Things to do before starting a blog

Starting a blog that drives traffic, attract sales and makes real money for your business is really possible, regardless of your location.

If you look around, you’ll notice that a lot of people are already doing this, successfully. So, as an aspiring blogger, it’s equally possible for you to start a blog and evolve it into a powerful platform.

But, before you attend this level of success with blogging, there are certain things you have to put in place besides putting in the work.

In this post, we’ll be discussing below, the top things you have to consider before starting a blog professionally.

Know Why You Want to Blog

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

Most aspiring bloggers do not really 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 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 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 thing 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

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 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 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 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.

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 Business Model

Another thing to do before starting blog is to create 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 guide you on things like the right domain name, niche and even a blogging model to follow through as you keep blogging.

Get a Domain Name & Hosting

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

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 in your choice of a domain name.

Be sure that your preferred domain name 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 some alternatives.

Read more about domain names here.

Also, keep in mind that is 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, you need a web hosting plan with fast loading speed.

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.

Set up your blog professionally | Image Credits: Edmond Dantès

You only have one chance to make a good first impression; so this is why it’s very important that one of the first things to do before starting a blog is to get the blog professionally set up, to meet the demands of your audience.

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 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. Keep this as one of the top things to do before starting a blog.

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.

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 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 Consistently

One of the other things to do before starting blog is to 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 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 after 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.

Final Words

Starting a new blog is a huge work on its own but when you know the things to do and actually get to put theses things in place before starting your blog, things becomes a bit easier.

With all these things put in place, a committed effort and consistency, over time, I see you building for yourself, a very formidable blog and a sustainable platform that could launch you into many other endeavors.

So, there you have everything you need to put in place a thriving blog. To get further help to build a successful blog, register at our blogging college here or reach out to us here.

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

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Victor Winners

Victor Winners

Award winning Blogger, Author, Web Developer, Senior Digital Strategist and Founder of Africa's most widely read blog on Content Marketing and Digital Strategy, VictorWinners.Com.Named as one of the top 50 design influencers globally, since 2014; Victor Winners has helped over 2 million readers to understand and use digital technology to transform their lives and businesses.

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