While blogging may sound simple on the outside, running a successful blog requires time, knowledge, discipline, and the willingness to make mistakes, and learn from them. Here are 12 critical things to consider before you start blogging so that you don’t get caught off guard.
1. The Reason Why You Want to Start Blogging
You can blog for whatever reason, but you need to know the purpose of your blog beforehand, because that is going to determine your actions. For instance, if you want to start a personal blog, setting up a Blogger account might just do the trick. However, if you want to make money blogging, a more powerful platform like WordPress is the way to go.
2. Your Blog’s Niche
Obviously, it is best to pick a niche or a topic you are an expert on, or at least to have enough passion for it to make up for your lack of knowledge. Also, if you are trying to monetize your blog, you’re going to want to use Google Trends for keyword research, which will allow you to find out how your niche is performing.
3. Blogging Requires Time, Money, and Effort
If you are wondering how to start a blog, you should know that you will spend countless hours burning the midnight oil, sharpening your writing skills, promoting your blog on social media, and making sure you remain consistent. And it will cost you money, too, because you will have to pay for your marketing campaign, domain name, and hosting at the very least.
4. Content Is The Single Most Important Thing
It’s not easy to figure out how to write great blog content, but you should definitely start by producing content that is informative and which provides something of real value to the reader. Make sure to use conversational tone, instead of lecturing your visitors. In order to turn them into your regular audience, post consistently. Take advantage of Headline Analyzer, Plagtracker, Hemingway App to make sure that your posts are outstanding and well-formed from a headline to conclusion.
5. Copyright Laws
Before you start blogging, learn how to protect your own content, and what to do in case someone steals your work. On the other hand, while it’s OK to be inspired by someone else’s work, it is about your authentic take on a particular topic, and that should be 100% original. Also, learn when and how you can use photos you find online. Simply taking an image and crediting the author may not be enough. TheStocks.im offers plenty of royalty-free stock photos for you to choose from.
6. Your Blog’s Design Should be Simple and Sleek
Users respond to blogs which are built around a simple, yet elegant design. Also, you need to make sure that your blog features responsive design, which is optimized for display on mobile devices. In both cases, navigation should be as easy as possible.
7. The Basics of HTML and SEO
While you can get pretty much everything done on your blog without having to know HTML or CSS, learning both will allow you customize themes and plugins to your liking, as well as change the look of your posts. A Simple Guide to HMTL will teach you all you need to know. As for SEO, you will be able to drive more visitors to your blog, because your blog will be more visible in the search engines, and Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz is a good place to start.
8. Image Editing
Instead of paying someone else to do it for you, learn the basics of image editing, so that you can enhance your texts with eye-popping visual content like photos, infographics, and GIFs. We recommend creating your own original designs with Canva.
9. Social Media Presence Is Crucial
“If you build it, they will come” doesn’t work with blogging. You need to let people know about your work, and the best way to do it, is through social media. Placing ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is the key to generating traffic. Websites like Kissmetrics is where you can also find plenty of advice on how to promote your blog.
10. Personal Branding Is Getting More Important
All of the knowledge and skills above can help you establish a unique visual identity for your blog. But you shouldn’t stop there, because it is important for all of your social media accounts to reflect that same identity if possible. People respond to brands, and you need to respond to their needs. Make sure to create accounts on most widely used social media platforms, so that you are in control of brand and its name.
11. Build Connections Right Away
One of the things that can launch your blog into the stratosphere is the people you know, fellow bloggers. Now, we are not suggesting that you should start sending emails every day, and then end up spamming them. But, you can share some of their stuff you liked on Twitter or Facebook, and let them know about it. Reach out to influencers and start a collaboration.
12. Learning Never Stops
You will never have any time to rest on your laurels. New blogging platforms are being introduced every day, search engines alter the way they rank websites, SEO requirements change, and so on. Everything is changing constantly, and you need to stay on top of all that if you want to succeed.
Blogging is a lot more complex than people think. It requires you to be a jack of all trades, such as writing, design, marketing, coding, and master of most, to say the least. If you’re ready to start blogging, BlogPress is here to answer all of your questions. Just ask.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guest post from Sophia Anderson.
Sophia Anderson is a professional editor and content writer at EssaysOnTime. She is passionate about covering topics on writing, business, careers, blogging and others. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.