.
The reason for saying that is because usually, when you’re passionate about something, there’s a higher possibility that you will keep doing it consistently until you arrive at your goal.
Although starting a blog with a topic or niche you’re passionate about is a good idea, it is not always the best way to go about it, except you’re blogging as a hobby.
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 attract a reasonable audience to your blog.
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 soup, you could start a blog about soups generally, continental dishes or you focus on targeting soups and foods eaten within a particular geographical region say Africa, Europe, Nigeria, USA etc.
When you do this, you’ll find out that your passion meets up with what a large number of other people are also interested in. With this, it will be easier to get a decent traffic over to your blog.
In the long run, this will not only be lucrative when it comes to monetizing your blog, it will also 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.
Create a Long Term Business Model
When you come up with a good idea, it can always be tempting to buy a domain name, launch your blog, and start publishing articles right away.
But then… You will have a better chance of making your blog more successful if you do some research before getting started.
So before creating a realistic business model for your blog, you want to 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 from others?
What problems can actually happen to my blog after launching?
Make some research and try to answer these questions before starting your new blog. This will help you come up with a model to follow through as you keep blogging.
Choose a Great Domain Name
Finding a good domain name for your blog is very important especially when it comes to branding.
Another thing you want to do is to be sure the domain name you choose captures the essence of what you’re blogging about. This also helps a lot with your SEO.
Also, The .com extension remains the best domain name extension for blogging but if the domain name you want is not available within the .com extension, you can still try another creative name or use an alternative generic or country specific top level domain, provided it still serves your purpose.
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. Also, having in mind that slow loading web pages can affect your SEO and search engine rankings, you need a web hosting plan with fast loading speed.
If you’re blogging on a budget, you can start out with an affordable 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.
Set up your blog Professionally
Whether you like it or not, visitors will have a long lasting opinion about your blog within seconds of accessing the blog.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression; so this is why it’s very important you get a professional design for your blog.
Be sure to give your blog a good user experience. Also give it easy navigation by including a search bar, a list of recent posts, archive page etc. 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.
Speed up your new blog.
A slow loading blog will frustrate readers and increase the likelihood of them leaving the site even before it loads. It will also lead to an increased bounce rate which will also impact your SEO.
For this reason, 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 better search impression and traffic.
To further optimize your blog loading time, you might want to take the following actions; 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.
Fix your SEO
Although WordPress comes with a decent inbuilt search engine optimization features like; the ability to use pretty permalinks and the option to change your article page slug; however you’ll still have to do a lot to optimize your blog for SEO.
With WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, All in one SEO pack etc, 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.
Research Your Content thoroughly
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, to further authenticate the reliability of your content.
Write Great Content
Content is the live wire of your blog. If you want to start a blog and make it successful, you will need to focus on publishing high quality content, consistently.
So, don’t just make it a one time event, be consistent on publishing great content for your readers.
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 through the 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 to your blog, 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 (Articles created to attract back links) 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 higher in search engines and generate more traffic to your blog.
Publish Blog Posts on a Consistent Basis
Most readers get used to the frequency in which you publish articles on your blog.
This is why it’s always 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.
Being so enthusiastic at the early days, they post once or even twice per day on their new blogs but with time, the whole momentum dies down and readers are left without posts.
Now, this is how it works. Usually, it can be difficult to maintain a very high posting frequency when you are also trying to promote your new blog.
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 etc.
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.
In conclusion, starting a new blog is a huge work on its own but with a committed effort and consistency, over time you can build for yourself, a very formidable blog and a sustainable platform that could launch you into many other endeavors.
So, here’s the end of today’s tutorial. I hope you learned a lot? Let’s hear you.