Things to do before starting a blog

Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to build influence, attract sales and earn a living but to reach a certain level of success, there are key things to do before starting a blog.

As a prolific blogger with widespread experience, I have found that these key things are so important that they could make or break the success of your blog if they are not put in place on time.

They form part of the proven strategies used by the top one percent successful bloggers to carve a niche and build outstanding success and this is going to be extremely useful to you as a beginner.

So, in the following paragraphs, I’ll be sharing with you these key strategies and and how you can leverage them to prepare your blog for massive success

Find your Goal

One of the first things to do before starting a blog is to find out exactly why you want to blog.

Most aspiring bloggers do not know why they want to start a blog. And this is quite unfortunate…

People blog for different reasons. And because of this, different bloggers will have to take different steps to arrive at the outcome they have in mind.

So, before starting a blog one of the first things to do is to ask yourself, why do I really want to start a blog.

The reason you must answer this question correctly is because when you do, you’ll be able to figure out strategies that will guide you to achieve this purpose.

So if you’re blogging to become a social influencer for example, 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 goes for someone out to set up a news blog and another person who wants to evolve a coaching blog.

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 the Right Niche

Choosing a niche is another one of the most crucial things to do before starting a blog. It is part of the foundational every blogger must set out with.

A lot of blogging experts will comfortably advise you to start blogging about any topic you’re passionate about.

Oftentimes, the reason for saying that is because usually, when you’re passionate about something, there’s a high possibility that you will keep doing it consistently regardless of setbacks, 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 example, 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 that generates revenue, do not make your passion the deciding factor on what to blog about.

Instead, allow it to guide you to a topic you’re comfortable with which is also lucrative because other people re naturally interested in it.

So if 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 niche.

This is to say that instead of starting a blog about egusi soup, you could start a blog about soups generally, say continental dishes or you focus on targeting soups and foods eaten within a particular geographical region say Africa, Europe, Nigeria, USA etc.

Doing this, you’ll find out that your passion meets up with what a larger number of people are also interested in. With that, 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.

PS: 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 Plan

To build a successful blog, you need a plan to navigate your way to success. In fact, planning is another one of the major things to do before starting a blog.

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, you stand at a better chance to make your blog more successful if you do a background market research and put together some step by step plan, before getting started.

So before creating a realistic plan and or 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?

Try to answer these questions before starting your new blog. Doing this will guide you on other important aspects of your blog like choosing the right domain name, a niche and even a blogging model.

Get a Domain Name & Hosting

When it comes to things to do before starting a blog, choosing the right domain name for your blog is non negotiable.

So before you get to this point, you want to revisit your blogging goals. Get to why you want to blog, the things you want to achieve with your blog, your preferred niche and then let this guide you on your choice of a domain name.

Be sure that your preferred domain name captures the essence of what you’re blogging about. This will be boost your search engine optimization outcomes.

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 some alternatives.

Read more about domain names here.

Furthermore, keep in mind that it’s important you host your blog with a web hosting company that is reliable and offers fast response time.

You don’t want to experience unnecessary down times or slow loading speed as this will impact your SEO and search engine rankings.

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, as one of the first things to do before starting a blog, you have to get the blog professionally set up, to meet the expectations of your audience.

Set up your blog professionally | Image Credits: Edmond Dantès

Of course, to avoid messing things up, you can reach out to one of our expert web designers to set up a professional blog for you and save you from the hassle that comes with web development.

In whatever you do, 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 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 impact your SEO.

For this reason, it is important you optimize your blog to load quickly so people can access it more easily. Keep this as a crucial part of the key things to do before starting a blog.

Also, keep in mind, search engines rank fast loading websites higher, so optimizing your blog design will get your blog a better ranking, more search impression and improved 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 built-in search engine optimization features like; the ability to use pretty permalinks and the option to change your article page slug; however to get consistent traffic, 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.

In addition to that, engage in both on page and off page SEO optimizations even before your blog goes live.

Write Great Content

Content is the live wire of blogging. If you want to start a blog and make it successful, you must focus on publishing high quality content, consistently.

So, don’t make it a one time event, be consistent on publishing a well researched and high quality content, aimed at solving the needs of your audience.

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 before publishing.

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.

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.

Post Articles Consistently

As part of the other things to do before starting blog, get ready to be posting content consistently.

Over time, most readers get used to the frequency 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 5-10 a 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.

If you’re not building a news blog, instead of publishing articles every day for two weeks and then not publish any more articles after a few weeks, try and 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, depending on what works for you.

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.

Final Words

Starting a new blog demands a lot of work, effort and sacrifices but when you put in place the right strategies before getting started, a lot of things becomes a bit easier.

With these proven blogging strategies you just learned today, you can now go ahead, start a new blog and make it wildly successful.

And to make your success happen even sooner, register for the next diet of our blogging course, let’s take you by the hand, mentor and coach you as you build the next successful blog. Alternatively, reach out to us here.

Now, it’s your turn! what’s your biggest challenge when it comes to blogging? Drop your comments below.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Online Visibility
Victor Winners

Victor Winners

A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

View Full Profile →