You’ve decided to take the plunge and start that blog you’ve always dreamed of. But you’re a little unsure just what you need to make it all happen. Don’t worry, there are only a few key elements you need to make a noteworthy start.
The first thing you need is a reason. Why do you want to blog? Sure, maybe it is just to make money, but you need something you feel passionate about to drive your blog posts. If you are a huge dog person, you could write about dogs. Love to dance? Write about dancing. You could even write about making money blogging (though you probably wouldn’t be reading this post if you knew how to already).
Any subject is fine, but to make you willing to write about it you need to have such a strong feeling about your topic you can’t wait to post your next article. And that shows in your writing, holds on to your readers (who love to hear passionate people discuss their interests), and attracts new visitors.
Beware of having a passion that is too general. Niche sites will bring readers that actually care about what you have to say. There are many dog lovers, why do you stand out from them the rest of them? Focus on some aspect of your topic where you can dig deep. Perhaps you are fascinated by a single type of dog, mastiffs,or miniatures. Maybe even a single breed. Or your interest might lie in diseases or health care for dogs. Canine nutrition and feeding might be your focus, or even grooming.
Your domain name is a critical choice when getting started, but don’t let it paralyze you. You need a simple, easy to remember, and easy to spell domain name, but one that describes what your blog is about. MuffinSlide.com is a pretty obscure name (and hopefully will stay unused as a bad example) while GermanShepardGrooming.com is descriptive of a very focused topic.
Try brainstorming a few names, maybe a dozen, over twenty or thirty minutes. Then look them over, toss out the worst, and pick the best, or even make a slight adjustment to one that is almost right. Try your top picks to see if they are already taken, then settle on one. It may not be perfect, but with a little care it will make a good signpost for your blog.
Here’s where things get a bit technical. You need to choose which software will be used to run your blog out on the internet. There are a number of good choices, but after taking a quick look, choose WordPress.
Unless you have a strong feeling toward one of the other platforms, or have a deep technical background, you probably aren’t interested in the nuts and bolts of what a platform does. You just want to know what it does FOR you. And you want it to be easy.
That’s what WordPress offers, ease of installation, ease of configuration, ease of use, and many features and add ons. Which is why just under half the blogs out there are using WordPress. And since it is so popular, there are tons of step by step instructions on how to start a blog using WordPress. You really want to concentrate on things other than the tech that makes your blog run. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.
Another technical choice, but with a similar answer. Although there isn’t a single clear choice for the hosting company to hold the data that makes up your blog, you don’t want to dig deep into the technical aspects of each company. Cost, ease, support, and good reputation should be your guideposts.
Several low-cost options have one-click WordPress installs, good customer service, and a reputation for being reliable. And if you don’t like them later on, you can choose another and move. It’s not ‘til death do you part.
Popular blogs have a predictable schedule. Posts appear when the blogger promises them, be that once a day, once a week, or once a month. Be realistic and don’t over commit. Pick a schedule you can live with, but try to make it relatively frequent. The more often you post, the most your loyal readers will come back to read those posts. Don’t disappoint them by missing your deadline and you will find your audience growing.
Don’t kid yourself, things are going to get tough at times. You might get writer’s block, or have a really bad month where few people visit, or have a technical problem where you are working with customer service for hours. You need something to get you through those tough times.
Passion for your topic helps, but sometimes you just need willpower. A stubborn desire to keep going no matter how bad things get. Most blogs are abandoned after only a short time. Stick with yours and post regularly, with valuable content focused on your passion, and they will come.
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