Starting a blog is truly an amazing way to spend your time but there are many things you need to consider. Here are 12 steps to start a blog that you should consider before you type a word.
Also read: How to Make Money Blogging
Step #1 Blog Name and Topic
Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, that’s the dream isn’t it? But this theory can be used with your blog.
Take a look at what your passions are and what you love to talk about. Then you can start choosing your blog name from there. Blog names represent what your blog is all about.
Get some ideas on what your blog name should be by writing what the primary purpose of your blog is. Alternatively, you could just use your name and create a personal brand. There are many blogs written that use their own name as the domain name. But then on the tagline they create a phrase that spells out the blogs primary purpose.
Step #2 Get Your Blog Online and Choose Your Host
Now that you have chosen your blog name and its topic, you need to start choosing a host. A host is a service that puts your website or blog on the world wide web. There are plenty of hosts you can choose from although 2 popular hosts, Wix and WordPress.
Equipment that you use in creating your blog are just as important as everything else when blogging. Whether you prefer to have a standing desk, a swivel chair or get a different keyboard.
Yes, a different keyboard. Just because you have a laptop with a keyboard that you find difficult to write with, doesn’t mean you are stuck with this. Find yourself a keyboard that you feel more comfortable writing with.
Step #3 Customize Your Blog With Your Design
Once you have your blog online, you want to design it in your style. Whichever host you go with, there are plenty of ways in which you can design your blog with templates or drag and drop editors.
Design Your Blog With Your Words
Design is not just down to stunning pictures and eye-catching colours that relate to your brand. Whilst writing your blog you need to design the layout. Your blog posts layout should be so that it is easier for the person to read.
Make it easier for people to read by splitting up your blog posts into
- Headlines (H2)
- Sub headings (H3)
- More SubHeadings (H4)
- Bullet points
- Graphics that relate to the point being made
- Use shorter paragraphs of about 2 – 3 sentences (get straight to the point in each sentence)
Step #4 Start Writing and Find Your Keywords
Every blog post you write should be
All blogs you write should be easy for the reader to read. Make it easier to read by adding bullet points, graphics and videos.
Your 3 Step Process
Blog writing is a 3 step process that is easy to follow.
Step #1 Write
Start writing, write down all of your ideas and try to put them into short paragraphs. Whatever you do, do not start editing as you go (that bit comes later). Instead concentrate on writing what it is you want to write.
Step #2 Edit
Editing is not all about grammar. Yes you do need to polish your text so that it is grammatically correct and you are seen as a professional. Editing is also about making your text more engaging.
More engaging by adding power words. Power words are words that provoke an emotion. These are useful as it makes you appear more engaging naturally.
Step #3 Publish
Publish is undoubtedly the most fun part as it is when you can share with the world your work. Social media is where you will get the most amount of traffic for your blog, so share it there. Tag or message people you think would be interested in your blog. Also tag any experts you mention in your blog.
Whilst writing your blog, you need to focus on specific keywords. Conduct keyword research using keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner.
Start searching for keywords by typing in the topic that relates to what you want to write about. From there, you will be given a list of keywords related to that topic. Your list of keywords will include search volume and cost per click (CPC).
Once you have chosen the keyword you would like to rank for in the given list, type into Google the keyword and see what search results are displayed.
From the search results, check out the top 5 – 10 results. Look at what is included in the blog and how they are using that blog to convert. But most importantly, research how you can improve upon the blogs.
This is probably one of the most important tips as you will be able to get backlinks from this.
When you have created a blog post that adds more information than what the original post gave, then reach out to the other blog post creator.
Reach out and let them know that you really enjoyed their blog post on ABC. State that you have recently created a blog post on XYZ which you think will add that bit more information to the original blog.
If they decide to accept your blog to link too then you will increase your own domain authority (DA).
“DA is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine results (SERPs)”
Quora for Keyword Research
If you are unaware of what Quora is, it’s the largest online Q&A platform. Quora can be used by you to find long tail keywords, basically phrases that are the questions.
Conduct keyword research on Quora by typing in your topic into the search bar and you will be delivered a whole host of questions asked on this one topic. Sort through these questions by looking at which have the most followers and answers.
When a question has a lot of followers and answers, you can be sure that it is resonating with a lot of people.
Do Keyword Research For Every Post
You cannot ever get away with doing keyword research just once and then write posts around those keywords. Instead you need to keep refreshing the keywords you need to write about.
This may sound like a lot of work, but it will pay off.
You need to keep on doing keyword research as keywords do change and what was the most trending keyword one month won’t necessarily be the most trending the next month. So always stay on top of your keywords.
Step #5 Promotion and Build Backlinks
What is the point in writing your blog if you are not going to shout out about it wherever you can? After all, you can’t even start to monetize your blog if no one is looking at it.
Start planning where you can share your blog. Luckily for you, I have given you a few ideas
Idea #1 Friends and Family
Your friends and family will want to support you. Ask them to take a look at your blog, leave a comment and share on their social media profiles. Sharing on their own social media profiles will increase your reach as their own network will see it.
Idea #2 Social Media
Social media is without doubt a powerful tool and a powerful tool that will drive free traffic to your blog.
But before you jump onto social media, you only want to create 1-3 accounts or pages for your blog. Always keep it down to this low amount otherwise you will be burned out from all of the different platforms.
Keep it to 1 – 3 platforms as you need to be on them networking and talking to people in real time. Sticking to 1 – 3 platforms allows you to dominate and substantially grow your network quicker.
Ultimately, the key to success with social media is to always be networking.
Always be Networking
It is not just about being logged into you social media accounts but it is about
- Sharing other people’s content
- Engaging with other people’s content
- Engage with people who comment on your content
- Engage in groups
Networking is not just restricted to social media. Forums are just as effective for networking and building awareness about your blog. To find the right forum for you, search on Google your target market + forum.
Networking is all about that, networking. Not just there to spam your sales pitch on.
Idea #3 Comment On Other Blogs
Commenting on other people’s blog in your niche allows you to leave a link to your own blog.
When leaving a comment always make sure that you leave a thought out comment that leaves further thoughts on the topic the blog covers.
Idea #4 Engage With Your Readers
After your reader has left a comment on your blog, take the time and respond to it. After all they have taken the time to read your blog and will be more likely to go back to your blog as they will start to humanize you.
Step #6 Get Your Blog To Convert
Build your email list with your blog as it is your greatest asset. But you simply can’t ask people to subscribe. Instead you need a content upgrade.
Content upgrades are extra pieces of information (that you give away for free) in the form of a book or video that relates to the content in the blog.
You’re probably now wondering why you would give away free content.
You give away free content at this stage as you are trying to get their email address from them. Not so long ago, businesses would buy email addresses from brokers. But now we want to focus on creating an email list that has email addresses from real people who are interested in what you have to say.
So you just need to change your mindset into seeing that giving free content upgrades is a long term investment.
There are 3 ways in which you can offer content upgrades and build your email list with your blog.
#1 Pop Ups
Pop ups are those boxes that all of a sudden appear when you arrive at a website or trying to exit a website.
But you will want to add a pop up so that you can build your email list. To increase the conversion rates of your pop up you need to give a reason as to why they should give you their email address.
Gone are the days or just writing subscribe, you need to give a tempting offer. A typical tempting offer is the promise of an eBook or discount code for your product range.
Any typical blog has a sidebar that promotes what popular posts you have, what categories of posts you have and how to connect with you on social media. But on your side bar you can also build your email list.
Build your email list by offering a free product of yours such as an eBook or quick video tutorial. Display this in the sidebar by adding an image then linking out to how they can get hold of the offer.
Depending on your website host as to how you can set up the layout of your sidebar. If you have a WordPress site you can choose from
- Recent Posts
And a whole lot more.
#3 Call to Action
Step #7 Stay Focused
Always remain focused on writing about one ultra-specific topic. When you go off topic, this leaves your audience feeling confused about what it is you are about.
If you find yourself going off topic because you are running out of ideas then you can do this one simple trick to getting back on track. Ask your network, this is what they are there for. Alternatively, you can try a content ideas tool such as Ubersuggest’s content tool.
Ubersuggest is an easy to use keyword suggestion tool which allows users to see hundreds of longtail keywords and alternative phrase suggestions at the tap of a button.
Step #8 Use Influencer Marketing
Use influencer databases such as these 3
- Post for Rent
- Hype Auditor
When searching for an influencer, start by looking at what your niche is and which influencers are attracting people in the niche.
Step #9 Paid Advertising
This might sound like a strange one, but use something like Facebook Ads to remarket your blog to people who have already been on your website once, but never converted. Convert them with an advertising campaign that leads them back to your blog and convert them.
Step #10 Add Videos or Podcasts
What matters to Google in whether to rank your website is
- How relevant is it
- Does it provide a good user-experience
- How long does someone stay on the website for
In tacklink point c, how long does someone stay on your website, by adding a related video or podcast to your blog then you will increase that time. Increase your time without any dirty tricks.
Step #11 What Speed Are You Going At?
Whatever the purpose of your website, you need to focus on having a website that is quick at loading.
Loading times not only reduces the amount of website visitors you should have got, but will also decrease your Google rankings. Rescue your website from slow loading times by
- Optimize Your Images – Use a tool such as lazy load images for this
- Caching plugin – Here are the 5 best plugins for this
- Choose A Better Host
- Remove plugins and widgets – these can slow down your loading times so remove the ones you don’t need
- Choose A Premium Theme – if you have a free theme, it may not be well coded so invest in a premium theme as these are carefully coded
Premium themes are better than having free ones, but if you don’t choose wisely you can run into more problems.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights tool analyzes your site’s front-end performance and offers optimization suggestions. Providing your website a score between 0 to 100 points; a score of 85 or above indicating a well performing page, this tool can give you some great insights into the performance of your website.
But you really don’t need to care too much about this tool, even if it is from Google. What you should focus on instead is getting a good host.
Step #12 Ethically Steal
Ethically steal your competitors website traffic with a simple to use tool.
Losing website traffic to your competitors is a huge problem for new blogs as they just simply can’t compete with the established blogs out there on the blogosphere.
But don’t despair! There is a tool out there that you can use to
- See what your competitors are doing
Thus giving you the edge over them and directing that traffic to your blog instead.
Create today a free account on SEMrush and set your area of interest as ‘Competitive Research’.
After you have setup your account, go to the dashboard and click ‘Traffic Analytics’. Next, type in your direct competitors domain and click search.
Afterwards, you will be given a report detailing
- Traffic Share (Desktop & Mobile)
- Traffic Sources
- Traffic By Countries
After going through the report from SEMrush, you can discover your competitors organic traffic stats.
You will discover
- Keyword they use
- Ranking position of keyword
- Traffic volume
You can use this information to show what keywords you should be going after to start competing. Compete by checking out what keywords displayed have a low keyword difficulty.