So, you want to start a blog, but do not know where to start, right?
Blogging can be overwhelming for beginners. It allows you to share your thoughts and feelings to the world. It is an inspiring activity. You can share your ideas and influence other people.
However, it can be tough sometimes. You keep on writing content, but nobody is reading it. It hurts, isn’t it?
Well, this article got you covered. Take time to read the things you need to know before you start a blog this year.
Things You Should Know Before Starting a Blog
1. Money Do Not Come Easy with Blogging
It is true that some are earning 6 figure incomes through blogging, but this did not happen overnight. It took them years of hard work and quality content to get this milestone. Do not start a blog with this mindset because chances of getting passive income are low.
Focus on publishing and promoting high-quality content to your audience so you can build a good relationship with them.
2. Do not Quit your Daytime Job Immediately
Leaving the job that we do not want to work with for rest our lives will be the best thing that happens to us.
However, let us be practical. We have responsibilities to deal with. Continue your job while doing your side project. Quit when it is realistic.
3. You can be a Blogger Even if You are not a Writer
Blogging does not mean you have to write everything by yourself. If you are interested in starting a blog but lacks the talent in writing, you can outsource your content through a virtual assistant or a professional writer.
You can find good virtual assistants or professional writers at Upwork or Onlinejobs.ph.
Other than writing, you can also put videos, podcasts, and quizzes on your blog. These types of content do not need you to be a writer.
Choosing a niche is worth spending your time. It is a crucial step before you start a blog. You can easily start with your passion, but you need to assess whether your passion is marketable or not. Are people willing to spend money on it? If not, you choose another one.
We cannot deny that blogging is business. Your blog posts are your assets that will generate future cash flows. If you choose a niche where your audience does not spend money on it, then you wasted your precious time writing quality content.
What if you choose a marketable niche that targets a specific problem or passion? It is possible, but you need to assess your level of expertise of the topic.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, the author will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. The author recommends that you do your due diligence about the product before making any buying decisions of your own.
5. Use a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
Setting up WordPress.Org blog using your host will give you full ownership, controls, and customizations of your site. Unlike Tumblr, WordPress.com, or blogger, a self-hosted blog can provide you with the needed brandings of your site. You can customize its design using thousands of free and premium themes. You can improve its functionality with thousands of free and premium plugins. A self-hosted WordPress blog is also good for SEO. If you are new to WordPress, take time to read the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. That guide will help in determining what platform to use.
Starting a self-hosted WordPress blog will cost you money. Check my tutorials in installing WordPress in a self-hosted blog with Siteground. At $3.95 per month, you can have a self-hosted blog. I always recommend Siteground for new bloggers because of fast loading speed, uptime performance, and excellent customer support.
6. Start Growing Your Mailing List on Day One
Your email list is your most important asset. You can directly send an email to your subscribers whenever you want to promote a blog post, product and more. Your list is your most trusted source of traffic.
Do not rely too much on search engines or social sites. These platforms change their policies from time to time.
7. Know Your Competitor
Most bloggers do not do this. Nevertheless, it is essential to know what others are doing. Every post that you will write is already written. Thus, it is necessary to conduct a competitor analysis to understand what keywords they are targeting. Determine and decide whether you can compete with these niches and keywords.
Check at seobook for free and paid tools to use in competitor analysis.
8. Content is King and Long Content Matters
Your audience love thoroughly-researched, informative and valuable articles. Thus, giving high-quality content should be your top priority.
Readers love long and in-depth articles too. If you think they will skip your blog post if it is more than 1,000 words, then you are wrong.
Neil Patel did a Crazy Egg test on this and found out that long content converts better than a short one. The long form gave quality leads and ranked higher in Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
How did this happen? Again, quality readers love thoroughly researched and detailed articles. Google loves long content too, so it launched an in-depth content guide.
9. Start Creating Connections Early
There are big names in your niche. Do not consider these bloggers as competitors but network with them. Consider them as friends and set up alliances to grow your blog in the long term.
You can mention them in your blog and share their posts. Let them know that you featured them on your site. You can find these bloggers on Twitter.
10. Create SMART Goals for Your New Blog
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable and relevant. If you are a new blogger, it is easier to plan and work if you have a SMART goal.
You do not say; you want to grow your subscribers. Instead, you want your subscribers to increase to 2,000 after one year. This goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bounded.
With a SMART goal in mind, you can create strategies to achieve it.
11. Make a Mobile-Friendly Blog
According to Statistica, as of 2017, 50.3 percent of all global website traffic is now served in mobile. Up from 43.6 percent and 35.1 percent in 2016 and 2015 respectively.
If you want your audience to have a good browsing experience, then you need a mobile friendly blog. The mobile experience is so relevant that Google is releasing mobile-first indexing. It means that Google will index the mobile version first and use it to serve organic desktop and mobile results.
How to make your blog mobile responsive? Use a highly responsive theme. Use this link to check if your blog is mobile friendly.
12. Use Social Media to Generate Traffic
You will not be getting too much traffic from search engines because your blog is still new. Hence, building your presence on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest will help your site in generating traffic in the short term.
Join communities, groups, befriend or share your stories with other people. Set up a Facebook page and start sharing your blog posts.
13. You may have to spend money for promotions
Being active in niche forums, Facebook groups, answering questions in Quora or joining discussions in Reddit can provide you free traffic.
However, if you want to fast track your leads, you may want to spend small bucks for advertisements. It does not cost much to advertise on Facebook or Google. If you have the budget, then start promoting your best blog post to a targeted group of people.
14. You Need to be Consistent in Publishing Content
Publishing content irregularly will affect your traffic. If you commit yourself to write blog posts twice a week, then do it consistently. Your traffic will not grow on a regular basis if you inconsistently publish a post.
15. Never Lie in Your Headline
The fantastic title gets readers attention, but make sure you back it up with content. Otherwise, your blog post will end up as fake.
The moment your audience realized that the article did not deliver the promise in the headlines, you will be tagged as a liar.
16. You will have to Learn Basic SEO
Learning basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great way to drive traffic to your blog. SEO is a complicated thing but knowing the fundamentals can help your posts ranked in organic search engine results.
MOZ beginner’s guide covers basic SEO for you.
17. You Need to Believe in Yourself
In blogging, most of the time you are on your own.
You must believe that you can write. Believe that you can blog. Believe that you can generate traffic. Ignore what others will say against you if it does not feel right but be open-minded to criticisms that will help your blog grow. Act when you have studied and learned enough.
At first, it is going to tough. As time goes on, it gets easier. Believe in yourself and keep pushing.
Starting a blog is easy. However, the most challenging part of blogging is to generate traffic, transform this traffic into leads and be your loyal audience.
Now that you know the things to consider before you start your blog, are you still interested in doing it? Then, read our guide to starting a self-hosted WordPress blog with Siteground.
Share this post if you find it useful. I love to hear your amazing comments.
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