Congratulations! You are joining one of the biggest digital communities of the 21st century – you have decided to become a blogger.
Now the biggest question is, “How to get started?” There are countless considerations to make, but you have to start somewhere; so let’s take a look at some of the most important areas of blogging.
This might be obvious to some, but it’s often times a big challenge for others. Before doing anything with your new blog, you should decide what you will be creating content about. Do you simply want to entertain, or is your goal to educate and inform? Or do you even have products you want to sell through an e-commerce store?
Once you decide what the overall purpose and format of your blog will be, start to focus on a specific topic or area of expertise, such as “everything you need to know about fast cars” or “tennis tips and tricks.” It is important that you clearly define your main topic, so that audiences know what they will get when returning to your blog frequently.
Once you know what you are going to talk about, take some time to think about “how” you are going to talk about it. Do you want to be funny, serious, satirical, philosophical, etc.? Different voices resonate with different audiences, so once you settle on one, try to stick to it and become really good at it.
WordPress is by far one of the most common blogging platforms out there, but there are also other sites that some creators prefer, such as Squarespace, Tumblr, and even sites like Wix. It is definitely worth to take some time and do research because one might fit your blogging style better than others.
After deciding on a platform and hosting service, the next step is to set up your site. The fastest way to do this is to either purchase a website template from sites like ThemeForest or to use one of the numerous free templates that WordPress offers as part of their set-up. The advantage of paying for a template is that – in most cases – it includes access to customer service, which is crucial when you need help setting up your site from scratch. Some free templates also have “forums” where you can get questions answered, but they can be very unreliable.
Most first-time bloggers underestimate how much effort it takes to create new content on a consistent basis. Think of it like your own little TV network for which you are providing programming. Plan your schedule accordingly so you won’t disappoint your audience by falling behind. Just think of how frustrating it is when your favorite TV show puts on re-runs for a few weeks during hiatus…
Quality Over Quantity
While consistency is important, it should never jeopardize the quality of your content. If you notice that your content is suffering, adjust your posting frequency to accommodate your schedule, so that you can keep producing high quality content. Then, try to be consistent with that new schedule.
Speaking of quality and quantity… if you have long-term plans for your blog, you might want to consider bringing in more writers or producers of other forms of content (e.g. podcasts or videos) to increase your overall volume of content and maintain its level of quality.
Do you want to make money with your blog? Then you should decide early on what revenue streams you are going to focus on. Are you planning to work with advertisers, get users to pay for content subscriptions, or will you sell actual products or services?
Whichever form of revenue you decide to pursue, make sure that your content will accommodate it. Advertisers for example, look for large audiences (or very specific niche audiences), so content volume and a clear audience profile are very important.
If your goal is to get paying subscribers, however, your focus should be on providing the very best and unique value that users might not get anywhere else, hence, will pay for.
If making money with products or services is your ultimate vision, then you should look into the concept of “content marketing,” which basically means that the majority of your blogging content serves one purpose: promote and sell your products and services.
Finally, to get some exposure for your blog, consider posting your content on social media (focus on networks that reach your audience) and reach out to other blogging sites like Huffington Post to repost your content and raise awareness for your brand there.
Are you ready to get started? We believe you are.
About The Author
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas,. or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com